Digital projection propels visitors into the data worm



Known for his incredible artistic works created from raw data and sound, Japanese visual and sound artist Ryoji Ikeda recently presented the latest installment in his spectacular series of exhibitions on data worms at 180 studios, 180 The Strand (London, May 20 – September 18).

The exhibition – which was organized by Made and The vinyl factory – explored Ikeda’s five years of work on the Data-Verse, which explores through an audiovisual experience the science of the natural world, via vast datasets conducted by NASA and the Human Genome Project, sequences of DNA, galactic coordinates and quantum physics. The event marked the first time that the entire data-verse trilogy, all 12 works of art, commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary, were available for viewing from one location, along with previous data-verse installments. verse launched in 2019. Audemars Piguet was a key partner in the success of Ryoji Ikeda’s solo exhibition in London.

As the exhibition also featured a number of previously unseen installations, it was even more vital that the works were represented effectively. In order to provide the best visually impactful experience, the projectors used for the project had to be of the highest quality possible to reproduce the smallest details in the large data sets within the artwork. For this, 180 The Strand has chosen to rely on INSIGHT 4K of digital projection spotlights.

“Having previously worked with Ryoji at 180 and for the Venice Biennale, we knew that his work required the best and most current technology, hence this choice.” noted Neil thomas, production manager at 180 The Strand & London AV. “We previously ran a Data-Verse test and could see the potential of 4K, so we knew it was the right decision.

Delivering superb solid-state lighting of 27,000 lumens at 4096 x 2160 resolution, Digital projectionInsight 4K Laser projectors deliver four times the resolution of a standard HD projector. The crystal-clear level of detail was a particular advantage for the Ikeda exhibit, ensuring that no detail was missed.

“Ryoji and his studio are very autonomous and thorough in their preparation, which allows me to focus on perfecting the building elements he needs for the artwork.” Thomas continued. Suitable for a range of installations, projectors have the ability to project large, detailed images from a single projector, where previously the edge merging of 2 or more projectors would have been required. With 20,000 hours of illumination from the solid-state laser light source, the INSIGHT 4K laser boasts unbeatable efficiency and reliability.

The three projectors were mounted at different locations in the studio for maximum effect. One was mounted to the ceiling, while the others were set in columns built just for installation. “The weight of the spotlights, the installation height and the fact that we had to reverse them for the job were all things we had to consider in the project.” Thomas explained. “This required us to build the projectors with their own columns which we disguised as features of the original building.”

The result of the projector choice and installation efforts was an immersive experience that reproduced the intensity of the dazzling works in great detail, enjoyed by 85,000 visitors during the exhibition. “We had a tremendous reaction to this work, it is the first time that it has been shown on 3 screens at the same time” Thomas concludes.

Photo credit: © Ryoji Ikeda – data verse, 180 Studios, 2021. Photo Jack Hems



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