Comment after 5-week Activity at ZER01NE FUTURE CLUB <DataXSound>

2020.12.7

Breaking the framework of artist and audience by Unhappy Circuit Leader

This year was a special year for me together with ZER01NE. I tried hard to participate in various programs planned by ZER01NE and future club was one of them. Future club is a workshop program targeting the public with different backgrounds, which is planned for the first time this year by ZER01NE so I was concerned many things in the preparation process.

In this future club, I planned and executed a workshop program titled <Toward the Pale Blue Point>. This is a workshop program that analyzes the radio wave data sent by space probe Voyager to earth and turns it into audio visualization by participants. It was first designed and executed by the Asia Culture Center in 2019. Based on the experience at the Asia Culture Center, I put lots of efforts into designing a program to supplement the previous content and deliver the prepared content fully to participants from various backgrounds. I focused on delivering how to use practical technologies effectively and at the same time incorporating the philosophy of converging science and art in this process. More than anything else, I tried to make a workshop where all participants with different level of experience in this type of work are included.

In the end, many good feedback from participants was given, which made me feel proud. In addition, I learned from the preparation process of the workshop and questions raised by participants. I realized that when an artist approaches the public through these workshop activities, not only through the artwork, the boundary between artist and audience is broken down, creating more abundant subject to talk about.

Above all the biggest driving force behind the workshop was the passion of participants. No matter how artists prepare the workshop elaborately, it will be difficult to proceed the workshop without the passion of participants. I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all participants who actively participated in the workshop, listened to the thoughts of artists and raised questions.

Time to awaken my senses from sleeping as I turned myself from the person who enjoys artwork to a creator by member Kang Chae-won

I have been interested in convergence art and technology since I was in my early 20s. However, until 4 to 5 years ago, there was no platform in Korea where creators, engineers and those who enjoy art show their work and form a network freely. As it has not been popularized yet, it was difficult to know the latest trend even though we could find out the cases of Europe and US. It was not easy to enjoy and experience relevant work without experience or expertise.
On the day of orientation for future club, I remember words from ZER01NE team’s innovator, “ZER01NE is an open innovation platform to expand the possibility for the future of convergence art by supporting free creative environment and business opportunities to artists and solving accessibility problems for those who enjoy artwork”. One year ago, I became to know about ZER01NE through ZER01NE day and I could quench my personal thirst that I had for years. Through the future club, I could experience of being a creating moving from the perspective of viewers.

When I was a person who enjoys artwork, ZER01NE day was something ‘to enjoy’ where I can experience the artwork of selected creators and share the latest trend and knowledge, it has become something to ‘make’ where I encourage the participation of general public by improving accessibility to future club and creating future-oriented insight. DataXSound was conducted for 4 weeks. Under the theme of ‘Making My Sound with Data”, creator Park Seong-min, Unhappy Circuit, artist Lee Gang-il and artist Park Seong-min led the program using different background knowledge and tools every week. Future club members included me majoring in design, microbiology researchers, Korean traditional musicians, media artists, data scientists, university students, curators and theater planners. As we all had different occupations and background we could share special views while conducting the program. Every week, we had courses to refine data or process image using different programming tools (Python, Anaconda, Sonic-Pi, OS Kernel, Max, etc.) every week. Even if someone was not good enough we were able to collaborate with each other by filling each other’s needs.

In particular, what I specially remember is the program led by leader Unhappy Circuit. I think no one who is interested in conversion art or media art does not like space. We received actual data sent from Voyager, made data into parameters using Max and produced sound by adjusting input, output values and effect. We could make great audio visualization from space images collected by Voyager by adjusting layout and color values. Before starting the program, seminar on basics of astrophysics was helpful as we could apply what we learned during the seminar to making output, moving away from unilateral knowledge transfer through books or lecture. It was interesting experience to the extent that I regret “Why didn’t I choose science class during high school years?”

Before joining future club, following keywords come up to my mind when I think about ZER01NE. VR, web experience, artificial intelligence, data science, sound, city, installation, media art. Those are the technology-centric words related to convergence art. After I joined future club, I can think of a few more words. Creativity, imagination, sharing, possibility. These are essential to produce fruitful results in an area but without an environment where people can participate voluntarily, it is hard to make further fruitful results.

ZER01NE future club made me feel the pleasure of creating digital experience based on creative ideas, awareness of the problem and latest technologies and it was valuable time to awaken the senses that were sleeping in the era when technology became the spirit of our times. I hope that future club can continue to serve as a platform where people started from interest in a certain area can be grown into a creator and they can turn their insights into the real life.
Thank you.

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