Mission Control by Joo Choon Lin will launch upon the rise of the full moon on 30 November, a trip to the beat of the cosmos and the churn of the salty seas. Live streamed on YouTube, each performance will be a discovery of the potential of materials and objects to transmit and generate sound.
The seed of the artist’s exploration in each episode lies in her own particular set of tools, and the methods and techniques in wielding them, informed by a certain mathematical basis or geometric structure and her inquiry into numerical systems as a bridge to enter the complexity and wonders of the invisible realm. The copper pennies—acting as conductors of electricity—on her disc-shaped clay sculptures are arranged into geometric configurations, and her 9-pad angular sculptures are inspired by the golden ratio as well as the magic square, a grid in which the numbers in the rows, columns, and diagonals all add up to the same. These sound sculptures, alongside mechanical turntables and modified digital electronics, form several of the experimental musical instruments in the artist’s expanding toolkit of sound-producing objects and techniques.
The possibilities in deploying these tools evolve as the artist plays and replays her collection of sounds in a series of musical exercises in her studio. It is a process in which intuition and logic converge into one. She assigns sounds to positions in a numerical system, assembles sound pitches together based on the mathematical relationship between their visualized lines, and constructs sets of collages with sound. The compositions that emerge resemble waves and spirals that are constantly changing, freed from their original geometric forms and numerical bases, and channeled into a different dimension.
One might think of the way the stalk of a morning glory twines and curls its way up a fence, as if searching for something above. Or how our breath, through a series of inhalations and exhalations, can usher in a state in which we feel at one with the cosmos. Or the strike of a bell giving way to a succession of overtones, perceptible only when we hold on, attuned to what had just come before. Its origin—the vibration of each seed, each breath, and each tone—has its own system of construction and set patterns, as one might observe under a microscope. Yet, out of these ordered patterns and sets spring unending streams of sensations and rhythms. It is this dance of possibility and state of timelessness that Choon Lin is after. In each performance, as geometry transforms into poetry, the hues, textures, and beat of these spirals unfold as she immerses herself within the vibration of life. The outcome of each episode, be it interrupted or discordant, will reverberate in subsequent performances, as echoes of a journey in a digital, expansive, indefinite domain. Mixed with NASA’s transmissions from space and archival audio tracks, the sounds spiraling from the sculptures blend with the planetary and celestial acoustic flow, composing a sonic orchestra of the universe.
Join the live chat during the performance! Selected comments posted during the live chat will be reassembled and transposed into constellations of sounds and shapes using a 9-pad system, which is inspired by the magic square and pairs letters of the alphabet with numbers. All episodes begin at 8pm (GMT+8) on Joo Choon Lin’s YouTube Channel. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel!
Do Visit our Mission Control portal, a blackboard of sources, experiments, and diversions, including writings by Magdalen Chua.
Follow Mission Control on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/intestinology/
Mission Control is part of INTESTINOLOGY, a process of art-making and an organ of experimentation for materials to be digested and transformed, releasing and unearthing discoveries that lie beneath the surface of things. Broadly arranged in series since 2014, Mission Control marks the fifth iteration in series #4, an exploration of human systems, perception, and sound phenomena using new technology and mixed media.