Art & Technology #12: Analogue Technology
Intersection of the Analogue and Digital Generations
The original meaning of analogue was a measurement of signals. It was used to physically express the quantitative factors of natural phenomena, such as the brightness of the sun or the strength of the wind, which were changeable by weather, velocity and temperature. Thus, analogue existed to measure movement, rather than static.
This act of fluid physicality resembles artistic creation, wherein an artist’s gestures capture and express notions onto canvas or other media. The physicality that results in the combination of angles, currents, lights and other elements allows artists to explore vast options for art. There are artists today who favor analogue over digital, even in an era of rapid technological advancement. Their preference proves the value of analogue methods and mechanisms.
The work of Jung Uk Yang comprises analogue, kinetic structures that emit creaking noises. Set within darkened rooms, the array of materials set into motion on gears creates a harmony within the environment. The movement and motion emerges as the strength of analogue and testament to the unique quality of the art. The process of engagement becomes a transformation into a physical body and structure. The artist leads viewers onto journeys, creating scenarios with poetic titles that incite nostalgia and adventure. An intriguing point of his kinetic sculptures is the gap between the implied stories and the structures themselves. The forms and aura of the work seem to fill the empty space of the room as viewers contemplate each structure in relation to its given title. Yang uses basic technology over cutting-edge techniques to expose every singular movement and emphasize the physicality of touch, sight and sound. He explores infinite possibilities within the singular.
On the other hand, Andre Maeno’s analogue machines are instruments that enable one to derive the result. Therefore, another perspective to keep in mind is the artist’s intention and the process of materialization and actualization that occurs in a work. Maeno uses analogue machinery as a medium to embody his concepts. His recent work Daily Delay (2015) collects both places of the past and present and blends them into the current space. Audiences must rely on their sense of sight and ability to recognize the spaces, however, as his works incorporate live recordings, they are able to recognize their own surroundings. The recordings, which are on a 24-hour delay, end up collapsing the past and present. As such, viewers encounter this dichotomous reality, existing within the two while standing in the same spot. Th***** - Some of Sound Equipment (2011) is another work where audiences must discover the sound of thunder in each of their minds. The work encourages audiences to contemplate the sound of thunder, which is both invisible and untouchable, while breaking down the element into sounds. The objectification of an immaterial concept inspires the imagination, and allows the mind to expand upon other thoughts. Analogue has the power to trigger encounters of abstraction and the figurative, turning the intangible into the real.
Revealing Analogue Technology
The previous artists employ analogue in their contemplations, but others will induce contemplation further. The following artists luxuriate and explore sounds and signals that only analogue devices are able to produce. Jun Hyoung San turns what is normally silent audible. Incomplete Truth #10 (2009) places a microphone directly next to a stone, in an attempt to capture its sound. The absence of sound implies silence, however the piece actually examines the noises created by analogue mediums. He embraces the sounds of radio frequencies and white noise from televisions. If John Cage composed sounds from daily life into music, Jun does the same with noises typically filtered out by digital means. A priori bits #6; Meter (2014) interprets the noise from a running meter as a beat and increases the volume. Moreover, the audience can tune the beat by plugging in or out. And as soon as they recognize the sounds as beats, their concept of what they are hearing expands. IN other works, the artist reproduces analogue sounds into meaningful gestures within social structures.
Irresistible Perception #6; Albeit yacht frei (2010) converts the action of playing a piano into the action of labor. Attaching hammers to a piano to create a third level of sound, as opposed to the original keys, transforms the laborer into the object of noise. In doing so, the work might seek to relieve the burden of object.
Seok Sung Suk focuses on fragmentation and continuity, the biggest difference between analogue and digital. He works on fragments that are the result of the destruction of continuity, as well as things that have been separated. His solo exhibition last year involved observing the progress of the electric signals that emerged on analogue televisions. The white noises of the electric devices have long since disappeared, as they grow outdated. In contrast to today’s society, so often deficient of background noise, the artist intentionally brings visualizes the forgotten. His experiments on televisions are not limited to representing signals, but further reveal systems of signals through the processes of sending and receiving. His work expresses the identity of signals and revives the lost voices of today’s communication culture.
In today’s society, where generations of analogue and digital have now collided, comparisons between the two largely convey an imbalance. It is already a generation governed by the digital. This propensity is obvious, as automation and efficiency continue to be valued over human touch within capitalist society. Within this environment, the relationship between digital and analogue is one of restraint and competitive motivation. The cyclical feedback of deconstruction and reconstruction has become mere noise transmuted into information. But the balance might be overthrown. Which is why the examination into analogue media today is ever more meaningful and significant. ■ with ARTINPOST
Ann Hamilton <The event of a thread> 2012 Installation shot of Park Avenue Armory commission photo by James Ewing
Jinwoo Yang <Sight Monument Scene2> 2010 Object, mixed media 450×400×300cm
Jaeyoung Park <Auto-hypnosis Machine> 2012 mixed media dimensions variable
Jung-uk Yang <Fatigue always accompanying a dream> 2013 Wood, thread, motor, pvc 2,300×2,800×2,300cm Photo: Namhee Kim
Mona Hatoum <Undercurrent(red)> 2008
everyware <Memoirs> 2010 Vintage monitor, polaroid camera 50×50×150cm
Sangjin Kim <Sound Sculpture> 2014 Phantom Sign mixed media dimensions variable
andre maeno <thxxxxx> 2011 Wood, electronic component, iron pipe, stainless, fabric, pressure sensor, rf-transmitter-receiver, amp speaker, DC motor dimensions variable (2014 installation view)
Hyungsan Jun <apriori bits #3 ; Radius> 2014 Mixed media sound installation (radio receiver, transmitter, typewriter, coil, motor, speakers)
Jongha Choi <PM-1b> 2010 Mixed media 250×105×220cm
Seojoon Lee <Europa Landing Gear(Drawing)> 2012