Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to eyeCONTACT, a forum built to encourage art reviews and critical discussion about the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. I'm John Hurrell its editor, a New Zealand writer, artist and curator. While Creative New Zealand and other supporters are generously paying me and other contributors to review exhibitions over the following year, all expressed opinions are entirely our own.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Impressive sound

Ryoji Ikeda: data.tron.2007
MIC Toi Rerehiko
11 July - 15 August 2008

This installation is not the first time Ryoji Ikeda has presented work in Auckland, but it is the first with visual material. In 2001 he provided sound compositions for Toyo Ito’s Blurring Architecture, a memorable show at ARTSPACE that NZ architect Andrew Barrie organised.

Here in the MIC, it is his sound that dominates – so crisp, razor-sharp, intricate and penetrating that it causes the visual image component to seem comparatively dull.

Ikeda works with rows of data that he transmutes into sound and image and projects at a frenetic rate four times faster than film. Yet despite the use of deep receding perspective and rapidly rising and descending columns of digits, you are not drawn in. It is only on one wall. The immersive sound though encompasses you. Your body tingles as swirling aural sensations snap, crackle and pop their way into your skull. Their staccatoed, vibrating sonic stutters are what you remember.

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