The Electric Wz …
The subject of this portrait is WeiZen Ho, a performing artist and deviser based in Katoomba, NSW. She brings together phonic-vocals and movement, whilst her performances transform and extend mundane postures, sounds and everyday objects or speech into poetic prayer. A performance improvisation event she initiated in the Blue Mountains, called Sound Bites Body presented 13 artists from sound, installation and dance disciplines at Bilpin International Ground for Creative Initiatives (BigCi) in February 2016. The artist performed at this event with WeiZen and this portrait has been informed by that experience.
The silence of the panel can be interrupted, brought to life by a singular presence made in close proximity to the portrait. Without this physical interaction WeiZen remains silent and exists only as a visual representation of herself.
Photo media image of WeiZen Ho taken in her home in Katoomba. The image is processed in Photoshop and layered to create a shadow of herself behind her foreground image. This produces the effect of WeiZen moving slightly back and forth within her own body. The image is printed onto canvas with archival ink and fixed onto 6mm mdf board. The print dimensions are 860mm (w) x 600mm (h).
WeiZen’s central figure is surrounded by three small speakers embedded around her in the front panel. The speakers are wired to electronic components fixed behind the framed panel. A small Infrared proximity sensor is also embedded in the front panel, tucked inside the figure’s arching elbow. This triggers the sound component, which consists of the processed sound of a slow moving electrical current. All external and internal micro electronic components are programmed to trigger audio playback within close proximity of approximately 800mm to the centre/front of the portrait.
The internal and external electronic components include three 57mm, 8ohm, 0.25W speakers; one 3.7 Watt, class D stereo amplifier; one Arduino Uno R3; one SparkFun Mp3 player shield; one 8GB Class D microSDHC Card with digital audio file; one Sharp Infrared Proximity Sensor; assorted jumper wire and breadboard.
Mounted cabinet dimensions: 860mm (w) x 600mm (h) x 150mm (d)
Current exhibition 26 January – 10 March 2019. See gallery website for more details: Blue Mountains City Art Gallery