This semester, the class I was really excited to take was Intermedia Lab with Professor Norah Zuniga-Shaw. Due to the COVID restriction, we could not get inside of the Motion Lab, which I was disappointed with. Although I was so amazed by all the resources from viewing, reading, discussions, live events that she brought to the classes, the technology lab with Oded, and classmates who are bold to try new ideas, open to collaborating, and dive into the creative journey of unique, evoking, mesmerizing projects.
The first project I did was a “digital double” project with Abby Koskinas. She was a senior year BFA student in dance at Ohio State University. I build her doubles by interviewing her and ended up portraiting her rigidness for creativity, but spontaneous and adventurous personality. We streamed through OBS, a design and streaming application. Learning OBS was also a new way of creative thinking because I was used to horizontal timeline designing instead of vertically layered scenes with text, video clips, and audio. It was challenging, yet worth spending time and fighting to reach the level of I satisfied.
The most interesting idea that I learned over this class is creating sonic space. Hearing is such a strong sense to bring the sensation and connect to the memories or experiences directly. At the beginning of the semester, I tend to listen to songs written in Japanese. And realized that I was trying to make a safe space sonically. So from my experience, I was curious in creating an intimate place for an artist to share with the audience. Then throughout the corse, we had Voicemail “Pen Pals” Choreography for the Ears and Audio Walk at the South Oval in person which all inspired me. Another reference is Taryn Simon’s Assembled Audience. I visited the exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts at the beginning of October (The link below). It was an eye-opening experience! The darkness sharpens the hearing and the sound of crapping gives me the sensation of being surrounded by clouds of people.
My interest leads up to the second project, Surveillant Hall Audio Memory Walk. I partnered up with Abby Koskinas again to collect the memories of the Surveillant Hall from most of my classmates. I have always wanted to know what the dance building used to be before the COVID-19 hits so this project was like a treat for me. We started from the entrance and decided to navigate the audience by introducing each space from the 1st floor to the 3rd floor. Abby did an amazing job to contact other undergraduates to collect their stories. We actually went inside the building and calculated the time in between moving each studio, walking the aisle, and going up and down the stairs. It took a long time to put together all the audio files, although it was a really fun process. We wanted to corporate the video clips as well, though time was limited, and hard to obtain some clips from the Dance department.
Surveillant Hall Audio Memory Walk was the prototype of my final project. It is dedicated to the specific location and the memories attached to. I used the same structure but changed into my home town, Tokyo Japan. Started with brainstorming how I navigate the audience and decided to make an audio trip, “Safe and sound”. I came up with an idea while I was flying to Detroit, so I had a clear image to imitate the airline announcement. Then I started writing about my daily life in Tokyo adding my personal memories, waking up in my house, walking to the train stations, going to the school, getting snacks on the way home, and coming back to the house. I spent a long time researching online to find the exact sound that I wanted to use. After I have a solid collection of sounds, I put them all together on GarageBand. I did not have time to dive into learning Audacity so that’s the only thing I would like to go back and spend time more. My goal is to create an immersive, intimate, vulnerable experience to share with the audience.
Overall, I am very grateful for this class to open my eyes to technology and introduce me to new perspectives to present the artwork. This class pushed, motivated, and encouraged me to start with an idea to create even though you don’t know the direction you want to go. The maker should let making lead the way. That what I learned the most in this class. I will continue to be bold and say YES to the ideas and keep creating.
Taryn Simon: Assembled Audience https://wexarts.org/exhibitions/taryn-simon-assembled-audience