A Single Number That Has 124,761,600 Digits

Ryoji Ikeda's work for Sedition is a complex and fascinating audio-visual representation of a single number; a number so large it has 124,761,600 digits. In mathematical terms, this number is fairly small considering the endless possibilities between naught and infinity. If visualized in single digits, 124,761,600 is unimaginably large. However a number that needs this many digits to describe it is utterly beyond human comprehension! With A Single Number That Has 124,761,600 Digits, Ryoji Ikeda brings all 124,761,600 digits before our eyes. In doing so he demonstrates a simple mathematical fact: that - due to their computational complexity - it is impossible to verify whether this number of digits are randomly placed, or following a pattern.

The whole 124,761,600 digits - in what appears a random blur of static - run in front of our eyes over the screen. The animation is accompanied by a high pitched varying sound that represents the frequency of the actual number the viewer is witnessing. At times, the sequence comes to a halt and pauses - and only then is it possible to recognise the many small digits covering the screen. One may not find any meaning of certain large numbers, which are in fact the majority of numbers. However, A Single Number That Has 124,761,600 Digits most likely is the first time - since the beginning of time - that this seemingly-meaningless number is represented visually in its digital entirety, for someone to witness.

Note: This work can only be viewed in its conceptual entirety in HD on a full screen (1920 x 1080). The preview available here and on smaller devices is a cropped version of the image and not a full representation of the work. The ideal way to view this piece is to download the work into one of our free iPhone/iPad or Android apps for a flawless viewing experience. Due to a high bit rate to ensure the best quality, some delays may be experienced when viewing the work on some computers and TVs.

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