Visual Systems

(2018)

The visual systems brief encouraged us to conceptualise a design sensibility that worked across 4 posters in a systematic progression. The “system” here would be how the data moved from one style to the other. It could be interpreted simply as increases in type size or as complicated as playing with type modifications and grid usage. These sets of consecutive posters were made in response to the works of Ryoji Ikeda. 

Ikeda is an audiovisual artist working primarily with sound in a variety of "raw" states, such as sine tones and noise, often using frequencies at the edges of the range of human hearing. The poster aesthetics were of course defined by these attributes. Taking inspiration from his unique style of digitising analogue experiences, I tried to mimic his techniques to explore the same methodologies applied to my design process and iterations.

As displayed through my developmental document, and some tests displayed below, I tried to utilise simple repeating geometric patterns that expressed movement, interference, repetition and intensity. I played with sequence, assembly and scale to depict distortions and re-arrangements.


Discovering Ikeda’s works, I was drawn to a variety of inspirations like graphic scores which employed notations like lines and colour to visually communicate sound. I liked how their aesthetic pushed into questioning the blur between design and music - and if either could be depicted simply by using bars, dots and dashes. A few of my tests were attempts to create rhythmic progression - like the dropping bars or the gradual thickening of the bars that signify a crescendo. With some, I tried replicating that feeling of rhythmic movement - imperceptible yet dizzying.

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When I finally visited Ikeda’s Data Tron installation in London years later,

I couldn’t have prepared myself fully for what an immersive experience it would be. 

 

I sat on the floor as the darkened room came alive with rapidly moving lines and spectral sounds. Patterns moved across the floor and walls in a hypnotic trance – speeding and glitching enigmatically. 

 

I still find Ikeda’s installations hard to describe fully. Albeit made with simple components, their almost strobe-like changing projections engulf the space, and can be seizure inducing, yet deeply sensorial and calming.