Ryoji Ikeda: data.tecture [nº1] (2018) / Blum Gallery Los Angeles

Ryoji Ikeda‘s installation data.tecture [nº1] (2018) was part of the group show “Thirty Years: Written with a Splash of Blood” at Blum Gallery in Los Angeles, an exhibition celebrating the gallery’s thirtieth anniversary, installed across its three locations—Los Angeles, Tokyo, and New York. Co-curated by Tim Blum and postwar Japanese art historian Mika Yoshitake, this presentation was an inter-generational survey of Japanese art from the 1960s to today. The third and final installment of the exhibition will be presented as the inaugural exhibition to open Blum New York in Tribeca in fall 2024.

Ryoji Ikeda’s data.tecture nº1 (2018) projects data along the floor, thus producing a floating field effect, including onto the bodies of viewers. The molecular data, which comprises hundreds of amino acid chains, are accompanied by pulsating, high-pitch sound frequencies, a familiar device that he used as an engineer and producer for the legendary multi-media collective Dumb Type (formed in 1984) in the 1990s. Dumb Type often probed the dichotomies between life and death and the role of technology in our comprehension of this existential border during the height of the AIDS crisis, where performers’ bodies took the form of noise distortion and surveillance targets. In Ikeda’s installation, data is transcribed into abstract algorithms that result in computer-generated imagery that is compressed, flattened, rasterized, and streamed at breakneck speed. This velocity is deliberately at a rate of hundreds of frames per second, which pushes our ability to process information. Ikeda carefully calculates this perceptual limit in which, according to him, the stream of images “can be slow, but if it’s too fast, it seems much slower. Ten thousand times faster, and it gets slow because it’s beyond your perception.” (excerpt, press text Blum Gallery).

Ryoji Ikeda: data.tecture [nº1] (2018). Blum Gallery Los Angeles. February 27, 2024.

— Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

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