Oh, Infinite Stream of Data and Light


We live, increasingly, in a world ruled by data. Countless rituals in our lives are tethered, umbilically, to a set of gadgets through which a smooth river of data brings us good news, bad news, flirtations, tasks, financial debits, credits. This stream brings us, in some odd sense, our lives. These little machines, these data portals, are—like us—finite and mortal. Their memories are vast, but limited. The data they access and open into our lives, however, can be potentially infinite. They buffer their numerically coded information into our line of sight for a moment before it disappears, like an invisible snakeskin that’s always being shed and grown anew. Our bodies aren’t built to understand this data, but Japanese sound artist (and former club DJ) Ryoji Ikeda has made repeated attempts to give sense to this flood. “The Transfinite,” his most recent multimedia project—on display earlier this month at New York City’s Park Avenue Armory—confronts viewers with a “datamatic” sound and light show that promises to reveal the shadows of the infinite that ghost the data passing through our lives. Ikeda pledges that his “symphony” will deliver no less than the transcendental, the sublime, pure awe, the “vast magnitude of the universe.”

more from Beatrice Marovich at Killing The Buddha here.