The exhibition Widening Waves by WONWOORI is encountered in the Black Box inside the Gallery 2. The artist began the series WOW, a collaboration with users of cochlear implants (known in Korean as wau, a homophone for “wow”), while selecting sound materials for composition. During that process, he focused on the fact that not all people hear sound to the same extent. The series includes WOW-LOG, a 2019 study intended for the expansion of sound perception; WOW-STEP, which incorporates research into sound appraisal; and WOW-FLOW, a performance meant to promote interaction between people of varying hearing abilities. His latest exhibition features musical compositions based on research on psycho-acoustic training for users of cochlear implants, along with a video in which the sound data have been converted into visual data. “Widening Waves” is a musical composition intended to help expand the scope of sound perception in people who are hard of hearing. The melodies are formed out of the necessary elements of hearing, including pitch, distance, and length, with a focus on tempo and rhythm rather than harmony. Representing a process of musical interaction with cochlear implant users, the music is brought into the Nam June Paik Art Center in speakers known as “sound pockets.”
Composer WONWOORI has used music and technology to explore methods of interaction on the boundary between the human and the mechanical. Drawing creative information from a process of inputting and analyzing data from people and objects into sinusoidal waves (the minimal components of music), he creates work that combines music with performance and visual installations. Since 2019, he has been studying the mechanized hearing of cochlear implant users, creating work based on experiments in which people with different hearing abilities interact through music. Since participating in the Seoul International Computer Music Festival in 2019, he has taken part in numerous performances, including events such as the 2020 WeSa Festival and the 2022 International Computer Music Conference (ICMC). He was also selected as a resident composer in 2021 at the Electronic Music Studio (EMS) in Stockholm. His work has been presented at Art Collider (2019), Ars Electronica (2020), Insa Art Space (2021), ZER01NE DAY (2021–22), and Paradise Art Lab Festival (2023).
Random Access Project 3.0
The name Random Access originates from a work of the same name presented by Nam June Paik in his first solo exhibition, Exposition of Music—Electronic Television (1963). Random Access involves taking a magnetic audio tape out of its casing and attaching it randomly to a wall, allowing visitors to scrape the tape with a magnetic playback head to create sounds. Through Random Access project, Nam June Paik Art Center has been presenting exhibitions that reinterpret Nam June Paik's works and thoughts from 2010 to 2020 through the perspectives of contemporary artists, focusing on improvisation, indeterminacy, interaction, and participation. Nam June Paik Art Center continues Random Access Project 3.0, aiming to create a space where Paik’s experimental spirit meets contemporary art in various ways. The utilization of the art museum proposed by the young artists will become an opportunity where new names for exhibitions are discovered.