[ISEA2011] Panel: Semi Ryu – Sens­ing with­out Sens­ing

Panel Statement

Panel: Emotion Studies in a Contemporary Art Debate

“Sens­ing with­out sens­ing” ex­plores new di­men­sion of sen­so­r­ial ex­pe­ri­ence shaped and sug­gested by vir­tual tech­nol­ogy and in­ter­ac­tive media. The core prin­ci­ple of “sens­ing with­out sens­ing” is light­en­ing weights of ac­tu­al­ity, in order to open the in­fi­nite space of meta realms, awak­en­ing un­der­ly­ing per­cep­tive lay­ers of our body trans­form­ing into in­tan­gi­ble, in­de­fin­able, and spir­i­tual. It is Ko­rean ex­pe­ri­en­tial re­al­ity, con­tin­u­ously con­flict­ing be­tween ac­tual and vir­tual layer: the chaotic state of nei­ther here nor there, in a quan­tum state of para­dox. Sens­ing with­out sens­ing is a Ko­rean on­to­log­i­cal jour­ney of tak­ing off to the sky. It is quite an emo­tional jour­ney, from ex­treme grief to joy, con­tin­u­ously dream­ing, de­sir­ing, and even­tu­ally tran­scend­ing sky. This process is based on cos­mol­ogy of Sam- Tae-Guek demon­strat­ing three basic el­e­ments and their dy­namic swirling dance as a prim­i­tive east­ern cos­mo­log­i­cal model be­fore yin/yang.  Ko­rean quan­tum psy­che “Jung” ex­plains the emo­tional as­pect of swirling: nos­tal­gic and un­con­di­tional love to­wards in­fi­nite one­ness. Jung brings forth an­other cul­tural psy­che called “Han”, which is the first ac­tion of look­ing up to sky with ex­treme emo­tional state of grief, but with strong wish to over­come the sit­u­a­tion al­most seems im­pos­si­ble. Han is even­tu­ally trans­formed into ul­ti­mate state of play­ful­ness called “Shin-Myeong”. Fi­nally, this jour­ney de­taches us from phe­nom­ena, re­turn­ing us back to the po­si­tion of look­ing at the sky but with no mind, which move at­ten­tion from focus to hori­zon: fi­nally look­ing at en­tire quan­tum fields of na­ture. The mode of sens­ing with­out sens­ing will be fur­ther con­nected to the on­to­log­i­cal issue of the vir­tual body, ex­plor­ing a rich meta sen­so­r­ial ex­pe­ri­ence of user and avatar.

  • Semi Ryu re­ceived her BFA from the Ko­rean Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Arts and an MFA from Carnegie Mel­lon Uni­ver­sity (US). She is an as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor in the De­part­ment of Ki­netic Imag­ing at Vir­ginia Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­sity. Ryu is a media artist who spe­cial­izes in ex­per­i­men­tal 3D an­i­ma­tions and vir­tual pup­petry, based on Ko­rean shaman­ism and oral tra­di­tion of sto­ry­telling. Her works have been widely pre­sented in ex­hi­bi­tions and per­for­mances in more than 15 coun­tries, and her aca­d­e­mic pa­pers, which have fo­cused on the rit­u­al­iza­tion of in­ter­ac­tive media, have been pub­lished in in­ter­na­tional jour­nals and con­fer­ences. Her vir­tual pup­petry was re­cently per­formed at Chelsea Art Mu­seum, New York. She is cur­rently writ­ing a chap­ter for the book “Point of Being” (ed­i­tor: Der­rick de Kerk­hove,) and is a se­nior ad­vi­sor for the pro­ject “Avatars for vir­tual her­itage”, funded by the Na­tio­nial En­dow­ment for the Hu­man­i­ties.