Digital Musics & Sound Art

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

$1's Worth

Young Eun Kim (KR)


In $1's Worth, the artist especially focuses on one particular characteristic of sound, which is its immateriality. She attempts to materialize sound by applying units used to measure concrete material, namely, length, height, and width. The artist purchased pop songs from online music store for $1.29 a song, and respectively substituted the three units into the sound file's time, pitch, and frequency range, not according to the standards of sonic studies, but rather, according to commonly used concepts by which laypeople understand and describe sound in their everyday experiences. Then she proportionately reduced each song's time, pitch, and frequency range to create three versions of each song that is worth a dollar.

“In the iTunes store, one song usually costs about $1.29 regardless of the value of each song. When we buy something in a market, we make our decisions based on the price or the quality of the product. Applying this rudimentary logic, the artist imagines music whose worth is one US dollar. If a $1.29-priced song is an integral whole, than a song worth $1 must be lacking something. If it were a materialized object, we would get an incomplete product. But if it is sound, what are we supposed to receive?… As the audience enters the exhibition space, he or she gets to hear these songs lacking 29 cents in quality. It is a “sound” with something strange in it.” Extract from “Shades of Sound” written by Hanseung Ryu, Associate Curator, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

Sound sources that are modified by turns in time, pitch, and frequency emanate from each of the three speakers, and videos show how each sound is sculpted in a format of video tutorials that can be seen on Youtube.

Sound cannot be seen or touched, so it is difficult to discuss in terms of sensory perception and to confirm its existence. The work shows the process of materialization of sound as a medium through the method of measuring things.


Young Eun Kim

Young Eun Kim (KR) lives and works in Los Angeles and Seoul. Her latest works have focused on the act of listening as a means to understand space and to examine sculptural possibilities in using voice, songs and site-responsive sound as medium. Her current work resonates within a deep breadth of recent interests, from perceptual to social operation of sound and listening. She studied sculpture and media art in Korea and sonology in the Netherlands.

Supported by Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of Hyo Jung Ahn