The »Infosphere« exhibition starts with a presentation by composer and artist Ryoji Ikeda in Atrium 1 + 2 of the ZKM. His large-scale projections relating to architecture and sound worlds, are a totally immersive experience for the visitors. With »the planck universe [micro]« and »the planck universe [macro]«, the ZKM presents a series of new works, inspired by the artist’s encounters with scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. CERN has the world’s largest particle physics research institute. Ikeda’s new synesthetic works are based on principles of particle physics and cosmology. Inspired by supersymmetry, they visualize a theory of particle physics – the different scales and dimensions of the universe.
Digital synesthesias of sounds and moving images
Through their spectacular presentation, Ikeda’s spatial and audiovisual installations develop a powerfully hypnotic effect, enhanced by rhythmic loops and repetitive sequences of short notes or noise. In 2012, Ryoji Ikeda shared the ZKM Giga-Hertz-Prize for Sound Art with Carsten Nicolai, for their encyclopedic investigation of the visual forms of sound. The mathematical and physical qualities of sound are presented in the book and CD-ROM »cyclo. id«. It is an atlas of over a thousand waveforms and sinus curves, which are visualized and set to music. Music becomes physics.
Ikeda’s sound art is primarily concerned with noise, with the bits and bytes of sounds. As he mainly generates his sounds from digital sources, he can convert this digital data, synesthetically or correspondingly, into acoustic and visual forms (e.g., »test pattern«, 2008). Ikeda is one of the first data artists to present the digital data flows of the infosphere both visually and acoustically, as signaled by the work titles »dataplex« (2005), »dataphonics« (2010), und »data.tron« (2010). Penetrating this world like a hacker, Ikeda makes its hidden features visible – its code – as data flows and abstract computing processes unfold and immerse the spectators.