[ISEA2020] Artists Statement: Sölen Kiratli & Akshay Cadambi — HIVE

Artists Statement

Tags: Interactive Installation, Morphology, Sound Art, Umwelt

Created via fusing aspects of spatial sound, sculptural form, and interactive methods, HIVE is an interactive art installation that explores the notion of sentience and agency in the sonic medium.
It is argued that species evolve to establish and maintain their own vocal bandwidth, so that their voices are not masked by other sounds. In other words, sonic spectrum is partitioned in a given biome and each bandwidth is claimed by a certain species as their vocal territory. Many species rely on these territories for mating or survival. Today, human generated noise dominates the sonic spectrum of many ecosystems, even those we consider untouched by our activities. And yet, there is very little research or policy efforts on this, especially compared to other (non-acoustic) types of destruction of the environment.
In reaction to this, our inquiry started with the question, can we conceive of an organism that exists in a purely acoustic umwelt? An organism whose only way of sensing, observing, reacting, and communicating with the world is through sound. An organism with a body whose morphology is based on picking up and sending sound signals. A pseudo ‘being’ who can learn from its environment and evolve in its response.

  • Sölen Kiratli is an artist, architect, researcher, and lecturer. Her work is interdisciplinary in nature and lies at the intersection of sound, interactive media, and digital design and fabrication. Her work has been exhibited at SIGGRAPH Asia, CURRENTS New Media, Contemporary Istanbul, and NIME (New Interfaces for Musical Expression), amongst other places. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Media Arts and Technology Program (MAT) at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), USA, where she focuses on digital media practice and research. She has a bachelor’s (Istanbul Technical University, TR) and a master’s degree (University of Southern California, USA) in architecture and worked on several architectural projects in Los Angeles area before she started her current doctoral studies. She is also the recipient of VIDA 13.0 Artistic Production Incentives, UCIRA’s (University of California Institute for Research in the Arts) Social Ecologies Grant, and IHC’s (Interdisciplinary Humanities Center) Media Arts Award. solenk.net
  • Akshay Cadambi is an engineer, computer programmer, and musician. He holds M.S in Media, Arts and Technology from University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. Originally from Bangalore, India, he is interested in harvesting and transforming the rhythms and textures found in domestic and mundane sounds, and soundscapes. His work encompasses the use of modular synthesizers, computer music, field recording, custom electronics, and custom software. He is currently working as an engineer in the audio industry.