Intermedia Reflection -Introducing new perspective-


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

What does it sound to you? -Japanese project-

Choreography Workshop

Over the quarantine, I have started teaching Japanese online. And it was so interesting that while I am teaching the language, I relearned how to speak my mother tongue and realized the significance of the language. This experience inspired me to corporate my mother tongue and dance.

So I have a concept in my mind that “what if the dancers heard their own story in a foreign language, what movement comes out?.” It was on Friday, after the Choreography Workshop, walking the aisle with John Cartwright, Ishmael Konney, and Quianna Simpson. I asked them if they were interested in working with my concept. Fortunately, they said YES! So we started meeting on Thursday afternoon to rehearse.

At first, I asked all of them to write a paragraph of their self-introduction. I translated the texts into Japanese and recorded them. Dancers danced with their own biography, which they could guess what I was talking about, yet it was hard for them to fully understand. Quianna shared that she recognized some words such as”African dance” but she was influenced mostly by the rhythm of speaking. Also, John mentioned that it was dancing in between familiar from and unfamiliar. Next step, I asked them to dance with other’s bio which they have no clue what I was talking about. Ishmael shared that he was inspired by the speed of my speaking and almost echoing with his body. Dancers were definitely hard to react to speaking voice with unknown topics since no connection nor inspiration to their movement. What they react was the sound, rhythm, tone, speed I made. It was a great discovery to me since I was seeking an authentic reaction from dancers to the foreign language.

So we ended up using their biography with my speaking to generate the basic phrase. In the first version of this project, I was a narrator and started speaking Quianna’s story, then John’s and Ishmael’s at the end. The person who was spoken one’s bio leads the movement and others echoing. It was a clear structure of displaying how dancers embody the sound of Japanese.

Although, we received feedback about I and dancers’ relationship as well as an objective of this project. We discussed one more time to clarified the intention of this project and landed on offering a foreign experience to the audience but also showing the visceral level of communication. Also, we decided to not separating me from their narrative. I added on my story to move together as well as bringing back idea, authentic reaction; dancers react to what I spoke without knowing the content. We revised the movements, and space usage as well.

Over this process, we re-defined the fundamental of communication by using verbal and non-verbal tools able to understand, interact, respond to each other. Once Quianna shared that we seemed like creating harmony by bodies, which was a beautiful way to describe our creative journey and indeed it was a deep and interesting process. I would like to continue experimenting to combine my mother tongue in my work.