Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Christine Sun Kim is unlearning sound etiquette. Her work blows my mind. The following is an interview with her x Nowness.

What do you mean by etiquette of sound?
There are social norms surrounding sound that form our speech development and our way of handling sound with care. They're so deeply ingrained that, in a sense, our identities cannot be complete without sound.

What are your favorite sounds?
My own muffled scream, feedback, planes taking off, and anything rhythmic at 180 bpm.

What is sound to you? Two things: ghost and currency. It's there, but I don't see it (well, unless it's Slimer). And I am aware how much value the society put in sound, music, and vocal languages.

Your practice invokes ideas of transcendence, of the noumenal too, is this something you're seeking to do? Yes. I'm seeking a way to rearrange the hierarchy of information, remove language constraints, and place value on non-linearity and spatiality. It's also about the ownership of sound; I'm reclaiming sound as my property and challenging its orthodoxy.

What was it like being filmed by Todd?
 He made me feel like a star!

Tell me about the performance he filmed, what are we seeing you doing?
 My empirical observation of the sounds I recorded and/or made. It's a perpetual approach, as I also work with delay pedals, transducers, performers, videos, and installations.

What do you hope your art achieves?
 My art as my voice.

more about this short film here
christine sun kim's website

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