For PULSE 2013, Telfair presents the first solo museum exhibition by Hye Yeon Nam, a digital media artist working in performance video, experimental interaction design and games, and robotic installations.
Her work reflects the complexity of social relationships by making the familiar strange, and by interpreting everyday behaviors in performative ways. The exhibition includes the interactive robotic installation, Please Smile, in which five skeleton arms follow the viewer and point accusingly. Face tracking software changes this accusatory gesture to a friendly wave if the viewer smiles.
Other works react to the viewer’s behavior, such as the miniature bowing figures that make up the interactive sculpture Hooray, or the experimental Kiss Controller, which allows a kissing couple to control a videogame via a headset and their mouths. The exhibition also includes performance videos which speak to the Korean-born artist’s initial feelings of displacement in the U.S.
Hye Yeon Nam is a Ph.D. candidate at the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds an M.F.A. in digital media from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her art has been exhibited in The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. (2011-2012), and has been screened in New York’s Times Square. Her work has appeared in venues including New York’s Eyebeam and at electronic art festivals and conferences worldwide including Conflux (New York, 2010), FILE festival (Brazil, 2011, 2012), SIGGRAPH (Los Angeles, 2008, 2010), ISEA (Istanbul, 2011), and others in China, Ireland, the UK, Germany, Australia, Denmark, and Switzerland. Her work has appeared in print and broadcast media including the Discovery Channel (Canada), Leonardo Journal, Wired, We Make Money Not Art, Makezine, Business Insider and Engadget.
Top to Bottom: Hye Yeon Nam, Please Smile, 2011/2012, wooden skeleton arms, motors, microcontroller, camera, computer, external power supplies. Hye Yeon Nam (with Sam Mendenhall), Kiss Controller, 2011.
Admission to this exhibition is free during PULSE (Jan. 25-Feb. 3), thanks to project funding from the City of Savannah.