[ISEA2016] Artists Statement: YEN TZU CHANG — SELF-LUMINOUS 2

Artists Statement

Performance and Light, Sound installation,  2013–2016, 20’00”

“Self-luminous 2” is an experimental handmade instrument shown as performance. It is a series-project which I have been working on since 2013 and finally developed into shape in 2014. I am looking for an intimate and personal instrument that reflects on the relation between digital sound and light messages. In computer language, light-on is 1 and light-off is 0. If there are more than two lamps, it could be code, or various meanings could be read from it. When I press a button or turn a knob, a message is sent to Pure Data, and the sound produced by Pure Data is triggered live. The data of sound such as frequency and volume are analysed and sent out to the second Arduino to control the light. The light, in this case, is an intuitive element for human beings. From this point of view, it is really close to sound which disturbs our biological body directly. The lights are visual and they can be translated into messages. The message might be readable by coincidence with a link to the code. The light is bright enough for the visual phenomenon to persist in the minds of audience. During the performance, the sound is reproduced by code, and part of it is improvised.

  • Yen Tzu Chang (b. 1991, TW) is a Taiwanese media artist who studied in Linz, Austria in 2014. Currently, she is based in Taiwan. I was under high pressure over years of study painting and lost the fundamental spirit and interest in everything. That changed when I came to know media art, especially sound art. It is such flexible art field and brings me lots of energy. Sound always secretly switches on basic perception of the body. I realized that if I want to explore more about sound, installation, performance, and so on, trying to search for the information by myself, asking and learning about technology can help me to develop my works. I think art work is one of the important ways to express my thinking, so most ideas of work come from life experience and emotion. About Self-luminous, you can see some shadow by back through of my work – “Time travel”. This work displays the blurred memory of me at midnight in a car which was running on the highway. I just saw the street lights, the light of the cars moving in the opposite direction, and made it into a visual light and sound installation. And then, I totally fell in love with light as a medium. I realized the light somehow strongly controls the emotion of performance. We are in a short but high-impact visual world, so I tried more experiments to find out what kind of design and gestures are good for showing instruments and performing concerts. “Self-luminous 2” is part of this thinking stream. It is a handmade instrument built from plastic glass, an LED sheet, and several electronic components. I attempted to play the sound in cold style, but with extensive changes. Thus, the sound strongly attacks the auditory sense first, and then drags the audience until she/he feels exhausted. The true feeling begins and goes on from this time point. For me, it is a sound installation with special output because it is still developing and always makes me think more of the minutiae. So, every time the concert is modified. No matter what I add or remove, the purpose of changing is getting close to my present sound composition attitude.   changyentzu.com

Full text and photo (PDF) p. 62-63