|Artwork created during residency.|
|Artwork created prior to residency.|
Bangkok, Thailand / Providence, RI
Residency: October-November 2010
About the Artist:
Bundith Phunsombatlert (Bangkok, Thailand) started his art career utilizing printmaking processes in developing three-dimensional objects. He then turned to work with diverse media from hand-made printmakings and multiple sculptures to interactive installations where occasional computerized monitorings are used. The concepts behind his artwork deal with observations of social, economic, and political situations in Thailand, which are both different from and related to many happenings in the contemporary world of globalization. He then uses these themes as a form of art in order to gain aesthetic experiences of learning from the environment. His works often invite the audience to participate so they may directly “feel and experience” his projects.
Phunsombatlert earned both his B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in graphic arts (printmaking) at Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, and his M.F.A in Digital+Media at Rhode Island School of Design. He has participated in international exhibition, such as the Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art 1999, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia, ISEA 2004: the 12th International Symposium on Electronic Arts, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland, The Third Guangzhou Triennial 2008, Guangdong Museum of Art, China, and The 4th Auckland Triennial 2010, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand. Among his selected awards and fellowships are Pollock-Krasner Grant in 2001, Second Prize Unesco Digital Art Award 2004, and Asia Cultural Council Fellow 2007.
Media: Wooden frame windows collected from Utica, NY, wooden bases with tactile transducers and speakers, wire, sound recording from the interviewing of refugees in Utica, NY, amplifiers, and microcontroller.
Transtrack is a sound installation in progress. The piece combines the metaphorical meanings and functions of train tracks and sound tracks together. This definition is also related to the concept of transformative space focusing on the stories of the migration of people to the US. Inspired by the sound of trains in Utica, NY, I create a space of transformation, using old wooden windows that I have collected. The first group of windows is taken from the renovation of the house on 1002 Whitesboro Street, beside the historical train track nearby the Sculpture Space. For the installation, all of the windows sit on the floor along the space as if they are in a line, which is similar to the construction of each carriage of trains. When the sound of trains (from either real time or prerecord) comes up, the first window at the beginning of the line starts to shake, and each window continues to shake, from the starting window until the last window at the end of the line, when the sound of the train fades away. This characteristic refers to the vibration of the train as it goes by an old house beside the train track.
Each of the windows vibrates because of the vibration of the tactile transducer, a type of speakers that generates low bass frequencies for people to feel as well as to hear. Each transducer transfers vibrations to the surfaces of glasses and wood, as each window functions as a speaker. Instead of only representing the sound, each of them produces a vibration, which makes each window shake. During the exhibition, when the trains have not come, these old windows on the line stay still without any actions on the floor, which represents the quality of gap and stillness in traditional media on a new media art piece. Each old window is not only the witness of the journey from one place to another by a long-historical transport, but also the reflection of the transformative space through the time via the materials and positions of windows. According to Wikipedia, Utica is known as a Second Chance City1. This city is one among other cities in the US, that over a number of years receive a large number of arriving immigrants, in comparison to its own population. Together with the sound of the train, I interview refugees about their experiences of migration through their English class at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, and I will put the dialogue as the sound of each person telling the private transformative stories to each window. Before the sound of the train comes up, people need to come close to the window to listen to these sounds before the loud sound of a train overshadowing them.
*Process, presentation, and setting of the work may be modified as appropriate.