(Installation View SeMA Seoul Museum of Art) Aluminium extruded profiles, silkscreens on paper; acrylic, conductive paint, microcontrollers
3-channel audio, speakers, databases, synthesised voices, choir.
The artwork makes use of different techniques in order to identify the most valuable South Korean keywords to be searched online.
It contains a list of keywords ranked to be among the most profitable ones for the days of the duration of the show. They were selected by using payed-for online forecast reports; compiled by Saju master Janet Shin by using the dates of birth of Never as well as the date of the first Internet connection operated in South Korea; randomly picked among those who have been most popular during the last few months.
The artwork is made out of a structure in aluminium, modelled after the graph of the most important keywords searched for in South Korea over the recent months (source Naver 2018). Three paper panels, screen printed with conductive paint, feature visual motifs derived from the same selected keywords.
The work has a strong sculptural component, but it also comes to life, revealing its interactive nature, when the audience chooses to come in contact with it. A choir of synthesised voices are the sonic outcome of each of the audience interactions with the work, whether touching the interactive prints or simply moving their body in close proximity to them. The ‘singing’ paper announces each one of the forecast keywords, followed by a choir of echoing their relative pay per click.
Through this intimate interaction, the artwork creates a connection with the audience, that is both private and public at the same time; the tactile experience of exploring the surface of the interactive panels, implies a direct and personal relationship with the piece. It also implies that the public decides to go against the unspoken rule of not touching any displayed work of art in general. The acoustic output that takes place as a consequence of the interaction, finally transports the privacy of the tactile experience, to the public domain of sound. It is in doing so that the interactive sculpture becomes a metaphor of the relationship we entertain with the invisible world of data. The audience has the illusion of being able to affect the sonic output of the work, when in fact the sound is already predestined through the use of the keywords.
Like in contemporary life, the illusion of empowerment and a promise of convenience through ‘free’ digital services, results in the cost of our lives becoming productised. Our every step recorded and measured and the paths we take increasingly, yet quietly revealed to us by the master algorithm.