Ryoji Ikeda presents: test pattern





Exploring polarising concepts of the beautiful and the sublime.


In anticipation of Ryoji Ikeda’s upcoming exhibition at 180 The Strand, presented by The Vinyl Factory and Fact in collaboration with Audemars Piguet Contemporary, we explore the data-driven beauty of test pattern.

Read more: Immersive RYOJI IKEDA exhibition opens this May at 180 The Strand

Seeking to explore polarising concepts of the beautiful and the sublime, test pattern was created by turning data — including emails and images — into binary patterns of ones and zeros.

As Ikeda wrote in 2011: “To me, beauty is crystal: rationality, precision, simplicity, elegance, delicacy; the sublime is infinity: infinitesimal, immensity, indescribable, ineffable.”

“Sometimes I push the sound level to the utmost limit to give a scary, overwhelming experience. That experience is not beautiful, so I call it sublime. Sublime experiences are a bit too much. There is fear and discomfort, as well as your own borderline between those feelings.”

The work also emerged from his live shows. “I needed visuals behind me when I DJ or do live performances, so I decided to show a binary expression of sound,” he explains. “A left-right visualisation of zeros and ones, black and white.”

RYOJI IKEDA marks the largest exhibition of the artist’s work ever staged in Europe, with 12 large-scale, multimedia works spread across 180 Studios. It follows five years of collaboration between Ryoji Ikeda and The Vinyl Factory, including the UK premieres of supersymmetry in 2015 and test pattern [N°12] in 2017, as well as several vinyl albums and new commissions.

RYOJI IKEDA will run from the 20th May through until the 1st August at 180 Studios. Head here for tickets and more info.

Directed and filmed by Pedro S. Küster
Additional Cinematography by Laima Leyton

Photography: Pedro S. Küster & Laima Leyton