After the disaster I am conscious of listening to a presence that we cannot perceive.
The sound comes from a glass bell, triggered by a radiation sensor in the art work.
Have you heard this sound before?
It is the sound of a wind chime, called a furin in Japan.
It is said that the furin originated in ancient times.
Chimes were placed on the edge of a territory
in order to sense and to enable us to avoid an evil that we cannot perceive.
It seems science has developed now, so there cannot be a concept of the good and evil in this sound.
But once I understood this context, I felt this was now the approach to this radiation sound signal.
A glass dome keeps out wind and also shuts out the sound.
It is still chiming as a reminder of radioactive waste disposal.
In 2011 I started a project themed around blank spaces, investigating the relationship between technology and blanks that brings society into existence. The artwork is the second part of an ongoing blank project.
We always receive certain amount of natural radiation. Rays pass through the artwork, space, and our body in all directions once every four to twelve seconds. Hearing is the most acute perception with which to sense radiation, as it is highly sensitive to its uncertain orientation and random cycles.
If art requires questioning, then the significance of the sound needs a balance between the need for tone and a critical eye.
In the process of struggling with many sound materials, I came across a Japanese wind bell. The concept of evil fascinates me more than the origin of sound aesthetics. It exists not only in Japan, from our cultural roots, but also from China and Asia to Ancient Rome. I also believe the attraction of a gentle but solemn sound is ubiquitous.
Though it seems science has now gone beyond this, I still like to hear within this context. It is common sense that a concept of good and evil does not exist in nature or technology. So has evil been completely cleared away now? This is what I want to consider with the enclosed tiny chime.
Soichiro Mihara (JP), born in 1980, Tokyo, Japan. Works in Kyoto, Japan. Presenting systems as open art works which question the relationship between technology and society. He started the blank project in 2011, when eastern Japan was hit by an earthquake. He has exhibited his award-winning projects internationally. The world filled with blank (2013, Kunstquartier Kreuzberg Bethanian, Germany), Sapporo International Art Festival (2014, Sapporo Art Park, Japan), Soundart—sound is a medium of art (2012, ZKM), Open Space (2012, NTTICC), Simple Interaction—soundart from Japan (2011, Museum of Contemporary Art Roskilde), ISEA 2010 Ruhr (2010, Kunstverein Dortmund) and many more.