Bare Conductive is a London-based design and technology company with a suite of innovative hardware, sensors and circuit kids, as well as electrically conductive paint. Kim used a Bare Conductive Touch Board to realize Sentient Space, alongside conductive thread and a series of stainless steel wires.
“Sentient Space was derived from String Instrument, which is a musical instrument with conductive thread,” Kim told the 24700 blog during a recent email interview. “I also used conductive ink in my thesis show The Butterfly Dream. Conductive materials are fascinating to me because they have far more possibilities than we think. There is always something happening beyond our perception where we usually think there is nothing.”
Kim characterizes Sentient Space as a living, breathing space, as evidenced by the discovery of the gallery’s energy spots through L-Rod dowsers. The artist further describes the installation as a testament to the liveliness of seemingly static spaces, and the manner in which “sentience creates bridges between things, especially with human beings.” The piece, which began as a project for CalArts' Integrated Media program, also features dancers Yue Zhu (Dance MFA 19) and Yuan Kuang (Dance BFA 19).
“Spatial and human energy are multiway communications and very intimately linked,” said Kim. “But we often forget space affects us in as many ways as we effect space. The sentience of other lifeforms is always there. It is just that we can’t see it. ”
Kim first employed conductive materials in = (2017), a touch-interactive painting inspired by experimental composer John Cage’s book Silence: Lectures and Writings. The painting depicts a visual translation of modified excerpts from Silence into a graphic score utilizing international Morse code. Sound and touch are hallmarks of Kim’s singularly synesthetic pieces, combined with a pensive exploration of invisibility and its manifestations as “nothingness, emptiness, 'suchness.'”
“I’m using technologies not to give birth or breathe life to things that are not alive, but to reveal their sentience and 'suchness' of them,” said Kim.
Read Kim’s Bare Conductive feature here.