A 30’ long tunnel of silk organza is suspended at eye level within a black hallway. Over the course of three weeks, 150 chrysalises hatch in succession down the length of red burlap ribbon. As butterflies emerge, they are compelled towards, and disappear into, the void of white light at the end of the tunnel. Gradually, the silk is stained blood red by meconium - butterfly afterbirth - as each winged collaborator makes its journey.
And He Saw the Wings on the Waves
This automated photo booth is a collaborative response to the mismanagement of the recent University of California budget crisis. Participants pose next to a cutout of UC President Mark Yudof and press a button to identify themselves as student, faculty, or staff. Next, panels in the giant check rotate to reflect how much extra the person is ‘paying to President Yudof’ in tuition hikes, salary cuts, furloughs, or blocked grants. A picture is automatically taken and sent to Yudof and the UC Regents as part of a customized protest e-mail.
Picture with Yudof
Within the installation space, ambient sound is continuously and simultaneously recorded and played back with a five minute delay. This creates a recursive and reverberant acoustic layering effect. Projected throughout the space, a generative animation of pulsating mandalas shrinks, grows and spins in response to the echoing audio. The experience of each visitor is unique as it is built upon the sounds made by all previous participants in the space.
An EcoHacker collaborative project, The Core works as a sociopolitical conversation machine, creating a feedback loop between humans, digital networks, and biological systems. Participants converse and edit the mind-map in real time at one of four terminals, changing the projections on the fabric core. Moths and butterflies are drawn to light of the projected mind-map, shifting the attention of participants and thus the flow of conversation.
A continuation of Compartmentalized, this installation consists of a compost pile cradled at chest height. The compost is primary created by feeding an earthworm colony drafts of unsent letters the artist has written to his estranged mother. Via a buried hydrophone mic, viewers listen to the earthworm colony which sounds much like a sonogram. The artist intends to use the compost to grow a peace offering.
Starting as three concentric plexiglass cubes, the innermost cube is seeded with an initial generation of gnats. Each generation of gnats lays its eggs in the custom adhesive holding together cube seams. Offspring feed on the adhesive, breaking open the seams and releasing themselves into the next larger cube. Over the course of five weeks, the cubes collapse in succession from the inside out, eventually freeing the fourth generation of gnats.
Untitled (Gnat Cube)
A custom blown-glass orb, with a lens built into the base and filled with seawater, focuses light towards its own center. Compelled by the concentrated light, thousands of baby brine shrimp coalesce into an ever-shifting nebula at the center of the orb. In this and other similar investigations, the artist explores choreographed micro-ecologies as metaphors for social and emotional processes - containment and release, repression and catharsis.
Untitled (Shrimp Orb)
Nanoaquarium, solar cell, LED grow lights. A speculative breathing apparatus for a dystopian future, the self sustaining aquatic ecosystem creates 100mL of oxygen per hour. An average human requires 50L of oxygen per hour.
A series of collaborations with the Butterworth Dance Company of San Diego spanning two years. Video-mapping and digital stage effects for modern dance.
Compartmentalized is a personal act of catharsis and a gesture towards reconciliation of the over 16 year estrangement between the artist and his mother. Viewers are invited to help the artist access letters from his mother, received over the course of a decade, that he has been unable to read alone. After navigating a series of fabric projections, the letters are found within compartments on the end wall. Participants read the letters and share their responses in a provided journal.
Cultivated over two years, Ecolibrium is a fully functioning aquaponic garden system and balanced freshwater ecosystem. An interdependent selection of fish, shrimp, snails, worms, and microorganisms eat and compost kitchen scraps. The hanging hydroponic garden is nourished by resultant waste, simultaneously filtering the water and growing new produce for human consumption. Projected live-feed video of the aquarium immerses viewers in the aquatic ecosystem.
Within an office space context, this installation initially reads much as innocuous houseplant. Closer inspection reveals a teeming microcosm of interdependent species, cultivated during the span of three years and composed of over a dozen generations of organisms. The most recent iteration, Ecolibrium III was created as part of an artist residency with the Culture Art Technology Program (CAT) at University of California, San Diego.
In part an homage to Sol Lewitt, Event Horizon is a site specific and algorithmically derived. Following design, the installation is mapped by hand in 3D space with mason twine.
Hot Seat responds to body heat. This bench seats two and is hand carved from poplar. The sitting surface is treated with a custom thermochromic pigment and changes from black to hot pink when it reaches body temperature.
Locative Music creates generative music in real time based on your curent GPS coordinates.
David Namhon Kim