- Mobile Performance
- Electric Speed
- Schematic as Score
- (Re)purposed Clothes
- Collaborative Spaces
- Device Art
- Digital Dub
- Rise of the VJ
- Sample Culture
As a sound artist, I'm always fascinated by waves – the physical waves within air called sound. Watching the visible signals in an oscillator, I dream of the voyage of this vibration in the air as it arrives in my ear. This is the starting point of my project 2.4GHz Scape.
2.4GHz Scape is a 2.4GHz spectrum ambient sound installation and performance. The audience can experience a real-time sonification of the 2.4GHz signals all around them, and this ambient sound becomes one part of the immediate soundscape. In addition, people can join the soundscape using their laptop or bluetooth devices such as mobile phones to create signal interference.
The 2.4GHz spectrum is widely used for WiFi, microwave ovens, bluetooth, baby monitors, cordless game controllers and other devices in the USA and Europe. The signal map varies in different places, and the activities of signal usage are constantly changing by the hour, day and year. It is like the seasonal changes of air. There are signals "(encoded in many different ways) that interfere with one another and signals that are cleverly multiplexed so that they don't interfere, jammed zones and Faraday cages, and the endless busses and bursts of electromagnetic noise" ("Me++", William J. Mitchell).
Our world is resonating with various kinds of waves, and the waves create harmony in the air. Human beings can catch only very limited signals of these waves with their ears and eyes and use them for communication. Like fishes living in a river communicating with electromagnetic waves, with radio frequency technology, people expand the means of communication using signals and different frequency ranges for communication. Even though we don't realize it, we are surrounded with invisible signals as if we were living in an invisible ocean of sound. With 2.4GHz Scape, the audience is able to experience the invisible existence of the 2.4GHz spectrum in the air.
2.4GHz Scape was originally the project for my Master’s Degree Thesis and the Every Bit You Make class in the Interactive Telecommunication Program at New York University. The work was then presented at the CONFLUX Festival in Brooklyn, USA. In February 2007, 2.4 GHz Scape was exhibited at the Santa Fe International Festival of Electroacoustic Music as an indoor sound installation in the Atrium Sound Space in the lobby of Benildus Hall, College of Santa Fe. The curator was Steven M. Miller, Associate Professor of Contemporary Music and the founding Vice President of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology.
The Atrium Sound Space's concept – "the sound art installation as sonic environment in public spaces" – is very close to the ideal listening environment for my 2.4 GHz Scape. Experiencing field recording based compositions gives me an interest in sound cognition and background listening. Your ears generally focus on one part of the sound environment as ambient information. The focus of the ears shifts from time to time, and depending on the context, the noise becomes recognized as meaningful information. 2.4 GHz Scape is an installation for subconscious listening, not for active listening. The artistic expression is not an aggressive attempt to capture the audience’s attention, but rather is a more subtle gesture which hides itself inside of the environment. The work doesn't exist until mixed with the environment.
Unfortunately, I couldn't use a computer system for the space, and instead the work was shown as a composition with 2 CD players and 4 speakers. For SFIFEM, I composed from the 2.4GHz data of different time ranges in a WiFi spot at the corner of 81st Street and 1st Avenue in New York City. Then, the composition was taken apart as 99 fragments on 2 CDs for random playback on the system of the Atrium Sound Space. The memory of my story is deconstructed by the random play mode, and the sound fragments are reconstructed in the new space and environment.
My next step is to put the system into an everyday environment as a long-term installation, and there is a plan to set it up as an office ambience installation in a hallway. My interest is how the sound interacts and affects people's everyday life – just as we can notice rain outside or a police car coming and live together with these sounds either consciously or unconsciously.