continent. maps a topology of unstable confluences and ranges across new thinking, traversing interstices and alternate directions in culture, theory, biopolitics and art.
Issue 5.3 / 2016:

Untitled (2016)

Yujin Jung

‘Granted there is a wall, what’s going on behind it?’ - Jean Tardieu

Acoustician and electroacoustic lore, of which there seems to be far too much, frequently presents one with anecdotes of the Pythagorean sect of the ‘Acousmatics’. Derived from the Greek word akousma, meaning “what is heard”, and picked up and churned into cultural and media theory by everyone from Diderot to Michel Chion, to Zizek, the Acousmatics are a storied group purportedly interested in the powers, possibilities, and pedagogies of sounds originating from an unseen source. It was their particular preference to receive the voice of their teachers’ teachings as sounds without specific, traceable origin; as aural stimulation devoid of visual cues -- a characteristic of many synchronous, pre-Skype telecommunications upgrades this planet has undergone since. Pythagoras himself would apparently hoist a black curtain between himself and listening audiences in order to lecture in a way that allowed for a more focused attention on both rhetorical aesthetics, and literal content.

Here we present artist Yujin Jung’s works for concrete, light, and speaker, shown in this publication as photos taken in the city of Hamburg, Germany in the Spring of 2016. Untitled (2016) involves itself with precisely the layers of visibility, architecture, veiling and unveiling that are pointed to by both acoustic telecommunicative layering, and the acousmatic impulse. It sits in a peculiar small family of works that straddle architectural, musical and acoustical concerns, along with projects like Resonant Architecture and BUG by Mark Bain. Jung’s infrastructural excerpt, or citation, her extension and addition- indeed her observation- calls into play directly those contemporary dimensions of the environmental-infrastructural – aspects of modernity that have restandardized and reprogrammed experience as reactions to the beeps and bloops of mobile phones and microwave ovens, the pops and purrs of direct current HVAC drive motors, the subsonic rumble of freighter trucks wheeling shipping containers through neighbourhoods in the middle of the night. Our hearing is neither native nor innocent, and we have re-naturalised our all-over and environmentally-human technologies of perception. Our worlds are partners in the constitution of this perception, and today’s phenomenological world is infrastructured by the specific, omnipresent and standardised frequencies of fluorescent lights, delimiting the terms and conditions of both space and vision, as well as the parasitic buzzes, hums and clicks that seem for Jung all the more important for the lack of attention we pay to them. Her hyperbolic use of concrete connects the acoustic containment this material does and does not afford to an architecture of vision, delimitation, feedback and transmission.

Jung writes, citing Juhani Pallasmaa and thinking about how it feels to stand outside the back entrance of a loud techno club, how “sound otherwise goes through walls, informing the possible existence of other spaces...  sight is isolated, ‘whereas sound incorporates; vision is directional, whereas sound is omni-directional. The sense of sight implies exteriority, but sound creates an experience of interiority’ (Pallasmaa).”

— Jamie Allen

Yujin Jung, UNTITLED (2016)