Ryoji Ikeda (b. in Gifu, Japan in 1966; lives and works in Paris and Kyōto) is one of the world’s leading sound and media artists. His often large-format light and sound installations have caused numerous international sensations (e.g. 2018 Centre Pompidou, Paris; 2018 Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam; 2015 ZKM Karlsruhe; 2014/15 Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai).
Ikeda’s works reflect the progressive digitalization of our society and allow viewers to visually and acoustically experience digital universes. With the exhibition, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg is presenting — for the first time together — two new large-scale projections, which will be installed site-specifically in the museum space: data-verse 1 (currently on view at the Venice Biennale) and data-verse 2.
With his works, Ryoji Ikeda strives to “capture the world down to the smallest detail” (R. I. 2008). His light and sound installations thus have their origins in mathematics, physics, and biology, as well as in musicology and philosophy. Ikeda succeeds in making the abstract volumes of data and computing power we deal with every day comprehensible. He lets viewers immerse themselves in digital universes, which oscillate between the smallest measurable units, i.e. bits and bytes, and cosmic dimensions — they give the impression as if, with the data streams, one were on a journey through space.
Alongside installation works, Ikeda has been working on projects through live performances, books and CD’s such as +/-(1996), 0°C (1998), matrix (2000), dataplex (2005), test pattern (2008), supercodex (2013), and music for percussion (2018)which pioneered a new minimal world of electronic music through his razor-sharp techniques and aesthetics.
On the one hand, the surrounding architecture is decisive for his installations and is taken into account in the set-up of the works. On the other hand, visitors to the exhibition are invited to move about in the space in order to reevaluate their own perception and sound out the relationship between space and time. The pulsating sounds underlying the installations range in their spectrum from barely audible sine tones to dull, physically perceptible bass sounds. The latest 4K projection technology contributes to transforming the exhibition into a fascinating total synesthetic experience.