An interactive installation which allows participants to physically create a distinct sound using multiple audio loops in an interactive soundscape. “PlayLoop” is an interactive sound and light installation created using over one thousand light-emitting diodes and motion-activated sensors by mixed-media artist Natalie Wong.
The installation utilizes a variety of motion sensors and specifically designed speakers within twelve cylindrical structures. Putting the work into context, Wong explains: “A lot of the current sound art focuses on sound as an abstract concept. Contemporary work exploring sound in art tends to blur the distinction between sound, music and noise. Instead of focusing on the deconstruction of sound, I wanted to focus on the construction of sound. A significant proportion of today’s music uses audio loops as building blocks; I wanted to explore this idea by attempting to physically represent audio loops that can be motion-activated in real-time.”
The twelve custom designed structures are arranged in a circular formation, mimicking the face of a clock – a visual reference implying sound’s relationship with time. The silhouette of each structure was inspired by the name commonly given to layers in music production - ‘stems’. When no motion is detected, the installation remains silent and the stems emit one uniform colour. On approach, the lights within each stem begin to change. Participants interact with “PlayLoop” by placing their hands over each stem which activates and then deactivates the audio loops, whilst also triggering the light transitions. As each individual interacts with the work, they saturate the physical space with both ambient colour and sound. The activation of different sounds and lights alters each participant’s perception of the space they are in and acts a constantly evolving disrupter of that experience.
To demonstrate the full potential of the installation, Wong invited dancers to interact with the work. Explaining the rationale behind this decision - “Dancers, like musicians, are able to easily synchronize together but they have the additional skill of knowing how to perform with their entire bodies. It is expanding the concept of using physical motion to activate the sound. Their movements activate the sound then that sound informs how they move their bodies. It’s a circular co-dependent experience.” During the early stages of the project, the artist initially used audio loops created by Mantra, a US producer, who has worked with artists including Future, MØ and Ne-Yo. “In one scene featured in the project documentary, you can see the dancers reacting to Mantra’s loops. It was interesting to watch because it was the first time observing people interacting with the work!” shares Wong. After some experimentation, the artist created her own range of synthesized electronic loops for exhibition.
For the project, Wong was inspired by the visuals of American minimalist light artist, Dan Flavin. The audio loops used in the installation were influenced by the ambient sound references often used by electronic musicians such as Sam Shepherd (aka Floating Points).
There are two central ideas within the work. Firstly, the concept of ‘Group Creation’. Wong explains that "The installation is designed to accommodate multiple participants. The more people interact with the installation, the richer and more complex the sound will be. It encourages people to work together, whether to find harmony or dissonance; rhythmic or irregular beats; minimal or complex sound structures." The second concept is 'Co-Creation'. "It's the idea that I, as the artist, am creating art with you. We create together. Without your participation, you would just see twelve unremarkable white lights. But the minute you step into the space and interact with the installation, your physical movements define what you hear and what you see. You dictate your auditory and visual environment. You as the participant become a creator yourself. And that, I think, is something special."
“PlayLoop” will be open on four dates with four sessions on each date. To experience this exciting interactive installation, guests are invited to RSVP below and select a date and time. There are a limited number of spaces available per session.
Dates: *19th , *21st, 26th and 28th September 2019
Venue: HART HAUS, 3/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building
12P Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town, HK
Session Times: 6-7pm, 7-8pm, 8-9pm, 9-10pm
*Limited spaces available, please check before reserving the desired time slot.
About the Artist
Natalie Wong is the Creative Director of PAPERSNEAKER, a multidisciplinary design studio based in Hong Kong. Her studio’s main creative practice is divided between commercial projects and her own fine art. As a mixed-media creative, Wong has extensive experience using a wide range of mediums including: LEDs, paper, textiles, sneaker-fabric and recycled plastic. Previous client work includes NIKE, Victoria’s Secret, KFC and Monster Energy Drink. Her work has appeared in several publications including HYPEBEAST, Esquire, GQ and Marie Claire. Wong has exhibited internationally in major cities including Hong Kong, London and Johannesburg.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Artist would like to thank:
Installation Venue: HART HAUS, Hong Kong (@harthaus_atelier)
Consultants: Wouter Van Marle & Simon Kwan
Videographer: Mart Sarmiento (@martsarmiento)
Photographer: Frank Freeman (@frankfreemanhk)
Dancers: Southeastwoodcrew (@southeastwoodcrew)