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Name   DongHyun
Subject   The Rolling, or Rolled World
The Rolling, or Rolled World
Seonyoung Lee, (art critic)
In Maker Festival 2015 held in Coex hall, Donghuyn Kim presented a prototype pinball machine which she has designed since 2014. The colorful machine decorated with her original painting is operated as the laws of physics. When a player shoots a small steel pinball and controls it to hit the bell in the center by using the levers on both sides, the rolling ball machine next to the pinball machine starts to operate. And if the ball reaches the bottom by gravity, the player hit the bell can get a chocolate coin as a prize. It’s hard to see that people line up to play an art work at a common exhibition. However, ‘playful and fun’ is one of the most important elements of her kinetic installation art works. Expectation of more gallery goer participation might let the artist extend her range to scientific technique. Scientific technique can be the best tool to efficiently lead public interaction to active participation or passive consumption, and that’s the reason why art cannot ignore scientific field. But popularity is not the only one she wants.

Audience is not only passive spectators but also one of the major elements of her art works, because it is an important factor of endless chain reaction. Inducing audience participation is never easy, particularly if it is intrinsic, not extrinsic. Artists have to pioneer a new domain for fresh expressions continuously. Donghuyn Kim has stuck to a unique style which is irrelevant to rationalism because her works are not repetition of the same thing. She has no time to get used to the acquired domain, and doesn’t have feelings for it and moves on around the time she starts to get used to it. Nevertheless, her works themselves has been created through rational process. As Michel Foucault notes in Madness and Civilization, “Reason is defined by the excluded Unreason and Rationality by the excluded Irrationality”, driving rationality can be irrationality. Also, irrationality has been fulfilled through rational means. At first, her works might be started on impulse, but afterwards she has collaborated on many projects by trial and error, and as an artist, she is standing at this exhibition where is full of scientists and scientific technicians now.
Some people say that artists imagine and scientists prove, but Donghuyn Kim wants to combine both. Collaboration with people with other fields is possible when the artist is prepared enough. It means that collaboration needs to find an intersection. Otherwise, both sides will mix like oil and water, and end to be only tools for each other. Observation and experiment, two important methods of modern science, are mutual heritage for art, but their languages are different. Languages can be translated for each other, but it is hard to be a unit. The language of modern art is ambiguous. Novelty and progress, two virtues of modern society, are also evaluated and signified by different standards. That might be the reason that many collaborations with art and science for imposing causes produce poor results for the energy input. Mostly, that kind of collaborations leave superficial and tedious outputs. However, novelty is created from the boundary, so infinite challenge is necessary.

Science has been driven from division of labor which lead to progress of productivity and it became the most powerful model for human activities. But actually, art has been getting poorer and poorer since then. Today, it’s hard to expect to meet an artist and scientist like Leonardo da Vinci. Art barely keep itself in existence as a shadow of decoration or enlightenment in a limited boundary.

Decoration which belongs to the territory of master artisans is parasitic and enlightenment which belongs to the territory of universal intellectuals is ineffective. For an artist, one is too off and the other is too much. Art doesn’t settle in a clear-cut area, but in charge of the area which embraces things belong nowhere. The attribute of unknown areas let the word ‘avant-garde’ belong to the side of art, whereupon art can bring anything such as science, religion, or mythology, etc. to its territory. And the outcomes don’t belong to science or art. Not belonging, or can’t belonging to the abstract area created persistent movement to actualize the area where they stand.

Not the movement from reality to reality, or from idea to idea, but from a starting place to another is important. Only this game on the boundary which might cause identity crisis can make it possible not to recreate self-identity but to create heterogeneity. Recklessness toward an unpredictable destination cannot be her weakness but her merits. Art is the name dedicated to all recklessness. In science, challenge is not easy because it requires too much manpower, organizations and capital. However, once there is a paradigm shift at the critical point, it has a great ripple effect, because science itself has strong network operated by universal languages. Donghuyn Kim is going to make a chain-reaction installation which is 4 times bigger than the prototype pinball machine, and a small steel ball will covers the whole space. Although, the prototype pinball machine she presented this year is an elaborate toy like, but the next installation will be an art piece that compares the principle of the world operation when it fully fills whole space where the audience belongs to. Like Isaac Newton who discovered gravity which universally inheres in the universe, the tiny steel ball rolling by the force of gravity will draw the universe like an accurately working clock.

Though it is the universe as a marvelous installation, the matter of who created it, or why operated like that is open. Newton, the first physicist who expressed the universe mathematically, was into alchemy, mythology and ancient history in his later years, because he might be a real rationalist who can see the hidden side of the world. In her work, the background of the steel ball which bounces like crazy is inside of a whale, and the fish inside the entrails symbolize the universe where a universe immanent in another universe layering one upon another. Donghuyn Kim says that our world might be just entrails of a whale. But this kind of thinking is not always ended to the ideas that everything is useless and vain. On the other side, the idea of everything connects means that even the tiniest thing has its own role. Only it is important to think as horizontal relationship, not as hierarchical relationship of former era. Especially, horizontal relationship which is magnified in Postmodernism looks like deconstruction, but it can be another relationship.

Human beings also play a very important role. Even if the role was exaggerated and let the concept that a human is the measure of all things created, scientific thought has subvert it eventually. Traditionally, mythology or religion had been in charge of thinking for all things, art has taken over the duty ever since modern society. Even the most competitive science only could contain the vision when it was translated into proper narration. Nowadays, a highly influential scientific discourse is delivered by the writing skills of science thinkers, and the narration is not only a matter of knowledge but also a matter of style of writing. Especially, it happens more often when people from other fields come across science. Donghuyn Kim has read a number of books related to biology or physics and it is obvious that experiencing other fields are also important as much as learning aesthetics or art history. Because art covers holistic things that everything is connected with each other. And her works contain causal relationship between reading and practicing.
It means every detail of her works is not a translation of a theory, but a symbol of her feelings on a knowledge. In her pinball machine work, the whole universe is considered as a network and the steel ball which someone put energy into bounces everywhere and if the ball hits the target, according to chain reaction, there comes an output. The output is only a coin shaped chocolate now, but the small treat which is given to the trigger of movement can be anything else. In my opinion, her work has been focused on the process, not the outcome, so the output seems little bit letdown, however if the size of work becomes larger, more various outcomes and the following feedbacks could be shown. The movement of the round ball and the round-shaped chocolate may be linked with the similar shapes. The free coasters for audience which located in beside of the pinball and rolling ball machine are also round-shaped. Coins are also round-shaped, indeed. The round-shape emphasizes the endless process rather than the first and the last. Keeping it rolling like a ball is the goal of this system.

Similar shape lead to analogical thinking, and the reverse is possible. Modern artists constantly create something that nobody knows who will be the recipient. Where is the infinite energy which they put in with their reckless love for their works going to flow? According to the law of conservation of energy, energy never disappears, therefore, the energy is supposed to be somewhere, then where? This kind of questions that art and art works which can’t have fixed prices like goods or labor costs need to be diagrammatized even for symbolic level. Donghuyn Kim’s pinball machine shows the trajectory of energy flow of the physical energy field she created, and lengthening out the trajectory will be her next task. The longer the trajectory will be, the more unexpected factors can be involved, and a coincidence will be able to interact with inevitability then lead to other variations. Most of all, the response of audience gives feedback to the artist, and it will be the source of energy for driving the next work.
Donghuyn Kim’s art work utilizes the laws of physics like gravity, movement and friction. Especially, circular motion that circling on the axis is omnipresent in her work. Strangely, this trajectory of the circular motion can make a heart-shape figure, and it reminds the existence of energy or ‘chi’ charged in the universe. Various physical devices using circular motion create circulations. The artist says that ‘it is not only a simple, repetitive circulation, but also whole movement of human being and nature that constantly move and evolve, though the forms are same’, and the basic mechanism is based on Cardioid System. Circle is a figure symbolizing endless network. ‘We are all connected’ has been main theme of her works since the beginning. But after engaging the new style including detailed mechanism, her intensity of focusing became much stronger.

Scientific techniques which an artist is not accustomed to have occurred lots of troubles, and the process of solving each problem and constructing a form from superficial knowledge and information has made her immersed in her work even more. So many emotions have crossed her mind in each and every step, though.

This kind of methods can produce outcomes which are crushed and burned out by partial things, but there has been some outputs through the process even including errors. Challenge is not only end with the results. In the field of art, secondary things often become a leading role, and the turnaround is so dramatic that it seems only peripheries last long. But the peripherality without a link only stays on the periphery. Today, challenge given up from the start rules the field of art in Korea. Maybe it is a practical strategy at least to keep its position. Therefore, an artist who is ambitious to embrace the level of the universe like Donghyun Kim is considered as an eccentric one. But people tend to prefer weirdos to meticulous realists and cheer them up. That’s why she has been able to continue her career. All creatures great and small are all connected each other, so macroscopic critical mind can be also her practical problem.

Periphery is peripheral because of the relation to the center. Even though the center is invisible, it exists and continuously influences on the periphery, and vice versa. The artist may feel great pleasure when she goes along with the flow of the nature like painting freely without any plan. Even errors or mistakes when she tries to give body to the laws of nature could produce interesting outcomes. Actually, there has been some examples in scientific history. An error is also an element of a system, and every open system accepts an error as another factor. Only system of dictatorship banishes unexpected factors and sticks to its identity. Not only a country but also an ego can be controlled by system of dictatorship. In the case of an ego, it can be diagnosed with paranoia. Donghyun Kim who put herself in the new area between art and science project her identity on ‘Dr. Autopoi’. Dr. Autopoi has only one henchman called Zero, and buries herself/himself in her/his own research which has no clue when to end and what to find night and day. According to her, Dr, Autopoi named after ‘Autopoesis’ is a scientist who creates virtual creatures combining invisible energies. In her cover letter, she says “My works are a project to show the systems that everything is connected to and interact with each other physically and visually”., and ‘’I want to show the process that an input which is connected to various devices can be converted into an output of many forces and movements dynamically”. And this dynamic energy should be experienced by the audience as much as the artist. Dr. Autopoi who uses various sources that nobody can master might be shown as a weirdo, fraud, swindler, dreamer or idealist. And the output that a part is reasonable but the whole cannot be rational overlaps Dr. Autopoi’s works with art. It is rationalism after rationalism that cannot be distinguished from irrationalism. A change is driven on the boundary, or outside of a system, and the system amplifies that kind of changes. Wherever it happens, a changes is always artistic.

Art has taken the change itself as its identity, because things that amplification of changes is possible are all linked to each other. This relational thinking stated to be highlighted when the natural and cultural ecosystem had been changed, and it led to the new word Planetary Era by Edgar Morin in use. In his book Homeland Earth, Edgar Morin, a French philosopher and sociologist brings up to bind consciousness (“relier les connaissances”) in 21th century as the third religion. The role of it is wide open to an abyss or an unknown world, but fully uses rationality, and the function is just connect to each other. The author quotes Pascal; ”Since everything is cause and effect, dependent and supporting, mediate and immediate, and all is held together by a natural though imperceptible chain which binds together things most distant and most different, I hold it equally impossible to know the parts without knowing the whole and to know without knowing the parts in detail.”

The “bind consciousness” means that being conscious and thinking are not only to build up a system on a firm foundation but also to communicate with uncertainty. Nature itself has been considered moving since ancient times, it was modern civilization that built a wall among various factors of nature. Alfred North Whitehead, an English mathematician and philosopher defins nature in terms of process in his philosophy of organism. Donghyun Kim’s art works based on specific movements of objects realize the process. In his book Process and Reality, Whitehead explains the process of the universe has two features which are expandability and purpose. According to him, expandability develops on the stage of time and space. In other words, it is spread out in the space and proceeds as time goes by. In kinetic art, time is an important factor. Time creates a series of cause and effect relationship. In

Donghyun Kim’s art works full of round-shaped trajectories, the cause and effect relationship is absolutely not straightforward. Her philosophy that everything is connected is also a value of ‘old future’ that has recently been rediscovered. It was a foundation of every religious thinking, especially distinctive in the idea of ‘Great Chain of Being’ in 18th century. In Great Chain of Being, Arthur Lovejoy, the author points out that the word ‘great chain of being’ was the second holiest after ‘nature’ in 18th century, and it played a similar role of the blessed word ‘evolution’ in the late 19th century. It is an optimistic view of the world. According to Lovejoy, the universal topic of discussion of optimists in 18th century was the thesis that this world is the best among possible worlds. In other words, ‘Annoyance and suffering that cannot be immediately turned off or changed becomes more bearable’, according to Spinoza. Hegel said, “The truth of necessity is freedom”. And as Albert Einstein said “God doesn’t play dice with the universe” – modern physics before quantum physics regarded probability higher than fixed causality, and it is told that the basic atomic structure is round-shape. - Donghyun Kim’s art works are supposed to be vivid and playful, not only the paintings with strange titles but also the installations with her original images are really colorful.

In her art works, there is no trace of sweat and tears Dr. Autopoi might have shed found. Dr. Autopoi is not a closed or gloomy character even joking with black humor. Modern artists face a rocky road on their way, and that’s why they produce dark pieces with such despair and depression. Under the condition of being far from the general public and confined in their own prison, most of them go out wander around like a bystander. However, under the same situation, a full-time artist Donghyun Kim is distinctive because not only she always challenges and devotes herself into new work styles, but also she is an outgoing person enjoying kendo, wakeboarding and wind surfing. Thanks to her distinctively outgoing character, she can deliver her positive energy through her art works. Art might be the only acceptor, amplifier, and transducer of energies from various sources. The specific method of delivery of energy is omnipresent circular movement based on ‘Cardioid System’ in her works.

It is linked to the old symbolic thinking on a circle or sphere. Arthur Lovejoy found the image of Great Chain of Being from circles and spheres. According to him, a world has a clear and easy to understand mono-structure. A circle or a sphere is considered as not only a clear shape but also the simplest and most perfect shape that everything in the universe has. That is a model of the universe and spirit, and the model of ego at the same time. In oriental culture, mandala shows the structure very well. The idea of “everything is connected” is a feature of analogical thinking. Umberto Eco points out in Limits of Interpretation that Analogical thinking seems to connect spiritual world to the planetary world, and the planetary world to the underworld and that is a mysterious chain reaction. In other words, things on the upper side can be compared to the things on the lower side and vice versa. The universe is regarded as a great glass room that everything means others that reflect everything.

Chain reaction goes infinitely, and the interpretation is a labyrinth of infinite interaction. According to Limits of Interpretation, “uncontrolled ability to shift from meaning to meaning, from similarity to similarity, from a connection to another”. Also, Michel Foucault says “An analogy has to run all over the world to be proven”. Through this process, the mysterious and infinite stage for drifting can be shown. According to Eco, the features of drifting are various uncontrollable ways and means that slip from signified to signified, from similarity to similarity, from a link to another link. The ultimate signified has to be an inaccessible secret. In functional thinking that has a tendency to settle for a comfortable life on earth, this infinite world of truth only seems irrational. Because finiteness never can meet infinity. Therefore, a person who sees the world finite, also sees art, human beings, even the ultimate self like that and only remains as an uncomplicated reproducer.
What do they produce? Reappearance of existing systems and authority. They consume their energy to duplicate and deliver the ideal prototype. It also has a meaning for existence because reappearance can ne the foundation of creation. However, Donghyun Kim’s art works that expresses the rolling world extending the network are not a mechanical repetition.

Difference can be made by practice, not an idea. There is a difference between plan and practice, and words and an object. Most of us are satisfied with a plan, words, practice or an object itself. Therefore, the world is divided into two parts - one is talking without creating, and the other is making without thinking, and ruled by these negative binary oppositions and compromise. That’s why the status quo is maintained and a change is too slow. In the system of identity, a change is considered as an event, and only an event cause a change. Something is created from a gap between two different parts, and only the person who thinks by hands can play a main role in the stage.

notice   2019 김동현 작품평론-김성호 DongHyun 2021/03/19  785
43    2016 김동현 작가노트 수정 DongHyun 2018/03/15  2283
42    2016김동현 전시평론-백기영 DongHyun 2018/03/15  2309
   The Rolling, or Rolled World DongHyun 2016/02/21  2438
40    2015 김동현 전시평론글-이선영 DongHyun 2016/02/21  2566
39    오토포이박사의 자기소개서 DongHyun 2014/10/14  2352
38    수학이야기 모음 DongHyun 2015/02/06  2708
37    부품 판매처 DongHyun 2015/01/25  2409
36    픽사의 지적유희 DongHyun 2014/05/03  2420
35    2014 작가노트 수정 DongHyun 2014/02/28  2335
34   비밀글입니다 2013.6.6 작업일지 DongHyun 2013/06/07  886
33    김동현 전시평론-이선영(미술평론가) DongHyun 2013/02/07  3102
32    오토포이박사 신문제작 DongHyun 2010/09/07  3648
31    에너지 DongHyun 2012/02/18  3250
30    러디어드 키플링 Joseph Rudyard Kipling-만약 DongHyun 2011/08/15  5422
29   비밀글입니다 1월 30일 작업일지 DongHyun 2011/01/30  1983
28    김동현 작품평론-김진섭 DongHyun 2010/06/30  3688
27    우주의 비의悲意를 품은 트랜스포머, 김동현展-제미란 DongHyun 2010/09/07  3913
26    matrix DongHyun 2010/05/23  4189
25    한비야의 글 DongHyun 2010/04/30  3712
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Untitled Document