Haein Kang

Stranger in a Foreign Land, Foreigner in a Strange Land

I'm interested in light, sound and space. For the past two years, I have tried to create virtual spaces by handling these three elements in various ways. This project will be the prototype for a new kind of virtual space that continues this process. It is designed to transform a room into an interactive instrument. The concept for this project stems from the words "Stranger in a foreign land, foreigner in a strange land," which will be the title of the project.

The concept's focus is on physical space and language. While participants walk around the room, their movements break laser beams. The breaks in the laser beams trigger sound by way of carefully placed laser/light detectors and a specially programmed computer sound system. The sounds are comprised of some 3000 different monosyllabic words or sounds from the Korean language.

There will be very fine powder such as flour on the floor which will create enough dust to enable the people moving inside the instrument to see the laser beam patterns.
The structure of the laser beam pattern is designed to slowly change due to variations in individual laser movements controlled by step motors set at different speeds.
The dynamics of light, sound and individual participation will create the projections of meaningful or meaningless words within the virtual space of the room while participants "ramble" inside the instrument. Although the number of participants, whether it be a solo, duet or chorus, will effect the auditory and physical experience of the participant; the overall experience will be that of a "Stranger in a foreign land, foreigner in a strange land."

The Art of Technology
-The Next Generation Up and Coming Tech Artists

Art, like technology, is fixated on innovation. Both arenas are about being visionary, groundbreaking and obsessive enough to do something a little nutty (like writing code or dressing up in clown makeup).

I was intrigued by Haein Kang's "Stranger in a Foreign Land," which employs laser-beam triggers on the floor that unleash the sound of monosyllabic Korean words when the beams are broken. A steady and dimensional babble ensues to a fair degree of effectiveness.

Glen Helfand / a critic


October 20013 Last Updated.
© 2005 Haein Kang.