Yeseul Song

2020 FIC Fellow

Yeseul Song

Yeseul Song is a South Korean born and New York based artist, researcher, and educator working with technology. She investigates the fluid nature of human perception and its relationship with the society, environment and the future. Her artwork ranging from experimental sculptures, interactive experiences, and performances offers novel perceptual experiences that encourage people to rethink and challenge how they normally perceive, think, and interact with the world. Her on-going project, Invisible Sculptures, suggests more inclusive and creative views of the world through non-visual experience that involves olfactory, auditory, and tactile senses.

She is currently a Future Imagination Collaboratory (FIC) Fellow and an Adjunct Professor at NYU Tisch’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). She has received the Communication Arts Interactive Annual, iF Design Award, Mana Contemporary New Media Program Residency, and ITP Fellowship. She has been nominated for the Lumen Prize twice.

Her creations have been shown at multiple places including Fort Mason Art and Culture Center in San Francisco, New York Live Arts, CultureHub in New York, Mana Contemporary in New Jersey, and IAC Building in New York. She also contributed to the SFPC Recode project that was presented at the Day for Night Festival in Austin, Sónar+D in Barcelona, and Google I/O in San Francisco.

She is an alumna of NYU ITP, School for Poetic Computation (SFPC), and Yonsei University.

Projects

Invisible Sculptures #9

Invisible Sculptures is a series of artistic experiments that studies human perception with sculptures that are invisible to eyes and can only be “seen” by engaging through senses other than vision. The sculptures are made of sound, heat, airflow, and smell. The audience is invited to incorporate various sensory abilities to feel the sculptures and make physical versions of the sculptures using clay. The clay sculptures become the audiences' collective perception of the invisible sculptures, celebrating individual differences in human perception. Read more about the project here.

A new work-in-progress piece in the series, Invisible Sculptures: #9, is a large and fluid invisible sculpture that can only be visualized through a collaborative performance of participating audiences whose movements are guided by sound feedback.


Slow Dimming Study

Slow Dimming Study is a set of artistic physical interfaces that enable audiences to control incandescent light bulbs through a meditative and cultural experience. This on-going project takes a deeper look into the moment of everyday interactions that we usually do not pay attention to, such as switching on and off a light, and turns them into meaningful experiences by intervening the moment.

The first piece in the series Rice Dimmer. The audience is invited to move a handful of raw rice with a set of chopsticks one grain at a time to slowly change the brightness of a light bulb. The interaction evokes situations where it would appear that certain cultural backgrounds or specialized skills could be privileged for the completion of very simple tasks. The second piece is Marble Dimmer. The audience is invited to slowly roll a marble that is designed to move along a circular channel. The rotational movement of the marble gradually changes the brightness of a light bulb. This piece is inspired by Poseokjeong, an abalone-shaped watercourse from the Unified Silla Kingdom in medieval Korea that was used for nobility to gather around and float their cups for drinking alcohol while reciting poems. The third dimmer, titled Distance Makes Your Heart Grow Fonder, senses the surroundings omnidirectional and reacts to people nearby. This dimmer explores our emotional reactions towards the social distancing caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Educational/Research Projects (Collaborations)

ITP Weather Band: an experimental band creating music with weather data collected from a DIY weather station. The group built a weather station system that collects and posts weather data to the web, and created experimental instruments that turn the environmental data into music and visuals. The band uses sound and music as mediums for delivering information about our immediate environment through the auditory sense. This project is a collaboration between faculties, alums, and graduate students at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (NYU ITP), and Yeseul has been co-leading the group as a creative director/producer. ITP Weather Band is a part of the ITPower, a research group that explores ways to contribute to a sustainable future with creative uses of technology.

6FT Project: A collaborative research project that attempts to intervene into our current social dilemma caused by the pandemic where maintaining physical distance from each other is a way of keeping each other safe, but this isolation could come at the cost of mental health. The project aims to positively influence individual’s attitudes and feelings towards the 6 feet rule, which can lead to behavioral changes, while reminding us that social experiences remain valuable and are our source of hope. The project is a collaboration with a hardware engineer Amitabh Shrivastava and supported by Sharon Chang.

Clay versions of the invisible sculptures made by the audience

Invisible Sculptures: clay versions of the invisible sculptures made by the audience

Slow Dimming Study: Rice Dimmer

Slow Dimming Study: Rice Dimmer (Photo by Kyle Knodell)

DIY weather station that collects weather data to be converted into sound by the ITP Weather Band

DIY weather station that collects weather data to be converted into sound by the ITP Weather Band