Ryoji Ikeda: Scaling the Universe
by Alexandra Gilliams
A broad scope of the universe lies within the walls of the Arsenale of this year’s Venice Biennale, “May You Live in Interesting Times”. Data-verse 1 by Ryoji Ikeda seamlessly merges together art and science, inviting viewers to find themselves amongst the many facets of nature that make up the universe, from the microscopic to the macroscopic.
Ikeda is a Japanese, Paris-based visual artist and composer who blends together science, visual art, and sound in his pieces. He works with visual art as a composer might, processing information through precise computer programming into structured visuals
For Data-verse 1, Ikeda and a team of engineers manipulated open-source scientific data from organizations and projects such as CERN, NASA, and the Human Genome Project. The extensive collection of data was then processed into high definition visualizations and an electronic soundtrack that
In an increasingly digitalized world, data is constantly created, transmitted, shared, collected, sold, and stolen on a massive scale. This project, however, makes no commentary on the dangers of data collection. Rather, Data-verse 1 places data on a human level: it becomes inviting rather than
In this “data-verse”, hidden facets of nature that may have otherwise been thought of as information reserved for scientists or too complicated to truly delve into, transform into hypnotizing displays. This overwhelming flow visually recalls images you might find in a science fiction film: series of what seems like an infinite amount of data pile on top of each other, shifting and compiling to the sound of a digital tick. The images and texts fluctuate; some shapes appear indecipherable, technological, and seconds later expand and contract into natural images and topographies.
In a data-driven world, Ikeda provides a juxtaposition between the organic and the technological, reminding us of the natural elements that make up our universe which
All Images > Ryoji Ikeda data-verse 1, 2019 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, May You Live In Interesting Times, Photo