RGB|CMY Kinetic, 2017 ART+COM

Review: ART+COM/Rhizomatiks Research

Poetics/Structures of Light & Motion: 2017.01.14–03.20 @ ICC Gallery, Tokyo

For a few weeks, I have wanted to see this show. It ends next Monday 3/20, so better make plans soon if you want to go. After rounding up a few colleagues yesterday, we took an extended lunch to check it out. The NTT ICC Gallery is only about a 20 minute walk from our building.

Poetics/Structures of Light & Motion is a provocative, interesting study of light as material and how it plays on objects in motion. As a homage to the separate, yet collective, interdisciplinary teams of two internationally renowned art and technology studios—the German based ART+COM and Japanese founded Rhizomatiks Research—the show consists of two spatial installations and four screens streaming the past works from both groups. The two installations occur simultaneously, one by Rhizomatiks titled distortion, 2017 which was made exclusively for this show, and the other by ART+COM titled RGB|CMY Kinetic, originally commissioned by Sónar and the Sorigué Foundation and premiered at Sónar PLANTA Barcelona in 2015. The work was then expanded later that year by the dimension of black and white (K), and produced for the opening exhibition at the Asia Culture Center in Gwangju, South Korea.

What maybe is most interesting, in a time when we are numbed by light emitting devices, is how these experiments make you feel. The phycological effects of light and its place in evolution is widely acknowledged, but even if you’re aware of the work of Turrell, Flavin, Sonnier, Eliasson or others in this area, the truth is, light’s effect on us has still yet to be fully explained.

distortion, 2017 Rhizomatiks Research

In this show, both works, distortion and RGB|CMY Kinetic, are similar structures operating independently through a series of different poetics (light/motion/sound). The viewer is an observer in each work, as a single projector emits the light as RGB or CMYK color space onto mirrored surfaces.

distortion, 2017 Rhizomatiks Research

In contrast, the screens streaming past work, often contain a live human choreographed performance, creating an entirely different type of effect. This contrast may challenge the viewer to question the nature of these experiments, the process involved and how the creators decided to curate them. What are the boundaries? Did it have an expectation? Does it need to? Yet, the scope of these questions may not need to exist here. The works exist, like iterative gestures, a phosphene effect, the results of an increasingly collaborative world, soon to be followed up with more.

Jensen is a designer from California → currently in Tokyo.