Two recent acquisitions offer two different perspectives on music and other kinds of visual orchestration. These installations are the work of Jean-Pierre Gauthier, a Montréal-based artist featured in a solo exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain in 2007, and Ryoji Ikeda, a Japanese composer and visual artist based in Paris, whose film version of C4I was presented at the Musée in 2014. While their working protocols and materials differ, these two artists share a common interest in matters related to distribution, composition and arrangement.

Jean-Pierre Gauthier
Orchestre à géométrie variable

Jean-Pierre Gauthier, a master builder of drawing machines and kinetic sculptures here lends his talents to instrument building and complex composition. Orchestre à géométrie variable is a wildly chaotic but rigorous sculptural environment which combines electronics, primitive robotics and musical elements to stage a sensorial and kinesthetic experience. Nineteen pre-programmed compositions explore a diverse array of musical styles, which together result in a new kind of musical experience.

Ryoji Ikeda

Exploring notions of the infinite, the immaterial and the transcendental, digital artist and musician Ryoji Ikeda orchestrates the infinitesimally small encoded particles of knowledge—data— into elaborate visual and sonic manifestations of mesmerizing beauty. Part of the larger datamatics project which explores how abstracted views of reality are used to decipher, encode and control the world, data.tron consists of three sets of data visualizations: computer crashes and errors, all the information relating to chromosome 11 DNA sequencing, and transcendental numbers, mathematical constants such as e or pi—vast, significant numbers without end.