Bondage

(2004)


Bondage-Villette

Bondage is a piece about enigma – on mystery and fantasy. It is digital in nature, but analog on the surface. Technology no longer holds mystery in modern society, it is now a part of everyday life. Culture and far away places, however, still keep a power of fascination. In Bondage, I use wood and paper as a vehicle for digital image and sound. On it I project iconography of Japan, the sliding paper screen (shoji), a woman in a kimono. We feel that we know this culture, but yet it escapes us. The woman, as we find out, is in bondage – this image generates the sound universe that we hear as a summation of sine waves.

It is a personal piece situating myself as Japanese-American and as an artist-researcher. The work is made of Japanese elements but would never have been done by a Japanese artist. The sounds are sine-waves, but not in a typical ultra-clean design space. The viewer’s presence completes the loop, uncovering parts of Nobuyoshi Araki’s original photograph, scanned left to right in frequency bands producing sound. The quadraphonic sound system is oriented vertically in the plane of the paper screen. The fibers of the paper give an organic surface for the digital pixels.

The result is a total environment, a concentrated space where sound meets image, but where interaction is not pushed to the fore. Instead, I attempt to create a magical space, drawing upon the voyeuristic fantasies of the viewer as he tries to access the untouchable woman on the other side of the screen.


Bondage was commissioned by Le Fresnoy and was exhibited at:

- Panorama5
- Villette Numérique

and toured with ICI in What Sound Does a Color Make? curated by Kathleen Forde, going to:

- Eyebeam, NYC
- University of Hawaii Art Gallery
- CAVC, Baltimore
- Govett-Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand
- Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh


Bondage.rmx is a recorded CD release version of the work

View videos

Listen to sounds

See images


photograph above, PER (Pierre-Emmanuel Rastoin)

production : le Fresnoy, Studio National d’Art Contemporain, Parc de La Villette

Thank you: Nobuyoshi Araki for permission to use his photograph, Yoshiko Isshiki for access to his collection

Sound/image synthesis engine: Ali Momeni

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