My projects merge cultural practices of classical Chinese traditions with kinetic designs I’ve developed in my previous work. More specifically, I’ve been adapting my work to appropriate two animistic notions found in the metaphysical notion of Qi (氣) particularly those related to many of the Folk Religions in China.
While more traditional understandings of Qi focuses on the vital force that underlies any living entity, alternative epistemologies explore how Qi is embedded into inanimate objects such as rocks and immaterial things such as air, light, sound and thought. These series of studies focus on the expression of rhythm intrinsic to various surfaces and sedimentary objects that often remain latent, dormant, and unvoiced. Yet they possess evocative power, an idea that touches on many aspects of animism associated with ‘Qi’.
Constructed as a spatial composition of kinetic and static habitats, this piece reveals the repetitive, sometimes hypnotic, oscillatory forces embedded into round river rocks, topographical surfaces, and other objects where dense swarms of sound emerge from their interaction and confrontation with natural materials. The dynamic states that appear are a result of inner tensions being played out where disorder sometimes arises from regularity; patterns, from disarray. At the center of the installation is a large surface of 64 electromagnetic pendulums, its behavior at times erratic, coordinative, or synchronous with the other oscillatory elements. In other spaces, custom-designed wooden topographical surfaces — recalling the wells and valleys of relief maps — are filled with glass marbles and reciprocated to explore the audiovisual motion implicit in their surface deformations. Similarly, river rocks (sourced from Stevns Klint), their surfaces smoothed and rounded by millions of years of kinetic interaction, are placed on mechanically reciprocating platforms— their playful dance in many ways a reflection of the ways in which time has shaped their exterior form.
I create dynamic acoustic systems that render sound and movement through kinetic gesture, synchronization, and physical materiality. My work explores the interplay between process, function, and the cultural materials embedded into 21st century life where I oftentimes employ repetitions of everyday objects to interrogate contemporary anxieties surrounding body-focused compulsions, automation, and technology.
I’m interested in the seemingly invisible forces at work within the composition of sound through the use of repetitive movement and visual phenomena. As a researcher in psychoacoustics and machine learning, my work is often inspired by experimental studies related to human auditory processing. I hope my work promotes alternative ecologies of sound and environment, one that is at once investigative, transformative, and playful in its evocation of mechanical and emotional process.