Artist statement

Interaction with Creatures in the Environment
By: YoungSuk Lee

My artwork employs a variety of themes focusing on nature, ecosystems, and the connection between life forms. As human beings an inescapable part of life is our interaction with other creatures. The fundamental theme in my work concerns how ecosystems, societies, and life itself form an interconnected web where the disturbance of any part affects everything. My videos and installations do not describe the real environment in a realistic sense. Instead, I seek to depict ecosystems and environments in a surreal manner. The depictions of these entities and environments stem from personal, subjective impressions and therefore contain highly imaginative elements.

Incorporating Technology into Art

Brining life and vitality into artificial environments and life forms requires finding a way to create movement or some form of change. One way to vitalize digital images or sculptures is to use computer-based technology. Computer technology allows me to incorporate various functional components into my video or installation art that can interact in response to motion, touch, or ambient sound. These techniques can potentially change the way we conceptualize and ultimately experience Digital Art. This conceptual framework allows visual imagery on a screen to assume a life of its own instead of being displayed passively. In this way, the imaginary creatures and ecosystems depicted in the various images become more enlivened, vivid, and hopefully leave an indelible impression on the viewer. To bring these environments to life, I began incorporating multimodal elements, including auditory, visual, and even tactile components into my pieces. These multifaceted design elements also allow viewers to interact with the piece in such a way that the sounds they create affect the quality of the visual image, or cause the sculpture to change shape. This symbiotic aspect of my work essentially makes viewers part of this environment where they can “interact” with life in the environment.

Moreover, my research explores how digital art could shape our experience outside of a museum, and how this interaction can be found in everyday life through the mundane objects. How will everyday people react and how can such knowledge be leveraged in the development of new critical designs or arts? As such, I began to view art as an integrative role that actively engages our everyday life and constitutes a mixture of the pragmatic and the aesthetic. I intend to covey a meaningful interaction along with embodiment and metaphor throughout creating affective experiences as ‘a poetic use of technology’. I research the relationship between an art and design’s impacts on life, my theoretical framework then, focuses on tangible interactive artifacts, in which visual elements of the expressive computing take into account the socio- cultural and psychological effect on people emotion and behavior.