[ISEA2019] Artist Statement: Ryoichi Kurokawa – unfold.alt

Artist Statement

Audiovisual installation, 4K Video, Two channel Sound, Single Channel, 04’00”, Ed. 6+2AP.

unfold.alt is a single screen version of unfold which is originally developed as an installation. It contains 10 phases presented in reverse chronological order of stellar formation. In the original installation version they are arranged in chronological order as: Interstellar medium, Molecular cloud, Massive star impact, Filament formation, Pre-stellar core, Protostar formation, Nuclear fusion and magnetic field, Supernova, Gravitational collapse, Neutronstar. Inspired by the latest discoveries in the field of astrophysics, unfold. alt seeks to translate the phenomena surrounding the formation of stars into sounds and images.
Ryoichi Kurokawa is concerned with the synaesthetic, merging audible and visual materials, in the service of an art/science project inspired by recent discoveries. These finding have been made by astrophysicists at CEA-Irfu, based on data produced by the satellites of the European Space Agency and NASA and more specifically by the Herschel space telescope. The telescope’s observations of far infrared radiation have revealed some of the conditions of star birth and the history of the life of galaxies, over the course of 10 billion years. In addition to this data -which allows us to trace the cosmological history of star formation, especially the filamentary structure of molecular clouds where stars are born- the artist also based his logic on numerical simulations intended to model the universe and its structures, produced by astrophysicists at CEA-Irfu, with the help of supercomputers. The project, created under the supervision of astrophysicist (and researcher at CEA-Irfu) Vincent Minier, also enables the viewer to go beyond research and scientific discovery, in order to question the representation and publication of the data collected.

Concept, Direction, Composition, Programming, Design: Ryoichi Kurokawa
Programming: Hiroshi Matoba
Producer: Nicolas Wierinck
Scientific Consultation:
Vincent Minier/CEA-Irfu, Paris-Saclay
Scientific Dataset:
CEA (Herschel HOBYS, COAST, Frederic Bournaud,
Sacha Brun, Pascal Tremblin, Patrick Hennebelle, Remi Hosseini-Kazeroni), ESA, NASA, BLAST Experiment, SuperCOSMOS H-alpha Survey
Co-commissioned by
FACT(Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Stereolux and University of Salford Art Collection Co-produced by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Stereolux/ Scopitone, University of Salford Art Collection, Arcadi and DICReAM
Produced by Studio RYOICHI KUROKAWA

  • Born in 1978, Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, who lives and works in Berlin, Germany, is a true poet of the transformative cinema, lyrically transfiguring the analogue representations of perceived nature into digital streams of vertiginous imagery and emotion. The architecturally crafted precision of his sensitively synched fragmentary images placed side by side on our retina, tends to displace the persistence of blurred memory under the effect of boundless luminosity. Some of Kurokawa’s significant solo and group exhibitions and performances include objectum, Takuro Someya Contemporary Art (Japan 2018), Coder le Monde, Centre Pompidou (France 2018), The Dream Of Forms, Palais de Tokyo (France 2017), unfold, FACT (England 2016), Ordered Disorder, Espacio Fundacion Telefonica (Peru 2015), Turbulences, Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton (France 2012), One of a Thousand Ways to Defeat Entropy – The 54th Venice Biennale (Italy 2011), Transmediale, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Germany 2010), and Synthesis, Tate Modern (England 2007).

With support from CEA-Irfu, Paris-Saclay (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission/ Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe)