Black Noise

Black Noise is a durational performance created by Kim Ye.

The work was performed for the first time by Pomona College art students in 2014 who worked in cooperation with the artist. Below is an excerpt from an email sent to the students in preparation for the performance:


The task of this performance is to generate & embody new relational possibilities between human-beings and non-human-beings. But in order to start our exploration we first need to examine the non-human-beings in our immediate surroundings (i.e. furniture in your dorm room, orientation of a classroom, layout of the cafeteria, dimensions of different areas within your car) and describe how they require our bodies to arrange themselves. Think about how architecture, furniture, and appliances train our bodies to behave over time…I want to ask, why can’t one lay across all the tops of desks in class? Or do research while stretching out on the floor of the library?  Or drive a car on your tummy? 

The objects we surround ourselves with both enable us and restrain us. What is the new Broad art building if not a container for the creative cultural impulses of this community? There is nothing inevitable about the structures that surround us, so rather than take them for granted, it’s time to treat them as active collaborators.

This performance is not a critique; it is an expansion upon how humans can relate to their immediate environment.  Throughout history we as humans have projected our experience of the world onto inanimate objects (in religious, ritualistic, domestic, and other contexts).  In working through this performance together, I hope to put the emphasis on bringing us humans towards the non-human experience, to allow the building to help us experience the world through thingness. Who knows what we’ve been missing out on…? 


Take 3 short videos (Vine-length is fine) of you mis-using a piece of furniture or architecture. I don’t mean mis-using necessarily in a destructive “using it poorly” way–I mean that it should be an action or gesture that one would not usually associate with the item at hand.  The item or sites you choose to interact with should be something you see or use on a day-to-day basis. You can tweet or email me the best one, but be ready to share all three in class. Here’s some inspiration if you need some: