Japan’s leading electronic composer Ryoji Ikeda focuses on the minutiae of ultrasonics, frequencies and the essential characteristics of sound itself. His work exploits sound’s physical property, its causality with human perception and mathematical dianoia as music, time and space. Using computer and digital technology, Ikeda has been developing particular “microscopic” methods for sound engineering and composition. Since 1995 he has been intensely active in sound art through concerts, installations and recordings: the albums +/- (1996), 0 degrees (1998) and Matrix (2000) have been hailed by critics as the most radical and innovative examples of contemporary electronic music. With Carsten Nicolai, he works the collaborative project ‘cyclo.’, which examines error structures and repetitive loops in software and computer programmed music, with audiovisual modules for real time sound visualization. The versatile range of his research is also demonstrated by the collaborations with choreographer William Forsythe/Frankfurt Ballett, contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, architect Toyo Ito and artist collective Dumb Type, among others. Ryoji Ikeda received the Golden Nica prize at Prix Ars Electronica 2001 in the Digital Music category.
Here are some of his projects;
test pattern  _ test pattern is a system that converts any type of data (text, sounds, photos and movies) into barcode patterns and binary patterns of 0s and 1s. Through its application, the project aims to examine the relationship between critical points of device performance and the threshold of human perception.
Test Pattern [nº1] In this first edition of the project, an audiovisual installation, test pattern involves a sequence of tests for machines and humans, comprising visual patterns converted and generated from sound waveforms in real–time. The installation comprises 8 computer monitors and 16 loudspeakers aligned on the floor in a dark space. The 8 rectangular surfaces of the screens flicker intensely with black and white images, floating and convulsing in the darkness. 16–channel sound signals are mapped as a grid matrix, passing and slicing the space sharply. Via a real–time computer program, the signal patterns are converted into 8 barcode patterns, which are tightly synchronized. The velocity of the moving images is ultra–fast, some hundreds of frames per second at certain points, providing a performance test for the devices and a response test for visitors’ perceptions.
Test Pattern [n˚2] presents flickering black and white imagery that floats and convulses in darkness on two screens, one on the floor and another floor to ceiling, in time with a stark and powerful, highly synchronised soundtrack. Through a real–time computer programme, Ikeda’s audio signal patterns are converted into tightly synchronised barcode patterns on the screens. Viewers are literally immersed in the work, and the velocity of the moving images is ultra–fast, some hundreds of frames per second, providing a totally immersive and powerful experience. The work provides a performance test for the audio and visual devices, as well as a response test for the audience’s perceptions.
Test Pattern [live set] presents intense flickering black and white imagery, which floats and convulses in darkness to a stark and powerful, highly synchronised soundtrack. Through a real–time computer programme, test pattern converts Ikeda’s audio signal patterns into tightly synchronised barcode patterns on screen. The velocity of the moving images is ultra–fast, some hundreds of frames per second, so that the work provides a performance test for the audio and visual devices, as well as a response test for the audience’s perceptions. Test Pattern is the third audiovisual concert in Ikeda’s datamatics series, an art project that explores the potential to perceive the invisible multi–substance of data that permeates our world. Taking various forms – installations, live performance and recordings – test pattern acts as a system that converts any type of data (text, sounds, photos and movies) into barcode patterns and binary patterns of 0s and 1s. The project aims to examine the relationship between critical points of device performance and the threshold of human perception, pushing both to their absolute limits.
datamatics  _ datamatics is an art project that explores the potential to perceive the invisible multi-substance of data that permeates our world. It is a series of experiments in various forms – audiovisual concerts, installations, publications and CD releases – that seek to materialise pure data.
Using pure data as a source for sound and visuals, datamatics combines abstract and mimetic presentations of matter, time and space in a powerful and breathtakingly accomplished work. datamatics is the second audiovisual concert in Ryoji Ikeda’s datamatics series, an art project that explores the potential to perceive the invisible multi-substance of data that permeates our world. Projecting dynamic, computer-generated imagery – in pared down black and white with striking colour accents, Ikeda’s intense yet minimal graphic renderings of data progress through multiple dimensions. From 2D sequences of patterns derived from hard drive errors and studies of software code, the imagery transforms into dramatic, rotating views of the universe in 3D, whilst the final scenes add a further dimension as four-dimensional mathematical processing opens up spectacular and seemingly infinite vistas. A powerful and hypnotic soundtrack reflects the imagery through a meticulous layering of sonic components to produce immense and apparently boundless acoustic spaces. datamatics, alongside the recently released and critically acclaimed dataplex album, marks a significant and exciting progression in Ikeda’s work.
datamatics [ver 2.0] is the new, full–length version of Ryoji Ikeda’s acclaimed audiovisual concert. For datamatics [ver.2.0], Ikeda has significantly developed the earlier version of this piece (premiered in March 2006), adding a newly commissioned second part. Driven by the primary principles of datamatics, but objectively deconstructing its original elements – sound, visuals and even source codes – this new work creates a kind of meta–datamatics. Ikeda employs real–time programme computations and data scanning to create an extended new sequence that is a further abstraction of the original work. The technical dynamics of the piece, such as its extremely fast frame rates and variable bit depths, continue to challenge and explore the thresholds of our perceptions.
See more on www.ryojiikeda.com.
Posted on: 31/12/2010