This past weekend we brought our traveling multi-media extravaganza to Platoon Kunsthalle in South Korea, a futuristic modular structure assembled from 28 recycled cargo containers that functions as the hub for Seoul’s underground arts scene. The four-day event saw our usual array of outstanding musical performances, film screenings, workshops and panels, but one of the highlights of the weekend was certainly our awe-inspiring art installations.
Here’s a quick virtual tour of all the tech-inspired creativity you missed in Seoul.
Minha Yang often imagines the possibility of a city that exists without any visual or auditory distraction. Since we have little control over what media and other stimuli exist in our natural surroundings, we need to find ways to meditate amidst the noise that fills the cities. Meditation 1109~ proposes a practical and alternative way to reflect and redirect our attention through three audio-visual installations. Combining video footage of hypnotic swirls synched with sound, Yang transforms an environment in a meditative milieu.
Sookyun Yang + Earl Park
Frog Xylophone is a glove-like device that fits onto all 10 fingertips, transforming one’s hands into a musical instrument. When connected to the palm component and cable, the mechanism releases 10 different sounds that flow from each fingertip. Originally inspired by a childhood memory of a cartoon frog playing the flute, Frog Xylophone explores the possibilities of new types of human expression.
Kimchi and Chips
Lit Tree is an augmented and reactive digital installation developed by Kimchi and Chips’ structured light software, MapTools-SL. We discovered this unique work via our blog a few months back, and immediately fell in love with the whimsical application of depth-mapping on nature. The tree, augmented by a projected cloud of voxels (3D pixels), tracks and responds to visitors’ gestures, allowing them to explore the immediate and cryptic nature of the interaction.
Jin-Yo Mok’s TRAP is a triangle that moves autonomously within an all white canvas. The triangle is strong enough to work against the nature of gravity and cannot escape its frame. This “trap for a triangle” engages the audience by appearing to float on top of its background.
Four Causes of Light
Urbantainer + Byeong-Seon In + In-Suk Nam
The Four Causes of Light is a tetraptych installation based on Aristotle’s “Causes,” showcasing four variations on the classic design theme of the light fixture. Overlapping the four Aristotelian scientific concepts of formal, material, efficient and final causes with the basic design elements of point, line, plane, and space, the installation merges the distinct window galleries of the Platoon Kunsthalle. While presenting four contrasting designs in terms of materiality, volume, complexity, interactivity, and functionality, the spaces are radically altered as the installation incorporates novel modes of interaction and a wide range of cultural references, materials, construction methods, and control techniques—from traditional to DIY to state-of-the-art.
First Cause: Pulmo
Coming from the Greek word for “lung,” Pulmo is a single point of light in the form of the classic light bulb. Close inspection shows that this translucent silicon rubber bulb actually breathes, inflating and deflating as the light dims and glows.
Second Cause: Oo
From the Greek word for “egg,” Oo consists of 49 vertical lines of incandescent light bulbs cradled in traditional, Korean egg packages made from rice straw. These hanging egg-holders are arranged in a 1 meter x 1 meter x 1.6 meter square cuboid that is animated to abstractly represent the Taoist origin-story of the universe, the “cosmic egg” of Pangu.
Third Cause: L.E.M.
L.E.M. or Light Emitting Masonry is a 2 meter x 2 meter wall of brick and mortar. Beneath the mortar, LED strips are embedded, sequenced to create the effect of a hidden source of energy that is bound and contained within the solid plane of concrete and brick.
Fourth Cause: Krustallos
Coming from the Greek word for “ice,” Krustallos is an architectural space constructed from acrylic covered with Korean Hanji, or mulberry wood paper, in the traditional style of Korean lanterns. This installation harnesses the interplay of heat, pressure, and liquid to create a crystal-ice lantern. Under the soft texture of the paper, DMX controlled LED lighting illuminates the form as if still in the process of crystallization. As viewers move through these crystal forms, the light changes and interacts with their presence.
HAND shapes and screeches to deliver messages to the public.The public responds by reshaping the hand. Song’s HAND encompasses the evolution of shape through time as viewers mechanically control it.
Topologies is a multi-screen installation featuring a new installment of Quayola’s ongoing Strata Series. Pre-modernist paintings re-emerge from their centenary stillness, evolving into complex and mutable formations. Classic figurative paintings such as Las Meninas (D. Velazquez, 1656) and Immacolata Concezione (G. Tiepolo, 1767) become topographic maps, producing new digital abstractions. Topologies renews an interest in calculative, generative, and arrhythmical qualities that lie dormant behind the details of a masterpiece, organically transforming its recognizable reality into a color-saturated, calculated fabrication.
Seoul Event artwork photos courtesy of Solne Lee