JIANG Zhuyun Awarded second TASML / DSL Residence Artist Award

TASML is pleased to announce that JIANG Zhuyun has been awarded the second TASML/DSML Artist Residence Award.

An international jury has selected  JIANG Zhuyun from Hangzhou, among other candidates for his proposal “ THE PENDULUM PROJECT” as a resident artist to begin a 6 week-long program at Hexagram Concordia Institute for Research-Creation in Media Arts and Technology (Montreal) in the Winter of 2011.

The jury was comprised of the following:

Sylvain Levy, Founder, DSL Collection
Amanda Crowley, Executive Director of Eyebeam, Center for Art and Technology, New York
Prof. Christopher  Salter, Director of Hexagram Concordia, Principle Researcher of Xmodal Lab, Montreal
Prof. Jeffrey Huang, Director, LDM | Media and Design Lab, EPFL | Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne
Prof. Zhang Ga, Director, TASML (Tsinghua University / Parsons The New School for Design), Beijing / New York




In Episode 6, Season 5 of the TV drama “Lost”, the entourage went to the Lamp Post at the Dharma Institute to seek the history of the Island and the reason why people can never be rescued from the Island. It is said that, “a very clever fellow built this pendulum on the theoretical notion that they should stop looking for where the Island was supposed to be and start looking for where it was going to be.” Through the seemingly regular physical movement of a pendulum, a geological coordinate that appears to be randomly shifting can actually be pinpointed. That is my first impression of the pendulum and its properties.

This fiction on TV came out of facts in reality. The pendulum in reality behaves with unusual physical movements and embodies rich aesthetic imagery. It powers the mechanical pendulum clock and becomes the physical timekeeping element in a time coordinate. At the core of the earthquake instrument “Didong Yi” (earth movement instrument) invented by the ancient Chinese scientist Zhang Heng was exactly the pendulum theory, and it enabled this device to become the earliest form of earthquake observation, as well as powering other devices invented later. The Foucault pendulum of 1851 was the first to prove the Earth’s rotation. Jean Bernard Leon Foucault suspended a pendulum from the roof and allowed it free swing. I think the plot of “Lost” TV drama was inspired by him and they thought of capturing the shifting of the Earth’s magnetic field with a pendulum device.

As a sound artist with a background training in painting, it is only natural that I am deeply intrigued by the relationship between images and sound and their historical context. Harmonograph, which has been called “entertainment before there was electric power”, is a graphic device that outputs geometric curves using the principles of the pendulum, and these two-dimensional graphics can also explain the acoustic phenomena of harmonics and the ratio between intervals. I personally believe that this is an excellent point of entry for studying the relationship between images and sound. For further study, HARMONOGRAPH: A Visual Guide to the Mathematics of Music by Anthony Ashton, and Li: Dynamic Form in Nature by David Wade will serve as expert theoretical support and technical reference.

Technical Research and Project Realization:

  1.  A self-made harmonograph installation. Through the use of sensors, movement parameters (such as pressure, distance, etc.) are obtained and output as MIDI signal to the computer, which further controls the rhythm and notes of the sound result. The installation and the interactive controlling will be presented as an audio-visual work.
  2.  Various renovations and improvements on the structure and design of the harmonograph will be conducted.
  3.  The interface of the image production will be digitally manipulated. For example, the touch-sensitive iPad can provide good improvement over the previous manual image refreshing method.
  4.  The graphic output of the harmonograph will be done with the Processing programming language and mathematical ways of visual presentation will be studied.


TITLE OF WORK: Earth Movement, Mind Movement Instrument

FORMAT: Installation with interactive performance

The Earth Movement Instrument invented by the ancient Chinese scientist Zhang Heng has always been an unresolved case in the history of Chinese science. There were no complete documentation on its actual construction, and various hypotheses on its inner workings have been proposed. People even think the current reconstructed model is only a decorative piece, that a scientific instrument has become a useless “work of art.” I would like to propose various speculations on the ancient Earth Movement Instrument, with the pendulum as one of the main possibilities. A combination of technical archaeology and audio-visual presentation may thus destroy these doubts regarding the instrument as a sign in people’s “mind.”

Research Principles:

To transform the visual installation into a musical instrument. Multiple forms of output will be generated from a single physical device, and can be expanded on various dimensions, just as the harmonograph, which results in a unique visual presentation every time it is activated.