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7-16 June 2013

 Da Contents H2

July 24 2013
Past-present tensions
Keith Gallasch, Naala-Ba (Look Future), Carriageworks and ISEA2013

July 3 2013
Data noise & the limits of dance
Keith Gallasch, Myriam Gourfink & Kaspar Toeplitz, Breathing Monster

June 26 2013
Nailing the virtual
Virginia Baxter, Keith Gallasch, The Portals

Night work
Keith Gallasch, Embodied Media, Night Rage

Palpable virtualities
Keith Gallasch, Paula Dawson, Holoshop: Drawing and Perceiving in Depth

The big connect
Somaya Langley, The Portals

Transformational walking
Anne Phillips, Long Time, No See?

June 18 2013
Musical multiverses
Gail Priest, Polysonics

Rainbow over ISEA
Keith Gallasch, Electric Nights

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Zydnei, Troy Innocent

June 17 2013
If a system fails in a forest, is anybody listening?
Urszula Dawkins, If a system fails in a forest…, 107 Projects

June 16 2013
In the digital age, love your stationery obsession
Urszula Dawkins, Durational Book

Painting by algorithms
Keith Gallasch, Ernest Edmonds: Light Logic

June 15 2013
Home, sweet home
Urszula Dawkins, disSentience, Sleeth, SelgasCano, Tin Sheds

Pop up pleasure zones
Gail Priest, Electronic Art Pop-Ups, The Rocks

June 14 2013
Aural ecologies, mechanical and musical
Urszula Dawkins, EchoSonics, UTS Gallery

June 14 2013
Heck, baby, I shoulda seen it comin…
Urszula Dawkins, The Very Near Future, Alex Davies

More than meets the eye
Virginia Baxter, Keith Gallasch, Point of View

New tools and old skool grammars
Gail Priest, Macrophonics II

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: The very near future, Alex Davies

Start by leaping off a small stool
Urszula Dawkins, ISEA Closing Keynote Address: Julian Assange

June 13 2013
A curative dose of spontaneity
Lauren Carroll Harris, pvi collective, Deviator

M e d i a a r t t h e n a n d n o w
Darren Tofts, Catching Light, Campbelltown Arts Centre

Olfaction, decay & speculation
Gail Priest, Raewyn Turner & Brian Harris, Ian Haig, Nandita Kumar, Verge Gallery

Riding the theta waves
Urszula Dawkins, Theta Lab, George Poonkhin Khut and James Brown

Run for your lives [2]
Keith Gallasch, Running the City, COFA, UNSW

To re-map and reclaim
Lisa Gye, Mapping Culture [panel]

Turning the media back on itself
Lisa Gye, Mark Hosler, Adventures in Illegal Art

June 12 2013
Outside the labyrinth…looking in at someone waving
Urszula Dawkins, SoundLabyrinth, Mark Pedersen and Roger Alsop

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: semipermeable (+), SymbioticA

Run for your lives [1]
Keith Gallasch, Marnix de Nijs, Run Motherfucker Run

June 12 2013
The uncanny in the gallery
Keith Gallasch, Mari Velonaki, Simon Ingram, Petra Gemeinboeck & Rob Saunders, Artspace

June 11 2013
realtime tv @ ISEA2013: EchoSonics, UTS Gallery

The science and art of tangible things
Urszula Dawkins, Synapse: A Selection, Powerhouse

Touch me there
Gail Priest, ISEA Artist talks: Siu, Baumann, Velonaki

June 10 2013
Being Stelarc
Gail Priest, Stelarc: Meat, Metal, Code: Engineering affect and aliveness

Life and death, and the membranes inbetween
Urszula Dawkins, semipermeable (+), SymbioticA

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Catching Light, Campbelltown Arts Centre

June 9 2013
'Pure' experience, in the round
Urszula Dawkins, Pure Land, iCinema

Data lives
Gail Priest, Genevieve Bell, Mark Hosler, Paolo Cirio & Alessandro Ludovico

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Velonaki, Ingram, Gemeinboeck & Saunders, Artspace

June 8 2013
Knowing your place in Cartesian space
Gail Priest, Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0]

Stars and starlings, pixels and picknickers
Urszula Dawkins, Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0] & test pattern


Knowing your place in Cartesian space

Gail Priest, Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0]

Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0] Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0]
photo Ryuchi Maruo, courtesy Yamaguchi Centre for Arts and Media (YCAM)

X and Y are busy letters. Mostly ignored by word makers, the mathematicians and scientists took pity and gave them the important job of describing the placement of objects in space. Watching Ryoji Ikeda’s datamatics [ver 2.0] I am made keenly aware that I am merely a dot on the XY axis of the universe.

Datamatics parses the information of our existence. The sources are not clear—I can only glean star locations and chromosome sequences—but somehow by the end of this audiovisual performance lasting just under an hour, I am sure that all the information that dictates my being has passed before my eyes and been audibly manifested. It’s simultaneously breathtaking, exhilarating, terrifying and humbling.

Datamatics consists almost solely of dots and lines, letters and numbers. These are rendered in reverse—white on black—with short ruptures of black on white, and the occasional restrained applications of red and blue. The opening sequence has dashes of varying lengths in columns streaming vertically. Quick to make figurative analogies from the abstraction, I think ruler markings, Morse code, punch cards, pianola rolls. Then information begins to reveal itself, unravelling from the block lines like pulled threads (I think of Ada Lovelace weaving), to form connections between streaming numbers and letters which I absorb rather than read. The process of analogising becomes futile and I begin to ride the data flow.

The piece progresses from two dimensional scenes—defined by vertical flows or horizontal streams—shifting in the second half (the new addition to datamatics from its original 2006 version)—to rotating intersections of lines defining three dimensional space. Finally it resolves into branch like crystalline structures, but the glitch in the system, the error code, is never far away rupturing scenes and finally becoming all-powerful in the awe-ful conclusion.

All these markings would be just that, without the remarkable power of Ikeda’s sound—his work defines audiovisuality. This is physically powerful music made from data sonification and digital glitches—eardrum ripping beeps and snaps, brain freezing sine tones and thorax thrumming bass rumbles. This essentially noisy palette is held together with tightly controlled yet not overly predictable pulses and rhythms and precise alignment of audio and visual. We are propelled through this potentially alienating inundation of sound and image by the pleasure of synch points—the red cross hatch goes with the high peeping, the planar shift with the bass hum—orienting us in the sound-image space. Constantly surprised by sudden noises and flashes of light, we are never left adrift to drown in this sea of information.

Processing huge amounts of data hurts. (I know, I’ve been manually indexing the 1000 articles that make up the RealTime Media Arts Archive) and Ikeda shares his pain in a postmodern exposition of metadata. The final section of datamatics cannibalises the information that constructs the sound and images of performance itself. Screengrabs, scene numbers and specifications can be identified in the final frenzy of flashing, scrolling information that fades from black to white via the introduction of a sickly sepia to the palette. All the information seems to fold in on itself in possibly one of the most spectacular audiovisual crescendos I’ve ever experienced.

And then it’s over. We are released from this glorious information onslaught. I can’t help feeling I’ve seen some dark secret in the data, something that makes me feel both part of some enormous universe yet more alone than ever—a single dot on an XY axis.

Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0], Carriageworks , 7 June, presented by Carriageworks, ISEA2013 in collaboration with Vivid Sydney;

This article first appeared on RT's ISEA2013-in RealTime blog

© Gail Priest; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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