24th Art Division Excellence Award

Sea, See, She – To you, who is yet to come

Media installation

See by Your Ears (evala, Representative)[Japan]

Outline

An “invisible cinema” that brings a sensation of “seeing with your ears.” Being enveloped in total darkness and surrounded only with sound for about 70 minutes, each viewer envisions completely different images in mind. The sound created by this artist dynamically traverses the microscopic and macroscopic worlds, such as the sounds of water dripping and waves, and artificial sounds that cut through air. The abstract nature of the space is further enhanced at the end of the film by the dense sound from a stereophonic system and the special images by SEKINE Kosai, resulting in a cinema experience even more vivid than viewing images. Although reminiscent of contemporary music such as noise and ambient music, the work consists of primitive sounds that are different from the general idea of music. This work stimulates the audience’s free flowing imagination without being constrained by specific ideas, and maximizes the potential of sound in today’s age of visual information overload.

Reason

A stereophonic sound work played in total darkness. A dark blue-white pattern, created by a unique way of filter installation to convert brightness and darkness into different shades of blue, slowly changes its shape on the screen. Sounds of water, wind, fire, animals, a girl’s heartbeats, waves, paddling, a machine, a deep sigh, powerful steam, and artificial noise: the audience loses the flow of time, being surrounded by these sounds moving closer and farther away. Hearing is generally abstract and spatial. In contrast to vision, concreteness can only be added to it by one’s memory. Is there a sound version of pantomime? When newborns hear sound, the visual cortex is supposedly activated. “Seeing with the ears” is not neuroscientifically wrong. We should return to being newborns and start a new perceptual experience—this excellent work evokes such an idea. (IKEGAMI Takashi)