Curatorial Statement

The theme of the 4th Taitung Sound Art Festival is The Seismogenic Zone of Subduction. The inspiration came from the two powerful earthquakes in Guanshan Township, Taitung County and Yuli Township in Hualian County on September,18th. Since the devastating foreshocks, a series of aftershocks had last for months until we started to wonder if they would be the new norms in our daily life. The Seismogenic Zone is the layer of the Earth’s crust, at the top of the asthenosphere, where most earthquakes originate. As much as humans try to wrap their heads around the idea of the fault line determined by the nature, it has been continuously moving underground mysteriously for centuries. In its mighty force lies our unlimited imagination. A passage in Underland, A Deep Time Journey, written by Robert MacFarlane, mentioned that the logical thinking theories perceived from above and under the surface of this planet are completely opposite and most of the time the dark impassable abyss is what we fear to explore. I guess when we’re deep down in there, we’re left with the deep time, which is more than spiritual meditation and instinctive wonder but also constructive measurement of the relationship between time and us via the tools of geology.

If we view our earth as a life form. Then the multiple signs in the seismogenic zone perhaps are its messages to communicate with all the creatures dwelling on its surface. It might be easier to choose not to see or hear the messages yet our lives have relied solely on it. What has earth been trying to tell us? In the time of climate change and global warming, perhaps we should step out of our comfort zone and try to learn the vibration underneath our feet. The vibration transforms into sound wave to convey messages. Sound is a form of force, which endures time and stands side by side with the everchanging earth movement. Let’s adopt deep listening to understand the subtle, dim yet fundamental signs. In the depth of billions of years, let’s start over to learn about the relationships among humans, non-human and nature. And let’s take heed of the unknown languages spoken in rare frequency. At this sound art event, we’ve invited 11 artists from Taiwan, Netherland and Japan to showcase their distinctive creation. Their artworks are all unique and equipped with sound to help us contemplate the meanings behind the hidden and soft spoken messages.

— Curator : Chang,Pu-Teng