[ISEA2019] Artist Statement: Sabina Hyoju Ahn — Breath

Artist Statement


Breath is an interactive light and sound installation/performance, operated by human breath. As a wind instrument, this work has been developed to control sound and light with human breathing, made of DIY circuits and e-wastes. Breath uses amorphous energy from the human body and transforms it into different shapes: breathe to light and sound, vitalizing an inorganic object and shaping the narrative. This is contrary action to turn off lights (candle), however, this can be interpreted as a vitalizing inorganic object. Human breathing is transformed into light and sound and the respiration is visualized by dimming bulbs. An individual’s breathing activates the machine from a nonliving object and involves functioning. The piece has been made of electronic junks such as old telephone’s microphone and old PC’s metal frame to illustrate life from death and to allude a transformable relationship between human/natural elements and machines. To show the interactivity in real-time, moreover, the piece has been developed to a performative instrument that can be performed with live sound by my mouth and glitch like a sound from the software. The progress has started from simple method and mathematics in code and switching between on and off to dimming by the intensity of my breath and combining acoustic and electronic sound.

  • Sabina Hyoju Ahn is an artist who works with various medium, sound and organic matters. Her research area is involved with finding hidden rules and patterns in natural elements and translating it into different shapes of perceptual experiences. She has broadened her artistic spectrum in South Korea and Europe and studied in Computational Arts MA in the UK and ArtScience Mmus (Royal Academy of Art The Hague) in the Netherlands. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in Tangible Music Lab at Kunstuniversität Linz in Austria. Her works have been shown in various places including Piksel festival (NO), Transmediale Vorspiel (DE), Mediamatic (NL), Athens Digital Arts Festival (GR), AMRO (AT), Lab 30 (DE), Art Center Nabi (KR), ACT Festival (KR), Daechung Chungjoo City Museum of Art, V2 (NL) and she has been awarded NIME (New Interface for Musical Expression 2017) Best Sound Performance.