a still image from Digital Flesh
Digital Flesh is a multimedia art project that combines live cinema and experimental sound with installations, printmaking and AR. This project investigates how representations of our bodies and physical sensory information can be de/re-materialised through digital audiovisual media.
Digital Flesh: Embodying the “Korean-ish” by Sojung Bahng and Mike Lukaszuk
Embodying the “Korean-ish” is an improvisational performance that combines live video and live coded sound. We question the mediated imagery of the Korean female body and explore both indirect & direct encounters with diasporic Korean culture.
During the performance, Sojung Bahng’s body images, previously recorded, or scanned in real-time using a webcam, are responded to experimental sound played by Mike Lukaszuk. Lukaszuk incorporates sampled recordings from traditional Korean music and popular songs into his experimental sound. The body images are detected and analysed as digital data and mapped to the musical parameters created by Lukaszuk.
Bahng wears and uses a traditional Korean costume (Hanbok) and props purchased from Amazon in Canada. She raises questions about cultural authenticity, appropriation and the complexities and confusions of the diasporic experience. Additionally, she incorporates elements of Korean shamanistic performance, using a Christmas bell and a fake Halloween knife.
Lukaszuk, who encounters “Korean-ish cultures” in everyday life through his Korean family members, represents his own complex and subtle experiences with Korean cultures through a live experimental sound performance.
Live Performance, Art & Media Lab, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Kingston, Canada, May 2023
Prints created with assistance from Hoopla Press & Gallery
Bahng extracted static images from the live video and created the body collage using a drypoint printmaking process. She drew her body collages on a plate with a sharp, pointed needle-like instrument and re-materialised (re-physicalised) the digitalised body images through physical printmaking activity.
MOM (몸) By Sojung Bahng, Drypoint, Printmaking, 2023
Using the printmaking images, Bahng created an Augmented Reality (AR) piece to augment the re-materialized body with a digital collage video. The AR work demonstrates the iterative exchange between material and immaterial bodily representation and embodiment.
Augmented Digital Flesh by Sojung Bahng and Mike Lukaszuk, AR, 2023
Digital Flesh: We all begin in Abstraction by Shelly Knotts, Sojung Bahng and Kirby Cas, Networked Performance, 2023
As a part of the contemporary witchcraft project, Knotts, Bahng, and Cas collaborated on an audiovisual networked live coding performance titled We all begin in Abstraction. Led by Knotts, the project explores the themes of female embodiment, error and algorithmically mediated life. The visual component consists of layers of live-streamed and pre-recorded video that contemplates algorithmically mediated embodiment. The live performance delves into the intricate threads that connect the female body, glitches and machines, weaving them together in a captivating audiovisual experience.
Knotts live codes music, Cas transmits movement data and Bahng interweaves video footage with the live video stream of Knotts and Cas’s performing. Cas and Bahng’s video streams are projected in the performance space alongside the code interface and audio of Knotts.
- Choreographic Coding, ICLC 2023, Het Huis Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands, Apr, 2023
a still image from We all begin in Abstraction
Digital Flesh: Suffocation by Mike Lukaszuk and Sojung Bahng
Suffocation is an improvisational piece stemming from the authors’ involvement in a mixed-media ensemble, and a desire to explore spatiality using an approach that blended our respective practices. For the video content used in this piece, a 360-degree camera was placed inside a small container containing an assortment of tiny objects, such as pins, tissues, pills, and leaves, and poured or added liquids. The everyday objects are defamiliarized and de/re-materialised by creating the illusion of scale. It provokes a paradoxical physical sensation between unpleasant bodily sentiments and familiar feelings. The audio content moves through processes of defamiliarization and reimagination of conventional instrumental sounds within a digital context. This is achieved by sampling commonplace instruments such as pianos and kalimbas, while also including computer-generated emulations of these sources that could be bent and distorted by manipulating sound synthesis parameters.
In addition to the use of a quadrophonic (4.0-channel) audio playback system, additional highly directional parametric speakers were positioned in our gallery space to synchronize with the presentation of height and depth in the video content.
Multimedia Installation, Art & Media Lab, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Kingston, Canada, November 2022
Suffocation was presented at ISEA2023: 28th International Symposium on Electronic Art in Paris, France.