Intense Light And Sound As Art Meets Particle Physics

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 39 months ago
Intense Light And Sound As Art Meets Particle Physics ★★★★☆ 4

Images don't do justice to the immersive experience. Photo by Ryuichi Maruo, courtesy of Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media

Londonist Rating: ★★★★☆

The Vinyl Factory has hosted some great exhibitions on the top floor of the Brewer Street car park in Soho. First we had the multi-screen pink hued take on war by Richard Mosse, then robot meets music by Conrad Shawcross. Their latest artist is Ryoji Ikeda, who has already captured London's imagination with his work Spectra — an insanely bright light that shot up into the London ether last August, marking the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.

Ikeda's latest work also plays on light; he plunges visitors into darkness before they are drawn to three bright squares. Atop these squares, ball bearings move about as if propelled by some invisible force, coalescing into shapes and forms before separating again. This hypnotising rhythm is periodically disrupted by strobing lights that shift the mood to one of greater intensity.

It's a fitting preparation for the next room, filled with banks of screens that interpret the movements of the ball bearings next door into a series of projections. Sometimes it's gibberish appearing on the screens and spoken out loud by a computerised voice, other times it's a pulsing akin to a heart monitor. The whole thing is a visual and aural assault that keeps you on edge, not to mention somewhat confused.

The artist's attempt to link to particle physics never comes through, but this is a minor hiccup. It should also be noted the exhibition is not for those who don't do well under strobe lighting (we started to develop a bit of a headache after 15 minutes). Otherwise, Supersymmetry is an intense and mesmerising experience and yet another fantastic experimental art installation by The Vinyl Factory.

Ryoji Ikeda: Supersymmetry is on The Vinyl Factory space at Brewer Street car park, W1F 0LA until 31 May. Entrance is free and it's open Tuesday to Sunday, 12-6pm.

For more great art to see in London, check out our top 10 openings for April and May.

Last Updated 01 May 2015