photo: photo: by LU Kuo-wei, courtesy of Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2019 ©TFAM

concept, composition: Ryoji ikeda
computer graphics, programming: Tomonaga Tokuyama

photo: Ryo Mitamura

concept, composition: Ryoji ikeda
computer graphics, programming: Tomonaga Tokuyama

photo: Fidelis Fuchs

superposition is a project about the way we understand the reality of nature on an atomic scale and is inspired by the mathematical notions of quantum mechanics. Performers will appear in Ikeda’s work for the first time, performing as operator/conductor/observer/examiners. All the components on stage will be in a state of superposition; sound, visuals, physical phenomena, mathematical concepts, human behaviour and randomness – these will be constantly orchestrated and de-orchestrated simultaneously in a single performance piece.


concept, direction & music: Ryoji Ikeda

in collaboration with
performers: Stephane Garin, Amélie Grould
programming, graphics & computer system: Tomonaga Tokuyama, Norimichi Hirakawa, Yoshito Onishi
optical devices: Norimichi Hirakawa
stage manager: Simon MacColl
technical manager: Tomonaga Tokuyama
production assistant: Daisuke Sekine

production: Ryoji Ikeda Studio (Artistic direction: Emmanuelle de Montgazon, Administration: Yuko Higaki), Quaternaire (Producer and artist management: Sarah Ford, Associate producer: Laurie Uprichard, administration: Kathleen Aleton, Coordination and marketing: Joanna Rieussec), Forma (Artistic Director: David Metcalfe)

commissioned by the Festival d’Automne à Paris for the musical part
created and developed at Parc de La Villette (FR), Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (JP), ZKM I Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (DE)

co-production: Festival d’Automne à Paris, Les Spectacles Vivants – Centre Pompidou (FR), Barbican (UK), Concertgebouw Brugge (BE), Festival de Marseille _ danse et arts multiples (FR), Parc de La Villette (FR), Kyoto Experiment (JP), ZKM I Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (DE), STRP Art and Technology Festival (NL), Stereolux / Festival Scopitone / le lieu unique (FR)
With the support of the DICReAM-CNC (FR)

photo: Liz Hingley
photo: Liz Hingley

This audiovisual work presents intense flickering black and white imagery which floats and convulses in darkness to a stark, powerful and highly synchronised soundtrack.
Through a real–time computer program, test pattern converts audio signal patterns into tightly synchronised barcode patterns on screen. The velocity of the moving images is ultra–fast, some hundreds of frames per second, so that the work provides a performance test for the audio and visual devices, as well as a response test for the audience's perceptions.


concept, composition: Ryoji Ikeda
computer graphics, programming: Tomonaga Tokuyama

Developed and researched alongside the radio program series, this multi-channel concert demonstrates the results of an investigation about the fundamental concept of digital, the data of sound and the sound of data. It is performed in a pitch-dark space as a multi-channel concert. A matrixed setup of specific loudspeakers forms a unique spatiotemporal sound field to listeners. The experience is straight-ahead physical and is a series of experiments to test one's potential of how (much) one can perceive and decipher infinite numbers of data-codes in the blind state.

photo: Ryuichi Maruo, courtesy of Yamaguchi Centre for Arts and Media [YCAM]
© Ryoji Ikeda

Using pure data as a source for sound and visuals, datamatics combines abstract and mimetic presentations of matter, time and space. datamatics is the second audiovisual concert in the datamatics series. Projecting dynamic computer-generated imagery in pared down black and white with striking colour accents, the intense yet minimal graphic renderings of data progress through multiple dimensions. From 2D sequences of patterns derived from hard drive errors and studies of software code, the imagery transforms into dramatic rotating views of the universe in 3D, whilst in the final scenes four-dimensional mathematical processing opens up spectacular and seemingly infinite vistas. A powerful and hypnotic soundtrack reflects the imagery through a meticulous layering of sonic components to produce immense and apparently boundless acoustic spaces.

datamatics [ver 2.0] is the full–length version of this audiovisual concert. With a commissioned second part added, datamatics [ver.2.0] is significantly developed from the earlier version of this piece which premiered in March 2006. Driven by the primary principles of datamatics, but objectively deconstructing its original elements – sound, visuals and even source codes – this work creates a kind of meta–datamatics. Real–time program computations and data scanning are employed to create an extended new sequence that is a further abstraction of the original work. The technical dynamics of the piece, such as its extremely fast frame rates and variable bit depths, continue to challenge and explore the thresholds of our perceptions.


directed by Ryoji Ikeda
concept, composition: Ryoji Ikeda

computer graphics, programming: Shohei Matsukawa, Daisuke Tsunoda, Tomonaga Tokuyama

computer graphics, programming: Shohei Matsukawa, Norimichi Hirakawa, Tomonaga Tokuyama
co-commissioned by AV Festival 06, ZeroOne San Jose & ISEA 2006, 2006

co-produced by Les Spectacles vivants, Centre Pompidou, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM), 2008
supported by Recombinant Media Labs

photo: Kazuo Fukunaga, courtesy of Yamaguchi Centre for Arts and Media [YCAM]

This piece is both a concert and a film that uses data as its material and theme, highlighting the ways in which data shapes our understanding of the world. Video images of landscapes are progressively abstracted into a language of data. Facts, figures and diagrams are used in a montage with dazzling graphic impact. The text excerpts elegantly punctuate the on-screen projections. Blurring the lines between nature, science and philosophy, the work subtly and hypnotically suggests the convergence of the real and the virtual. The soundtrack synchronises perfectly with the graphical and video images to create a piece of undeniable power and beauty. Derived from the natural world, from global systems such as economics and from research mathematics, data forms a new material for artistic explorations. C⁴I, in its meticulous composition and technical sophistication, reveals sublime views of reality.


directed by Ryoji Ikeda
concept, video, music: Ryoji Ikeda
computer graphics, video editing: Shohei Matsukawa, Daisuke Tsunoda
commissioned by Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM), 2004

photo: Eiji Kikuchi

formula, a constantly evolving work updated with each presentation, is a perfect synchronisation between sound frequencies and the movements on the screen. It places the viewer in a binary geometry of space and exploits the darkness to amplify one's perceptions. There is a complete integration of the various elements, composing music, images, lighting and orchestrating the relationships between them through a highly precise score.


directed by Ryoji Ikeda
concept, composition: Ryoji Ikeda

formula [prototype]
video materials and editing: Shiro Takatani
computer graphics: Hiromasa Tomari
lighting and stage design: Takayuki Fujimoto

formula [ver. 1.0 - 2.2]
computer graphics and editing: Shohei Matsukawa
produced by Ryoji Ikeda

photo: cyclo.

cyclo. is a collaborative research project by Ikeda and Nicolai which focuses on the visualisation of sound. The artists are developing a database of sounds that they are composing for the visual responses these produce when analysed in real time using equipment developed originally for phase correlation in mastering vinyl records. With such stereo image monitoring equipment, the phase and amplitude of stereo signals can be illustrated graphically.

The audio elements have been constructed and chosen through agendas concerned with the minute editing of frequencies (often beyond the physical range of human hearing) and the perceptual amassing of audio elements to an undefined point. For Nicolai and Ikeda an 'infinity index’ of sound fragments is a conscious motivation forming the basis of their research and feeding cyclo. with the audio material required for visuality.

In amassing this archive, Nicolai and Ikeda transcend the usual dynamic whereby image acts merely as a functional accompaniment to sound. They arrive at a standpoint from which the audio element in the process is subservient to the desire and appetite of the image. Although this imaging is purely 2-D in display, the process proposes 3-D possibilities. Their proposition is that the structural complexities of these visual metered shapes, born and examined from the perspective of audio metering, may have in them a rich potential for architects, designers and engineers to find starting points for structural readings.