Featuring the largest collection of the artist’s work in Europe to date, as well as world premieres of never-before-seen works, RYOJI IKEDA invites viewers to immerse themselves in Ikeda’s thought-provoking and highly-charged dynamic digital universe.
Imagined by Ryoji Ikeda as a subterranean exploration of sound and light, the exhibition will take viewers on a sensory journey of 180 Studios’ labyrinth-like spaces, which seem to defy the building’s scale.
Ikeda’s innovative work explores the essential characteristics of sound and light by means of mathematical precision and aesthetics. The artist engages with frequencies and scales difficult for the human ear and mind to comprehend, visualising sounds, and rendering the imperceptible through numerical systems and computer aesthetics.
By orchestrating sounds, visuals, materials, physics and mathematics, Ikeda goes beyond the conceptual to delve into extremes and infinites, testing the limits of human senses and digital technology. His long-term projects have taken a multiplicity of forms, from live performances and immersive audio-visual installations, to books and CDs, and have evolved over the years to encompass the latest iterations of his data-driven research.
Among those artworks premiering is the data-verse trilogy – a large-scale immersive project commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary in 2015. The installation will feature all three variations, shown for the first time together at 180 Studios, creating a rare opportunity for audiences to see the works in harmony in a new environment that is uniquely able to take on and maximise the trilogy’s’ scale. data-verse marks the conclusive chapter in Ikeda’s data-driven audio-visual research and aesthetics that first began in the early 2000s. It visualises and sonifies the different dimensions co-existing in our world, from the microscopic, to the human, to the macroscopic.
data-verse 1 first premiered at the 58th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale de Venezia in May 2019, followed by data-verse 2 which was unveiled in Tokyo Midtown in October, 2019. data-verse 3 will be premiered in London in a mesmerising showing of the three chapters. The trilogy’s sublime medley of bright lights, visceral patterns charging at high frequencies, and constant yet calming acoustic will be positioned at the centre of the exhibition and will allow viewers an impactful moment of reflection on the vast data universe in which we live.
A new, site-specific version of test pattern will also be making its global debut. 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.
The exhibition will also include UK premieres of other hypnotic Ikeda artworks including: point of no return – an intense audio-visualisation that creates a virtual experience akin to entering a black hole; spectra III – a tunnel of strobe lighting that made its premiere at the 2019 Venice Biennale and has been readapted to reflect the scale of the 180 Studios show; and A (continuum) – a sound installation comprising six colossal Meyer SB-1 speakers that will act as minimalist sculptures.
This exhibition, produced and curated by The Vinyl Factory and Fact, follows five years of collaboration between Ryoji Ikeda and The Vinyl Factory, which includes the UK premieres of Ikeda’s supersymmetry in 2015 and test pattern [N°12] in 2017, as well as several vinyl albums and new commissions. Their latest venture will present twelve large-scale, multimedia works, six of which will be premiering on the global stage, and five will be showing for the first time in the UK. The exhibition is also the first show by a solo artist to take over multiple floors at 180 Studios, a space that has been adapted specifically for Ikeda’s work.
Content guidance: This exhibition includes strobing, flashing lights, loud noise and high lumen artificial light which can not be avoided.