Eunsu Kang & Collaborators

(b. 1974)

Eunsu Kang in collaboration with Donald Craig, Austin Dill, Songwei Ge, and Barnabas Poczos, Aural Fauna, 2019, machine learning algorithms (ADD, PDD) and interactive systems developed by the artist team, 3D-printed objects. ©Eunsu Kang and collaborators.

“HARMONIUM – The only known form of life on the planet mercury. The harmonium is a cave-dweller. ​A more gracious creature would be hard to imagine​” (from “A Child’s Cyclopedia of Wonders and Things to Do” in The Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 1959).

Aural Fauna project presents an unknown form of organism, aural fauna, that reacts to the visitor’s sound and touch. According to The Sirens of Titan, harmoniums feed on humming vibrations on the planet’s surface, the song of Mercury. They perceive the world through touch. Inspired by them, the aural fauna is a family of creatures that become “alive” when there is a sound or touch fed into them. The fauna also sing in harmony to the visitor’s sound to express their acceptance of the visitor’s presence.

The bodies and sounds of the fauna are generated through machine learning. The creatures’ bodies appear as 3D-printed or virtual forms in the video projection. The unique form of each entity is designed by creative AI developed by the artist team. Their sound is generated in real-time using the WaveGAN algorithm in response to the participant’s touch. This project presents a utopian vision of the world where different species, and possibly even machines, interact with each other with no fear and without the rejection or hatred that spring from it; the human visitor and aural fauna create harmony together.

Eunsu Kang has participated in various funded exhibitions in Korea, Singapore, China, and Canada. Her works have been presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 (Singapore), ASIAGRAPH 2008 (Shanghai, China), Incheon Media Art Biennale, (Korea, 2005), and Media City Seoul 2002 (Korea). She has been featured in solo exhibitions at Wing Luke Asian Museum (Seattle, USA , 2010), Northern Spark 2012 Media Art Festival (Minneapolis, USA), Doosan (NY, 2012) and Doosan Gallery, (Seoul,2012), Artspace Hue & DXARTS studio, Korea & USA (2005), and Insa Art Space (Korean Culture and Arts Foundation) (Korea, 2002).

Special thanks to Chun-Liang Li and Manzil Zaheer for their help in the algorithm development.