Ryoji Ikeda Transforms Metropolitan Museum of Art into 65-Minute Data Processor with Latest 'Superposition' Installation

By Ian Holubiak on Oct 22, 2014 01:59 PM EDT

Ryoji Ikeda's 65-minute multimedia piece Superposition contains a lot of the fundamental Ikeda details required for a Metropolitan Museum of Art installation: His fascination with design, symmetry and light and sound mechanics are the depth that characterizes his works.

Having sold out and taken over the prestigious institution, Ikeda's working piece requires the viewer to sit in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium facing a stage. Like a movie about to take place, this time its sound that is driving the vehicle.

In The New York Times, which described the pice as a balance of a movie and musical performance, Ikeda uses the stage in a most unusual way. Between bracketing columns of speakers are 10 small digital screens and 10 larger ones across the middle along with 10 stretching to the ceiling.

Two performers, though, sat end to end at a long table demonstrating the workings of data processing. The duo tapped out a script in almost perfect synchrony in tips and taps not unlike Morse code.

Rolling marbles on a flat surface, then a computer program captures the positions of the marbles and fixes them on an axis. Maintaining semblance of an Ikeda original, the work continues the notion that the artist delves into the human condition. This time, though, it is finding what in the material can be graphed and fixed to a point and what can't.

Though in a most unorthodox fashion, the Japanese artist Ikeda continues to service the art world with uncanny explorations into what it is to be a material human. Perhaps, though, this is his most interesting yet.

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TagsRyoji Ikeda, Superposition, New York Times, Metropolitan Museum of Art

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