Midnight Moment: test pattern by Ryoji Ikeda
October 1-31, 2014, every night from 11:57 p.m.–midnight


(New York, N.Y.) September 29, 2014 — Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda’s film test pattern will be reimagined for the Times Square billboards this October. From 11:57pm to midnight each night, digital screens will be taken over by tightly synchronized, flickering black-and-white imagery mining data for mathematical beauty as part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts. This month’s presentation is in partnership with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)’s Crossing the Line festival and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A special event on October 16 will be the first time sound is incorporated into the Midnight Moment and will precede two live concert performances at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on October 17 and 18.   

This latest audiovisual work from Ryoji Ikeda, test pattern [times square], presents intense flickering imagery, floating and convulsing in darkness to a stark, powerful, and highly synchronized soundtrack. Through a real–time computer program, test pattern [times square] converts Ikeda's audio signal patterns into tightly synchronized barcode patterns on screen. The moving images will flicker ultra–fast, some hundreds of frames per second, so that the work provides a performance test for the audio and visual devices, as well as a response test for the audience's perceptions.
test pattern [times square] is the third audiovisual concert in Ikeda's datamatics series, an art project that explores the potential to perceive the invisible multi–substance of data that permeates our world.
Taking various forms – installations, live performance and recordings – test pattern [times square] acts as a system that converts any type of data (text, sounds, photos and movies) into barcode patterns and binary patterns of 0s and 1s. The project aims to examine the relationship between critical points of device performance and the threshold of human perception, pushing both to their absolute limits. A monumental installation of the test pattern series was shown as part of ‘the transfinite’ major exhibition presented at the Park Avenue Armory in 2011.

During the October 16th Midnight Moment, Ikeda’s test pattern [times square] will turn into a special public/private “silent concert” in the middle of Times Square. Up to 400 ‘Silent Events’ Headphones will be passed out so visitors can hear a special six minute segment of sounds that correspond to the patterns being projected onto the screens. The artist will be present on that evening.  

Additionally, Ikeda’s superposition will make its US premiere at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on October 17th and 18th at 7:00 p.m.  superposition is a multimedia music, visual, and theater work that explores the intersection between art and science. This performance is presented in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)’s Crossing the Line festival. In conjunction with test pattern [times square] and superstition, Salon 94 will present a special exhibition of Ikeda’s work from October 20 -31. Details will be announced shortly.

Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “Times Square is continually bringing new and unique artists to our screens who are pushing technological boundaries. Ryoji Ikeda has a fresh take on multimedia art that not only creates, but reimagines visual art and, for the first time, involves sound to create a completely immersive experience.”

Sherry Dobbin, Times Square Arts Director, said, “Watching Ikeda’s test pattern [times square] makes you feel like you are walking right into your television set. The barcode patterns break and allow you to get lost in the beauty and imagery of his art.”

“Each month, the Midnight Moment continues to reinvent itself with unique, creative content using a variety of multimedia techniques. Ryoji Ikeda is the first artist to incorporate sound into the nightly show in the Crossroad of the World. Visitors and locals will surely be intrigued by October’s content as well as the new element featured in October 16th’s showing,” said Fred Rosenberg, President of the Times Square Advertising Coalition.

Ryoji Ikeda, artist, said “00110110 01100001 01100011 01100011 01100100 01100001 01100101 00110001 00110011 01100101 01100110 01100110 00110111 01101001 00110011 01101100 00111001 01101110 00110100 01101111 00110100 01110001 01110010 01110010 00110100 01110011 00111000 01110100 00110001 00110010 01110110 01111000.”

To get a sense of how this work will look in Times Square view private footage of a test run on the sign at American Eagle. Use password: MMtestpatternAE.    

The following digital screens are participating in the October Midnight Moment:
ABC Super Sign, American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America, CBS Outdoor 1515 Broadway (SL Green Realty), CEMUSA, City Outdoor, Disney Store Spectacular, Branded Cities NASDAQ Tower Times Square, Branded Cities Thomson Reuters, Branded Cities 7TS (7 Times Square), and Branded Cities 1 Times Square (1 Times Square), Clear Channel Spectacolor HD127, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD128, Superior Digital Displays Three Times Square #5, and Sherwood Outdoor.

About Midnight Moment

Midnight Moment is the largest coordinated effort in history by the sign operators in Times Square to display synchronized, cutting-edge creative content on electronic billboards and newspaper kiosks throughout Times Square every night. The program premiered in May 2012 and is organized and supported by the Times Square Advertising Coalition in partnership with Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, with additional partners of participating sign holders and artists.

Each night, Times Square becomes a digital art gallery through dazzling visuals on select billboards and newsstands. Every show begins at 11:57 p.m. with a "countdown" that signals the start of the three minute nightly presentation. Past artists featured in the program include Daniel Canogar, Alfredo Jaar; Isaac Julien; Robert Wilson; Tracey Emin; Seoungho Cho; Vicki DaSilva, Surabhi Saraf, and Elly Cho; Erika Janunger; Takeshi Murata; Bel Borba with Burt Sun and André Costantini; Zach Nader; Brian Gonzalez (aka Taxiplasm); Björk; JR; Ryan McGinley; Jack Goldstein; Nature Theater of Oklahoma; Ezra Wube; Laleh Khorramian; Brian Dailey; Leslie Thornton; and Yoko Ono. For more information on past projects, please visit TimesSquareNYC.org/MidnightMoment.


Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) is a trade association comprised of major advertisers, retailers, real estate firms, media companies and other businesses involved in the outdoor sign industry in Times Square, along with organizations representing Broadway and the community.   Members of TSAC include:  ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales, Clear Channel Spectacolor, Daktronics, D3 LED, Digital Domination, Hines Management, Jamestown One Times Square, Lamar Advertising Company, Landmark Sign & Electric, Metro Media Technologies, Newmark Knight Frank, North Shore Neon, P.R.omotion!, Sherwood Outdoor, SL Green, Times Square Alliance, The WOW Factor and Thomson Reuters. www.timessquareadcoalition.org. Follow TSAC on twitter at @TSACNYC.

Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Through the Square's electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance's own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity. Generous support of Times Square Arts is provided by ArtPlace America and ArtWorks. Visit TimesSquareNYC.org/Arts for more information. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @TSqArts.

Ryoji Ikeda (Gifu, Japan, 1966) lives and works in Paris, France and Kyoto, Japan. As Japan’s leading electronic composer and visual artist, Ryoji Ikeda focuses on the essential characteristics of sound itself and that of visuals as light by means of both mathematical precision and mathematical aesthetics. Ikeda has gained a reputation as one of the few international artists working convincingly across both visual and sonic media. He elaborately orchestrates sound, visuals, materials, physical phenomena and mathematical notions into immersive live performances and installations. Alongside pure musical activity, Ikeda has been working on long-term projects through live performances, installations, books and CD’s such as 'datamatics' (2006-), 'test pattern' (2008-), 'spectra' (2001-), ‘cyclo’ a collaborative project with Carsten Nicolai, and ‘superposition’ "

He has performed and held exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Singapore Art Museum, Ars Electronica Center Linz, Elektra Festival Montreal, Grec and Sonar Festivals Barcelona, Aichi Triennale Nagoya, Palazzo Grassi Venice, Park Avenue Armory New York, Barbican Center London, Museo de Arte Bogota, Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin, DHC/Art Montreal, Festival d’Automne Paris, Sharjah Biennale, Carriageworks Sydney, Auckland Triennale, MONA Museum Hobart – Tasmania, Ruhrtriennale, Telefonica Foundation Madrid, MoMA New York, Kyoto Experiment Festival among others. In 2014, he is touring his new performance ‘superposition’ in the US (The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Walker Art Center in  Minneapolis, UMS in Ann Arbor and Center for the Arts of Performance in Los Angeles) and in Europe. He will present solo exhibitions in YCAM (Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media) Japan, Le lieu Unique Nantes (France), Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal (MAM), and Haus für Elektronische Kunst, Basel. He is the award winner of the Prix Ars Electronica Collide@CERN 2014"

His albums +/- (1996), 0°C (1998), matrix (2000), dataplex (2005), test pattern (2008) and supercodex (2013) pioneered a new minimal world of electronic music through his razor-sharp techniques and aesthetics.

Met Museum Presents: A wide-ranging series of performances and talks at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that explores contemporary issues and innovations through the lens of the Museum’s exhibitions and unparalleled gallery spaces. Met Museum Presents creates a platform for curators, thought-leaders, and artists to come together and explore the Met as a generative force.

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is New York’s premiere French cultural and language center. FIAF's mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression. fiaf.org

Crossing the Line is the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)’s annual fall festival, presenting interdisciplinary works and performances in New York. The festival explores the dialogue between artist and public, and examines how artists help re-imagine the world as critical thinkers and catalysts for social evolution. Crossing the Line is initiated and produced by FIAF in partnership with leading cultural institutions. The festival’s eighth edition takes place this year from September 8–October 20, 2014.

Since its inauguration in 2007, Crossing the Line has cultivated an increasingly large and diverse following, and received numerous accolades in the press. The festival has been voted “Best of 2009,” “Best of 2010,” “Best of 2012," and “Best of 2013” by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TimeOut New York, Artforum, and Frieze, with performances earning an Obie and several Bessie awards. The New York Times states, “For terrifically unusual, unpredictable, unnameable performance, we’ve come to expect a lot from … the curators of the French Institute Alliance Française’s interdisciplinary festival,” and The New Yorker says, “This interdisciplinary festival, focused but not exclusively devoted to contemporary French culture, goes from strength to strength.” For more information, visit fiaf.org/ctl.

Media Contacts:
For Times Square Arts: TJ Witham (212) 452-5234│ TJWitham@TimesSquareNYC.org
Marisa Wayne (212) 843-9216 │MWayne@rubenstein.com
For TSAC: Justine DiGiglio (212) 205-6632 │Justine@nicholaslence.com
For FIAF: Natascha Bodemann (646) 388-6677 │nbodemann@fiaf.com