A common misconception of eternity is that is means lots and lots of time, when really it amounts to no-time. Eternity has no beginning, end or duration: it is timelessness in the most literal sense.
In 2008 the Paris-based Japanese composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda began a continued dialogue with Harvard mathematician and number theorist Benedict Gross (thanks to Le Laboratoire, a not-for-profit institute set up for artists and scientists to work on joint projects). Their points of discussion spanned the purity of complex and prime numbers, fractional dimension, the impossibility of knowing whether the random is really random, the infinity of points between 0 and 1, and the controversial mathematical theory that V is not equal to L.
Last year Tokyo’s Museum of Contemporary Art held a major retrospective of Ikeda’s work, +/−, drawing on the his ideas about “the infinite between 0 and 1” (nothing and something) and incorporating parts of his dialogues with Gross. In 2010 he returned to Japan to tour his synesthetic live work cyclo., the result of a collaborative research project with Carsten Nicolai which focuses on the visualisation of sound.
He was also part of this year’s Aichi Triennale in Japan, where he used 64 high-powered floodlights and a symphony of ultra pure sine sound waves to re-create his Tower of Light (above) from Nagoya Castle. For one night only blinding white light sliced through the night sky into a single vanishing point 10 kilometers above.
Ikeda’s other compositions, installations, video works and sculptures often use ultrasonic waves or frequencies at the edges of the range of human hearing in order to investigate the nature of sound and how humans perceive time and space:
Showing until the end of December, Ikeda has a solo show at Galley Koyanagi in Tokyo, including a suite of video installations from his Datamatics body of work and new pieces from his V≠L series: