SoniColumn, digital interactive music box

SoniColumn, Jin-You Mok, sonicolumn.jpg

Throughout the twentieth century western society was dominated by the machine. The fascination artists held for the beauty and power of mechanical processes established an enduring dialogue between creativity and technology. Many contemporary artists have now extended this relationship between human and machine through the use of technological advancements of recent times such as robotics, sensors, computing, engineering, lasers, and countless other tools and devices. The SonicColumn is the latest work from one of these multimedia artists, Jin-You Mok. It is an interactive music installation which is part of his Music Box Project that aims to investigate the technological transitions from the analog to the digital age. In this case the element that mimics a music box is a column-like cylinder that can be played by a person’s touch through an array of touch-sensitive LEDs. Each LED emits a unique tone when stimulated. When a user cranks the handle, the column slowly rotates itself and plays the light corresponding to user touched patterns. Here the artist’s fascination for a small machine like the music box is evident. As he says on his website “the lucid sounds coming from a simple play mechanism stirred me up with my old memory echoed with them”. The interaction between senses and sensors, movement and music transcribes then the age-old principle of the music box for play in the digital era.

Valentina Culatti