Another Soundscape, cable car-like sequencing

Chung-Kun Wang

Sound installations frequently dispense with linear musical time by means of spatial arrangements. In the work “another soundscape” by Chung-Kun Wang, linear time is reintroduced and represented spatially following the model of western musical notation. Exhibited at the Digital Art Center di Taipei, what the artist defines as a “real object score” employs thirty small cable cars suspended on wires stretched across the room to act as notes on a pentagram. The cable cars are simple automata which have two states: either moving left or right; they change their direction when they detect another car on their path. This produces a self governing system, in which the notes are continuously changing their position on the timeline. On another set of wires, parallel to the first one, a reader moves from left to right scanning the score. When the reader passes over a car, it sends a signal to a computer which generates a sound. The linear behavior of this reading system contrasts with the volatile character of the score, creating a paradox which mirrors the condition of contemporary culture, in which historic methods based on the written tradition coexist with post-historic or electronic ones in which the past changes as quickly as the present.

Matteo Marangoni