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Ryoji Ikeda is a foremost figure as a sound artist using digital technology. Producing works that are violently excessive though minimal in form within the field of electronic music, his activities are acclaimed worldwide.

Whether audio or visual, Ikeda’s works seek the technical possibility of the media to its maximum. Through programs pursuing the performance of speakers to its limits, he creates sounds beyond the range of human perception.

These sounds are also like invisible sculptures as they vibrate space detached from melodies and rhythms. Yet the sounds he creates are devoid of any sentiment, transposed meaning or anything that appeals to the memories of the artist or viewers. Only sounds reaching beyond the range of human auditory senses and becoming the air’s vibration are shared among others as something surely received by the body.



Digital technology we are in touch with daily is often generally said to cause a kind of confusion towards human perception. It enables us to quickly obtain products and information from a distance and we can transform into a totally different personality online. From language, gesture to one’s appearance, the distinction of self blurs leading to a certain confusion in identity. The development of media has deluded human corporeal senses and senses that form self-consciousness. Actually through Ryoji Ikeda’s works, it is possible to reconfirm the tangible experience that the body plays an important role as an interface of perception towards such conditions.

Ikeda has also participated in the works of the famous performance group Dumb Type and currently is not working only as a sound artist but extending his activities to visual installations.

data.tron is an audiovisual work in which sequences and lines of numbers without repetition of the same pattern are produced by meticulously controlling each pixel composing the image. Of course, the sequence patterns are far beyond the limits of human perception in terms of volume. No matter how much the viewer gazes at the screen filled with data, the excessive data just flows as sublime light streams.




As one is able to perceive information and nature scientifically, the relationship between self and the world becomes tangible. Such clear consciousness supports the concept to present the complex and elusive world as something with form via works before the viewers; Ikeda not only utilizes advanced technology but updates the possibility of something that should be called art.



Fumihiko Sumitomo, co-curator of 2010 Seoul International Media Art Biennale


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Posted by EYEBALL_Media Arts Webzine


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