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Ryoji Ikeda transforms Times Square into mathematical beauty through synchronized imagery of test pattern
This latest audiovisual work from Ryoji Ikeda, test pattern [times square], presents intense flickering imagery, floating and convulsing in darkness to a stark, powerful, and highly synchronized soundtrack. Photo: Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts.

NEW YORK, NY.- Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda’s film test pattern has been reimagined for the Times Square billboards this October. From 11:57pm to midnight each night, digital screens will be taken over by tightly synchronized, flickering black-and-white imagery mining data for mathematical beauty as part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts. This month’s presentation is in partnership with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)’s Crossing the Line festival and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A special event on October 16 will be the first time sound is incorporated into the Midnight Moment and will precede two live concert performances at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on October 17 and 18.

This latest audiovisual work from Ryoji Ikeda, test pattern [times square], presents intense flickering imagery, floating and convulsing in darkness to a stark, powerful, and highly synchronized soundtrack. Through a real–time computer program, test pattern [times square] converts Ikeda's audio signal patterns into tightly synchronized barcode patterns on screen. The moving images flicker 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.
test pattern [times square] is the third audiovisual concert in Ikeda's datamatics series, an art project that explores the potential to perceive the invisible multi–substance of data that permeates our world.
Taking various forms – installations, live performance and recordings – test pattern [times square] acts as a system that converts any type of data (text, sounds, photos and movies) into barcode patterns and binary patterns of 0s and 1s. The project aims to examine the relationship between critical points of device performance and the threshold of human perception, pushing both to their absolute limits. A monumental installation of the test pattern series was shown as part of ‘the transfinite’ major exhibition presented at the Park Avenue Armory in 2011.

During the October 16th Midnight Moment, Ikeda’s test pattern [times square] will turn into a special public/private “silent concert” in the middle of Times Square. Up to 400 ‘Silent Events’ Headphones will be passed out so visitors can hear a special six minute segment of sounds that correspond to the patterns being projected onto the screens. The artist will be present on that evening.

Additionally, Ikeda’s superposition will make its US premiere at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on October 17th and 18th at 7:00 p.m. superposition is a multimedia music, visual, and theater work that explores the intersection between art and science. This performance is presented in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)’s Crossing the Line festival. In conjunction with test pattern [times square] and superstition, Salon 94 will present a special exhibition of Ikeda’s work from October 20 -31.

Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “Times Square is continually bringing new and unique artists to our screens who are pushing technological boundaries. Ryoji Ikeda has a fresh take on multimedia art that not only creates, but reimagines visual art and, for the first time, involves sound to create a completely immersive experience.”

Ryoji Ikeda, artist, said “00110110 01100001 01100011 01100011 01100100 01100001 01100101 00110001 00110011 01100101 01100110 01100110 00110111 01101001 00110011 01101100 00111001 01101110 00110100 01101111 00110100 01110001 01110010 01110010 00110100 01110011 00111000 01110100 00110001 00110010 01110110 01111000.”

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