Photo: Dani Restack

I’ve always been interested in complex identities and experiences, fascinated by contradictions and what takes place in the in-between, in these moments where knowledge and possibility are transferrable from one object to another. What we cannot define, or struggle to define becomes the source of what is possible.

I’m committed to an interdisciplinary and conceptual approach that incorporates text, sound, sculpture, and video, but grounds itself in my improvised electronic music and sound practice. I am interested in how our histories, bodies, and subjectivities shape the way we perceive sound, and how sound functions as a distinct form of knowledge and listening a way of knowing. My current work explores psychoacoustics, electronic noise/sound, and the ways in which language and speech impact our perception of sound. I am curious about how sound, objects, and our bodies make meaning together.

I choose materials that create tension and contradiction; harsh electronic noise with pop music, field recordings and radio transmission, voice and sine tones, pink noise and poetry. I use abstraction and noise as an invitation to the audience to listen more curiously, thoughtfully and intimately; to gain new knowledge through sound. I find that working with electronic sound, exploring the visceral, acoustic phenomena of noise, instigates the communal, improvisatory act of listening together. Significantly, I find it can be used to emphasize how we listen from our own difference and perspective, and the role our bodies play in shaping our perception and understanding of the world.

My committed practice of creative improvisation and collaboration has evolved into a compositional approach that privileges fluidity, chance, and unconventional structure. My work often takes a hybrid, chimerical form and I use layers and density in sounds, texts, and objects as way to signal to the audience that the work has multiple points of entry. This form also, intuitively and more accurately, expresses the complex subjectivity formed by my history, race, gender – the hyphenated Korean-American identity. I see these forms as a path to understanding and experiencing alternative subjectivities through art.

The sounds and objects I use become embedded in my practice and I develop an intimacy with the materials by working with them repeatedly in different performances and projects. I like to think that my work tells the stories that objects would tell if they could. The story of a silver bowl. The autobiography of a sound. The history of a word. I create environments and imaginary places using sound, text, and performance where everything is an autonomous actor—from the smallest sounds to the fleeting memory to the personal identity. At times, these stories are a layered cacophony of voices, other times an object aria, clear and direct.

  • November 2019