Experimental

Ryoji Ikeda’s immersive installation Test Pattern [N°12] at The Store Studios

The Store X The Vinyl Factory-commissioned installation by Japanese A/V artist and composer Ryoji Ikeda opens in London today.

Bell Street based Lisson Gallery, in partnership with independent arts group The Vinyl Factory, presents a major off-site multi-sensory exhibition Everything At Once at The Store Studios, 180 The Strand. The show features new and historical works by contemporary artists including Ai Weiwei, Marina Abramović, Anish Kapoor, Susan Hiller and Rodney Graham. Presented alongside are three site-specific commissions by Ryoji Ikeda, Arthur Jafa and Jeremy Shaw.

Test Pattern [N°12] is perhaps the most immersive and captivating of the three. Latest iteration of Ryoji Ikeda’s ongoing project started in 2006, “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 artist’s website)

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPLhZOox_do[/embed]

The experience of walking barefoot into a pitch black room with flashing lights while blasted with razor-sharp beats is mind-melting. Flickering black and white, barcode-like, visuals convulse in darkness on a floor screen, in time with a soundtrack of pure-tone electronics and heavily minimalist rhythms. Moving at some hundreds of frames per second, such perfectly synchronous and ultra-fast imagery, create a fully immersive experience for every visitor.

Ikeda’s previous iteration of his project, test pattern [nº11], was exhibited earlier this year at Elevation 1049, The Vinyl Factory co-curated high-altitude festival taking place in the Swiss Alps.

test pattern [N°12] is open at the Store Studios, 180 The Strand, London, from 5th Oct — 10th December and is free to visit.


Francesco Imola is a London-based musician, weekend photographer, and current Sound Design student at the University of Greenwich.

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