by Lingbo Li
Instead of drums, bass, or an electric guitar, Ryoji Ikeda uses computer code and hard drive errors. That's right, those endless, inscrutable lines that only the uber savvy and the pale basement dwellers can decode. If you don't know this beforehand, walking into Sunday's datamatics concert could have proven challenging: instead of Gregory Mankiw lecturing his introduction to economics students, Sanders Theatre was pitch black, with a giant screen displaying morphing imagery, like so:
And the music. Which wasn't really like any music you'd hear at a traditional concert (with perhaps the exception of some portions of Radiohead concerts). Think: a lot of static, blips, beeps, digital roars, and occasionally, omnious, pregnant silence. At one point, the sound unexpectedly hit a crescendo, resulting in me nearly falling off my seat. So don't think that this will put you to sleep.
This all coincided with the launch of The Laboratory at Harvard, which showcases the meeting of art and science, and also included sweet new innovations like Le Whif, a form of calorie-free inhalable chocolate.
If choosing between digital music and guilt-free chocolate, well, I'd have to go with the latter.