Strategic designer Luke Rideout and media installation artist Dongjoo Seo explore the ways in which specific urban spaces create culture and form social organizations within a geopolitical framework.
Presenting a specific urban space, Seoul, they navigate through the city to install Sensing Totems in public, commercial and private spaces and collect site-specific data. After compiling an array of mundane elements from specific social communities and spaces, they convert it to data through digital processing and create music through algorithmic composition. Sound in this project features not only as music that flows from the speakers at the exhibition space, but also as a symbolic medium of the oral tradition that delivers tales of the community, as well as a medium of sensory narratives that define the relationship between the environment and its bodies.
These Sensing Totems that Rideout and Seo define as ‘digital animism’ come to symbolize the collection process of the massive amounts of data that contemporary human culture produces, and in praxis disrupt the hierarchical and monolithic systemic order of technocapitalism. The project challenges the viewers to consider the divergent potential of human senses and primitivity that continue to lurk underneath hypermodern society governed by formidable science and technology.