Like most outside the physics community Carriageworks director Lisa Havilah says she can’t even begin to understand the concepts underlying, micro/macro, Ryoji Ikeda’s monumental new audio-visual installation at Carriageworks.
But that does nothing to take away from the impact of the astonishing work.
An invitation to consider at the same time both the inconceivably small and the mind-bogglingly huge matter that make up the universe, micro/macro is the result of the Japanese artist’s residency at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland.
It is the third of Ikeda’s works to come to Carriageworks and has been nearly three years in the planning.
“I was excited about it from the beginning and it has taken until now for us to be able to present it,” says Havilah.
The installation has two distinct parts. The planck universe (macro) is a massive wall projection covering some 200 square metres that tries to depict the cosmos beyond our observable universe. Meanwhile, the planck universe (micro), a similarly sized floor projection, delves into infinitesimally tiny matter, massively enlarged. Both are accompanied by Ikeda’s trademark electronic compositions.
“Ikeda is perfect for Carriageworks,” says Havilah. “We try and present these artists that are working across a range of disciplines and who don’t really define themselves as a visual artist or a performer but who are examining ideas with all the tools that they have.”
Following on from this year’s successful installation from German artist Katharina Grosse, micro/macro also takes advantage of the huge space on offer at Carriageworks.
“We love working with artists that are interested in working with the scale of this building,” says Havilah. “It’s a special thing we bring to Sydney.”
And, crucially in the age of social media, micro/macro is also perfect selfie fodder.