Ryoji Ikeda + Carsten Nicolai - Cyclo.DE/JP
[NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE/EXCLUSIVE]
Cyclo. is the rare collaborative effort between two masters of minimalist computer-sound design: Germany’s Carsten Nicolai and Japan’s Ryoji Ikeda. The duo has come together only once before on record, for a self-titled 2001 album that set the standard for experimentation with microscopic sounds and visual art.
The artists are developing a database of sounds that they are composing for the visual responses these produce when analysed in real time using equipment developed originally for phase correlation in mastering vinyl records. With the help and development of such stereo image monitoring equipment, metering has become a visual process. The phase and amplitude of stereo signals can now be illustrated graphically: viewers of the cyclo. performance can witness the hidden structures of what can and can’t be heard.
The audio elements are constructed through the minute editing of frequencies (often beyond the physical range of human hearing) and selected by the artists for their visual characteristics when analysed. Through processes of composition, editing and experiment, cyclo. is amassing an ‘infinity index’ of sound fragments.
In building this archive, Ikeda and Nicolai transcend the usual dynamic whereby image acts merely as a functional accompaniment to sound. Instead, the audio element in the process is subservient to the desire and appetite of the image.
Although this imaging is purely 2-D in display, the process suggests 3-D possibilities. The artists’ proposition is that the structural complexities of these shapes, born and examined from the perspective of audio metering, may have in them a rich potential for architects, designers and engineers to find starting points for structural readings.
cyclo. premiered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in June 2000 and has since toured to major venues and festivals across Europe.
cyclo. is produced by Forma.