spectra II is an installation by Ryoji Ikeda that relies on the intersection of sound and architecture as well as exploring an interest in phenomena - be they light, tone or sound - and how they materialise and manifest themselves in the world.
The piece is built as a narrow, ceiling-covered corridor, allowing only one visitor to enter at a time. In the space, red laser lights mark out the architectural construction of the otherwise darkened corridor and divide it into sections. Along the length of the space, speakers and strobe lights are mounted on the ceiling. The flashing strobe lights and high frequency sounds are synchronised and continuously change the experience of the space. Aiming at purity and simplicity in the sound, high frequency sine waves are deployed, only to subject them to an exploration of how pure tone and sound are distorted by the resonance and reflective qualities of a given architectural setting and the presence and movement of the public. Visitors can hardly recognise the dimensions of the space, which is almost invisible due to its intense darkness/brightness and inaudible due to its ultra-frequencies. However, as they pass through the corridor, subtle oscillation patterns occur around their ears, caused by their own movements interfering with the sounds. The sound itself may be subtle and minimal, but the experience of the sound in the installation is active and dynamic. It is only through the public's physical engagement in the sound space that the real character of the work can be perceived.
spectra II was created by Ryoji Ikeda in 2002. Produced by Forma.
Ryoji Ikeda is a Japanese sound and visual artist living and working in Paris, France and Kyoto, Japan. Ikeda has gained an international reputation as one of the few artists working convincingly across both visual and sonic media. He elaborately orchestras sound, visuals, materials, physical phenomena and mathematical notions into immersive live performances and installations. Alongside musical activity, Ikeda has been working on long-term projects through live performances, installations, books and CD’s such as datamatics (2006-), test pattern (2008-), spectra (2001-), cyclo (a collaborative project with Carsten Nicolai), superposition (2012-), supersymmetry (2014-) and micro | macro (2015-). Ryoji Ikeda is represented by Almine Rech Gallery.
Nam June Paik Art Center, Seoul, South Korea
Arnolfini, Bristol, UK
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, USA
Australian Center for Moving Images, Melbourne, Australia
Arts Center Z33, Hasselt, Belgium
The 2nd International Biennale for Contemporary Art, Gothenburg, Sweden
Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
Background image: Installation view, Ryoji Ikeda, spectra II, 2002