Magazine article Artforum International

Ryoji Ikeda

Magazine article Artforum International

Ryoji Ikeda

Article excerpt

1. Karlheinz Stockhausen, Japan, 1977. 3. Celeste Boursier-Mougenot, From Here to Ear (detail), 2008, wood, lino, dirt, seeds, electric guitars, chrome stands, tube amplifiers, guitar cases, birdhouse, finches. Installation view, Galerie Xippas, Paris. Photo: Frederic Lanternier. 7. Puppet at entrance of Rubato ma glissando, Maison de I'Architecture, Paris, 2008. Photo: Christophe le Flot.


2 Opening ceremony, Beijing Olympics Whatever your feelings on spectacle, billions of people watched 2,008 performers drumming in perfect unison on August 8. Have we ever before witnessed an event such as this?

3 Celeste Boursier-Mougenot, From Here to Ear (Galerie Xippas, Paris) When I entered the gallery, birds were flying, chattering, and hopping along amplified electric guitars. Everything was so peaceful. I took this for a thoughtful homage to John Cage, who used to say, "I am for the birds, not for the cages in which people sometimes place them."

4 Christian Marclay and Flo Kaufmann, Tabula Rasa (Club Transmediale at Maria am Ostbahnh of, Berlin) For this performance, Marclay first stood onstage playing with the tone arms and needles of an empty, retro turntable. Kaufmann recorded Marclay's sounds, cut a vinyl record of them in real time, and handed the final product to Marclay--who placed the record on his turntable and started the procedure over. I witnessed the process of creating entropy out of the empty.

5 Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand, Camera Lucida: Sonochemical Observatory (National Art Center, Tokyo) For their installation--a three-dimensional "sonic observatory" that transforms sound into light via a phenomenon known as sonoluminescence--I stood in a dim room and soon began to perceive a group of subtle, glowing patterns (made of fine bubbles) moving in a large, liquid-filled glass ball. When a certain sound frequency was emitted, the motion became highly complex. One of only a few artworks I've seen that successfully bridge art and science.

6 Carsten Nicolai, 334m/s (La Fondazione Volume!, Rome) Nicolai is an excellent visualizer of sound. In Rome he took his method further: Translucent tubes were filled with propane and then lit on fire, setting off a chain reaction that concluded in an explosive boom--a manifestation of sound's speed. …

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