The specific peace that exists within Ryoji Ikeda’s installations must be described as a black peace (borrowing the term from Ikeda’s aethetic contemporary, Byetone). It evokes a specific type of calm that can only exist in a situation of being overwhelmed, awash with data and scale, in a moment of incomprehension. This is Ikeda’s foundation: Confronting recipients of his work with scales and semantics that are incongruent with the human perceptive systems, following and focusing the data permeating every situation and every place, unbeknownst and unperceived by the human subjects of such situations. In this way, Ryoji Ikeda’s work must be likened to the sublime, to moments on mountaintops, in deep forests and on beach cliffs. It evokes a realization of insignificance1, of belonging to the universe. With this comes peace, a warm feeling of being oneself and one with all, a black peace.
(Auf den Treppen im Foyer des Eye, nach Ryoki Ikeda im Oktober 2018.)
Sublime places repeat in grand terms a lesson that ordinary life typically teaches viciously: that the universe is mightier than we are, that we are frail and temporary and have no alternative but to accept limitation on our will, that we must bow to necessities greater than ourselves., Alain de Botton – The Art of Travel (2002), p.169 [↩]