COVID 19 : co-evolutionary hypothesis

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- Art Council Korea - interdisciplinary art, sound/kinetic art installation

- material : MCU(raspberry pi zero w, esp32, nRF24L01, L298N), wood, aluminum, polyurethane, PVC, air pump motor, vibrated speaker, string

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This work is a project collaborated with an artist, Lim soo-bin. It raises a question whether humans could make an ecological balance between COVID19 and mankind in an aspect of evolutionary life. Based on molecule biology and epidemic history, we tried to maintain an interdisciplinary view in the platform of exhibition - sound digital media and kinetic art installation. Through a deep study about nucleic sequence of COVID19 and epidemic history, the concept of ‘invasion / defense’ has been found out to be a root mechanism in this ecology and the universe, and ‘unnecessary greed’ of human history has already taken out most of resources in the nature, which has returned a warning to human history in the form of microbiological attack - the virus. Thoughts about coevolutionary view have led us into a dilemma of human life. If every creature maintains its life based on ‘invasion and defense’ from biological origin, how could we make any balance in this planet? To this question, I and Lim soo-bin have concluded that humans are not super-predator or lord of all things, rather, we are creatures bound, mingled and tangled with microbiological strand of virus, and we should suggest a hypothesis for coevolutionary possibility. 


 With this hypothetical attitude, to describe microbiological environment, as a sound artist, I designed remote-controlled audio units - 10 units are sine wave generators and 23 units are playing audio samples processed by granular synthesis. The sine wave is usually made in the lab, not to be found in the nature, which makes hierarchical harmonic structure and beating frequency(wave interference). By this acoustical physics, I tried to represent vertical barriers and competitive way of human life by dynamic transposition of sine waves, whereas the granular-synthesized audio samples represent restless stream of horizontal-evolutionary creatures which accomplish their identity in the form of group, the whole. And humans can’t stand alone without being bound to the horizontal evolutionary creatures - the virus including COVID19, described by the structural arrangement that a few of 23 audio units invade into a few of 10 audio units, connecting each other between them. 

 And, as a kinetic installation artist, Lim soo-bin has suggested evolutionary threshold by her work that make a viral balance of co-existence between some pairs of air bag, one of which compresses when the other expands reciprocally driven by air pump motors. This setting can explain why those pairs of air bag should maintain their own threshold because over-blown one of those pairs could lead another one to be exploded into distinction. So, an absolute quantity of air should maintain between every paired air bags. It shows an ecological balance of life by the motion of ‘taking and taken out’, representing unavoidable  exchange of resources for coexistence reminding of devastated nature over-used unlimitedly by humans.


 Two installations are remotely-controlled by computer-analyzed nucleic sequence prototype, which predicts every possible mutation of nucleic sequence by Markov chain (first order) with 5 representative samples of wuhan, alpha, beta, gamma and delta mutation. By dividing two parts of ‘being analyzed’ and ‘after analysis’, two installations are made to be generated and affected. By remote control, the sound installation is to be affected to change every frequency making wave interference and harmonically-static state. And kinetic installation is to be affected to change its sequence of air-pump.

( Oct. 21 ~ Nov. 07, 2021 at gallery the flux the flow, Seoul )
by Song Jookwan
by Lim Su-Bin
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