• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


Sound, Vision, Ultra-modernism and Ryoji Ikeda

Page history last edited by Meredith Houck 9 years, 8 months ago

Ryoji Ikeda: Japan's Leading Electronic Composer



 Spectra in Nagoya, Japan (2010)


A Brief Biography

     Born in Giju, Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda is known for his extraordinarily innovative contemporary electronic music and his artistic works exploring the realms of human perception, mathematics, and technology. His music is best described as ultra-minimalist and often uses high frequencies barely audible to the human ear.  He explores the physical properties of sound and its relation to the listener, he says "a high frequency sound is used that the listener becomes aware of only upon its disappearance." Often he exploits sine waves and binary data to create both his auditory and visual art. His art and music have been displayed at a variety of venues worldwide including the Tate Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Sonar Festival in Barcelona, the skies of Paris, Amsterdam and Nagoya, and the JFK airport terminal 5. He is now living in Paris.


                    Ryoji Ikeda and his laptops. (Source: last.fm)


Selected Works




Description by the artist: 

"Spectra is a series of large scale installations employing intense white light as a sculptural material. The installations are designed in response to specific gallery spaces or public sites selected by the artist. White light is one of the purest forms of transformation from electricity. We see a pure state of energy. Through these installations we witness how the pure transformation transforms the environment itself and ourselves.

White light includes the full colour spectrum. With the light-installation, the perceiver receives colour information into his/her eyes instantly and so intensely that he / she cannot see anything, just like in darkness. The installation therefore becomes almost invisible. Consequently, the art works provoke a feeling of something indescribable, something sublime and unearthly, something unforgettable."


Spectra has been seen at Terminal 5 in the JFK Airport, Nagoya, Japan, Barcelona and Amsterdam starting in 2002.


The following video is Spectra in Paris in 2008.



Spectra (Paris, 2008)



Test Pattern


Artist description: "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. 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."


The following video is a live performance of Test Pattern at the 2010 Sonar Festival in Barcelona.



Test Pattern (France, 2010)




Artist description: "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."


The following video is Datamatics in France.



Datatron (Tokyo 2009)




Artist description: "Matrix is a series of sound installations employing pure sine waves and white noises as a sculptural material. The installations are designed in response to specific gallery spaces or public sites selected by the artist. Sine wave is one of the purest forms of sounds, white noise contains the full frequency spectrum randomly. As visitors pass through the sound field, subtle oscillation patterns occur around their ears, caused by their own movements interfering with the sounds. It is a very personal experience that is only through the visitors' physical engagement in the sound space that the real character of the work can be perceived."


Matrix (Tokyo 2009)


Ryoki Ikdea is an incredibly prolific and revolutionary artist. His works explore the edges of mathematics, computer programming and sound. The only way to truly enjoy his art is to perceive it in person.


More information







Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.