“datamatics and C 4 1: Aesthetics of Pure Data” by Ryoji Ikeda

  • ©2004, , datamatics and C 4 1: Aesthetics of Pure Data
  • ©2004, , datamatics and C 4 1: Aesthetics of Pure Data


    datamatics and C 4 1: Aesthetics of Pure Data

Artist(s) and People Involved:



Creation Year:


Artist Statement:

    The North American premiere of datamatics is the second audiovisual concert in Ryoji Ikeda’s datamatics series, an art project that explores the potential to perceive the invisible multi-substance of data that permeates our world. Using pure data as a source for sound and visuals, datamatics combines abstract and mimetic presentations of matter, time and space in a powerful and breathtakingly accomplished work.

    Ikeda’s intense yet minimal graphic renderings of data progress through multiple dimensions, projecting dynamic, computer-generated imagery in pared down black and white with striking color accents. From 20 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. The final scenes add a further dimension as 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.

    C41 is both a concert and a film that uses data as its material and theme to highlight the ways that data shapes our understanding of the world. It is comprised of filmed footage fused with digital graphics, accompanied by a soundtrack mixed live by the artist, to create a constantly evolving work that is updated with each performance. 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.

    In this highly atmospheric work, Ikeda strives for an aesthetic of pure data. Derived from the natural world, from global systems such as economics and from research mathematics, data forms a new material for the artist’s explorations. C4I, in its meticulous composition and technical sophistication, reveals sublime views of reality in a work that is at once beautiful, poetic and political.


    Supported by Arts Council England and the Japan Foundation.

Other Information:

    Produced by forma, UK forma.org.uk and commissioned by Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM), Japan, 2004.



All Works by the Performer(s) in This Archive: