Tatsuo Miyajima: I-Model at Lisson Gallery
Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima works with numbers – that seemingly universal coding system upon which our modern world and understanding is based. It’s hard for us to think about or understand pretty much anything without the concept of numbers; they are significant both in technological terms and also in more introspective and spiritual meaning.
Miyajima collaborates with scientists working with artificial intelligence, and in I-Model has produced installations that count up and down those most simple number sequences of one to nine. Working fast or slow, using white or coloured light, each sequence seem to have meanings we are familiar with, whether we are reminded of binary coding or religious metaphors. The point is we translate many of our ideas into patterns, which can be distilled further into simple sequences.
Colourful LED lights make the Lisson Gallery glow, and the shiny floors glisten. The aesthetic is enticing, and rather than being a reductive view that explains away complex thoughts as merely a series of code, it is rather a cheerful and encouraging world view that allows for a multiplicity of interpretations and secret meanings. All the wires and workings are clearly visible, again adding to the feel of the work being deceptively simple.
There is a meditation room structure which the audience enters one at a time, and so for three minutes you have the booth to yourself. It’s not claustrophobic, but more like a personal planetarium where blue stars continually flash their message, the deepening mystery of one to nine or nine to one.
I-Model presents really clever art that the audience can take in at a single glance, and yet the longer you stay in the gallery the more meaning and significance you find in the numbers. It is simply human nature to fill in all the gaps and imagine what is being counted.
Photos: Krish Nagari
Tatsuo Miyajima: I-Model is at Lisson Gallery until 2nd November 2013. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.