Release: Heard in LA

An abstracted map of Los Angeles with overlaid text reading "Release: Heard in L.A."

Release: Heard in LA is a continuum of previous online sound projects — The Lament Project (2008), Dry Run (2012), Imagining Tellus 28- Heard in LA (2017) and Project Scream (2019) produced by The Center for Integrated Media at the California Institute of the Arts and its web-based curatorial initiative, archive, and virtual studio, viralnet-v4.net. The work will also be exhibited as an assembly of laser printed QR codes, printed on bamboo panels and “planted” in the James Irvine Japanese Garden of the Japanese American Community Cultural Center.

These sound projects grew from the desire to expand the critical and conceptual understanding of sound as a countercultural alternative to pop culture and contemporary media. This new viralnet-v4 project is built upon an ongoing collaborative impulse through the diverse assembly of emerging and underrepresented transdisciplinary artists.

Release: Heard in LA encouraged the participating artists to invent new and personal projects that explored a full range of sonic possibilities, spanning spoken word, noise, electronics, acoustic and multi-instrumental compositions and improvisations.

The artists are current and former residents from the Los Angeles region, responding to the word “Release.” We chose the word “Release” as a play on the word for “dropping” a new recording, juxtaposed with the aspiration that we can be released from the restrictions of our current crises into a post-future consisting of meaningful networked relationships, ecological sustainability, and mutual socio-economic justice. However, the title and responses are not meant to be a direct correlation to the Covid-19 virus or other current issues–– instead, the artists were asked to create works that were based on their personal interpretations of the word and as a means to interrupt our habitual patterns of listening.

Participating artists are: Alex Buck, Jing Dong, Weilu Ge, Brian Griffith, Tatum Howey, Kai-Luen Liang, Dongpu Ling, Shan Ni, Provisional Collective (with Tyler Harper), Sara Sithi-Amnuai and Sam Wells.

Artists

Bios

Tatum Howey:

Tatum Howey is a PhD student at the University of California, San Diego researching infrastructures of visual production with a current focus on submarine communications cables and data management and storage. In 2021, they graduated with an MFA in Critical Studies & Integrated Media at CalArts.

Sara Sithi-Amnuai:

Sara Sithi-Amnuai is a multi-instrumentalist (on trumpet, flugelhorn, sheng, and some handcrafted electronic instruments) born in Sydney, Australia and based in Los Angeles, California. Her interest in the cultural design of interfaces inspired her to create Nami, a custom built glove interface designed for live musical performance inspired by Nikkei community research. She has presented her work about Nami at the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, received the 2021 Nikkei Music Reclamation Fellowship with Sustainable Little Tokyo, 2019 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, and is a member of the Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra.

Shan Ni:

NI Shan (1987) is a visual artist, performer and composer based in China and Europe. She likes to smear the edges in both space and time, to create overlapping perceptions that are activated by listening, seeing and touching. Her practice resides in the gap between illusion and reality. Currently Shanʼs projects exist on four distinct yet entangled axes: sculpture, graphic notation systems for composition, instruments design for live performance, and interactive installations.

Weilu Ge:

Weilu Ge is a composer and media artist based in Cambridge, MA. She works with various media forms from concert music, installation, to video and innovative technology. Since 2015, she has focused her research and career on experimental and intermedia theatre in the role of a Composer-Director, exploring the potential of sound and space as the medium that integrates other art forms and helps create a comprehensive artistic expression. She is interested in blurring the boundaries between minimalism and complexity, noise and silence, seeing and listening. Her recent practice and experiments often center around theatrical expression and dramaturgy of sonic, visual and spatial media, taking composition and space as critical means to inquiry issues around and relations between power, system, body, and technology in a social- cultural context. She is an active member of IMUU, an artist collective and practice- based research lab specializing in working with intermedia narrative to create interactive and immersive experience.

Dongpu Ling:

Dongpu Ling is an intermedia artist born in Shanghai, China, currently based in Los Angeles, California.

Dongpu is working at the intersection of interactive installation and performance art, specifically her works explore the space among digital and physical entities by creating a multidisciplinary relationship with machine intelligence. Her fascination with the unseen, including body senses, data transformation, and theoretical physics, is various. Her work spans multiple media formats including interactive installation, sculptures, videos, and performance art. In her mind and world, time does not exist without a soul/ observer and art does not exist without viewers.

Kai-Luen Liang:

directory.calarts.edu/integrated-media/kai-luen-liang

Brian Griffith:

Brian Griffith is a musician and visual artist living in Los Angeles. His work blends analog with digital; subtle movements with bold features; and virtual with physical reality.

Musically, Brian creates evolving atmospheres that often explore the sonic capabilities of the bass guitar extending it well beyond the lower register, as an effort towards singularity between the mind and instrument.

His visual art compliments the meditative qualities of his music by creating synthesized video environments and hypnotic animations that encourage mindful investigation.

The spontaneous nature of his process attempts to connect fully to the invisible fabric of reality.

Sam Wells:

sllewm.as/about

Alex Buck:

music.calarts.edu/faculty-and-staff/alex-buck

The Provisional Collective:

The Provisional Collective has collaborated with numerous artists and has employed a diverse range of projects resulting in online publications, seminars, public art works, videos, installations, sound-based works and socially engaged initiatives.

The Provisional Collective’s intent is to explore the relationship between art and life in a technological age by forging temporary collaborations that can occur online, in public spaces, alternative cultural and educational institutions and throughout our everyday landscapes. As a multidisciplinary practice, the collective has engaged in topics such as climate change, arts education within a globalized context, cultural memory and speculative futures. Their projects expand our understanding and experience of social and physical space through a critical process of bearing witness.

For this project, The Provisional Collective members are Tyler Harper, Dongpu Ling, Chris Bassett and Tom Leeser.

Jing Dong:

Jing Dong is a media artist and technology developer whose work experiments with interdisciplinarity and speculative possibilities. Their intent is to break through our common definitions of the future and to critique the problems in society, forging a path for the care of marginalized communities. The work explores computational aesthetics, the post-human, autonomy systems and interaction using sound installation, AI, VR, generative art, internet art, big data, and mobile applications. 

In addition to their MFA in Art and Technology from CalArts, Jing has an undergraduate degree in computer science and has worked as a software engineer for major tech companies. Jing states, “I am an artist who is both rational and emotional. I positively embrace the changes brought on by merging art, technology and science. I also think the boundaries in art should be approached and altered dynamically.”

JACCC Exhibition Images

Additional material

Dongpu Ling – Shan Hai Jing Spectrogram

An Interview with Sara Sithi-Amnuai – Wabi Sabi: Cultural Bodies, Collective Social Ecologies and the Ripple Effect