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How to View Ryoji Ikeda’s the transfinite: A Practical Guide


05.20.11 Marina Galperina

Japanese sound/video artist Ryoji Ikeda premiered his projection duo the transfinite last night, inside Park Avenue Armory’s giant, dark hall. I popped in just as MoMA PS1 dir. Klaus Biesenbach was ducking out, so here are some practical tips on enjoying this pulsating monster of an art installation… without name-checking Immanuel Kant and the “mathematical sublime” because I’m not fancy.

Past the lobby, enter the hall and see a wall and a quad-like area, shuddering with strobes in zebra-striped pattern. On the other side, patterns of binary numbers and all kinds of gorgeous code visualizations will stream. RULES:

1. Please do not pose next to the wall like a Midwestern tourist next to 30 Rock. Your “ta-da!” arms and “ooooh” grimaces are a little distracting.
2. This is not the place to practice your brand new interpretive dance routine. (True story.)
3. Use your inside voice for your high brow discussions or take it to the lobby and mouth-fart your intellectual pheromones over there.
4. Speaking of, everyone can see your PDA. Eyes do this weird thing where they adjust to low light and… Giggity.
5. Don’t do this unless you know what you’re doing, but that’s like, a general pro-tip for life.

In all seriousness, even the peripheral noise and occasional squeaking of children blend into the soundscape after awhile and really, if this looks like your thing, it’s worth it. Through June 11th.

(Photos: Marina Galperina/ANIMAL)