Sound Vessels

 Sage Burner Sound Vessel, glazed

Coalescing the materiality of sound with the life force of earthen forms

Sound Vessels is a series of ceramic sculptures that transmit sounds. Using sound as a material, this work explores how it can interact with objects, through the medium of earth, by experimenting with the interactions between various types of sounds and forms.

As installed at the February School, a month-long series of pedagogical experiments self-organized by ACT students at MIT, in the Wiesner Student Gallery
Listening, recording and crafting sound compositions has led to to the question: what kind of object could the composition emanate from? Earthen clay is a versatile and forgiving medium, which has allowed me to test the transmission of different kinds of sounds in many ways.

Crystalline Sound Vessel
Sounds that are clear, sounds with synth, with texture, the voice, each has a different interaction with vessels' shapes, surfaces, thicknesses and other hand-made aspects.

Sound Vessels, performed in December, 2018
In Dakota philosophy, all things exist within a continuum of life, and the foundational concept of mitakuye oyasin, that we are all related, extends not only to other people, but also to animals, plants minerals, electricity, air objects, and everything in existence. This piece illustrates this philosophy and concept by linking the material qualities sound to form.

The pieces come alive in a new way as they conduct sound vibrations. They begin to shake and move and speak.
Sound testing two types of ceramic vessels
With the sound vessels I've created so far, I have experimented with my heartbeat, a hand drum, a rattle, fire, a train, bubbling liquid, singing, explosions, insects chirping, wind instruments and spoken words in both Dakota and English languages.

Cicada Chirper Sound Vessel
The ceramic vessels are built to hold and transmit sound, rather than the usual use of clay vessels as containers for solids or liquids. Each vessel plays individual sound compositions of different timed lengths, as they play together, a randomized orchestra of objects is created.

Interacting with the array of Sound Vessels in the ACT Cube at MIT, December 2018
Sound Vessels is supported by a grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT, appearing at the Wiesner Gallery at the Stratton Student Center at MIT during the month of February, 2019.


Collaborating with AI: Jewelry

Side by side: AI-generated design and handmade necklace
This week, I had the opportunity to work with my colleague, Pinar Yanardag, who specializes in collaborating with artificial intelligence to create a variety of things. Among her most recent work, she has input thousands of pieces of data into algorithms to allow the AI to generate hundreds of ideas for pizza recipes, dresses, perfumes and now, jewelry. With this data, and the help of practitioners such as cooks, dressmakers, etc., Pinar narrows down the data, and uses it as a template for creating new things.

Check out Pinar's post on her site: "How to Generate (Almost) Anything," which discusses the process in detail, includes a video of our collaboration, and more images of the jewelry we created.

AI generated jewelry images
Pinar sent me hundreds of images which I culled in order to determine what would be the most feasible to make. After we decided on several striking pieces, she purchased beads, baubles and findings at the Grand Bazaar, in her home city of Istanbul. I combined them to create a few examples of necklaces, pins and earrings, in a collaboration with artificial intelligence.

AI-designed necklace Pinar will wear to a conference, along with an AI-designed dress

Using the imagery created by AI as inspiration for forms, many interpretations become possible.

Fish bauble, created from an AI design, using beads, including a nazar, or evil eye pendant, in the shape of a fish