Digital Musics & Sound Art

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

Somatic Echo

Juri Hwang (KR)


Somatic Echo is a bone conduction sound installation exploring how our body mediates the experience of sound, and how sound mediates the experience of our body. An 8-channel sound composition is played through a sound-mask with transducer speakers placed on various parts of the user's head transmitting the soundscape directly to the body. Users hear the soundscape through the medium of their body and perceive the vibrations forming a sonic image through the physicality of the body structure. The composition comprised of both abstract music and concrete sounds traces two different spaces created by the sounds choreographed across the eight channels and the refracted and abstracted experience of space created by transmission through the body's bone structure. Through the experience with the bone conduction mask, the body emerges as an intriguing space giving an unfamiliar sense of spatiality, distance, directions, and matter. Somatic Echo is a sound composition, sonic choreography of space, and a sounding of the body itself.

The experience consists of short sessions of approx. four minutes in length, during which the listener sits in a modified optometrist's chair and experiences the soundscapes played through a custom­ made sound-mask placed on her/his head. Several short compositions highlight different aspects of the body and spatial perception through sound. The compositions also explore sound as an affective medium, one that is particularly relevant in the embodied aspect of hearing bone conducted sound, which can be linked to the earliest sense experiences we have in the womb: the experience of hearing sounds - in particular the mother’s voice - through body contact.

To avoid external sound, an insulating dome surrounds the listener’s head. This helps to create a sonic cocoon to immerse oneself into the soundscape. Listeners wear earplugs for the sound to better resonate in the head. The artist herself supervises the installation.


Juri Hwang

Juri Hwang (KR) is a media artist, researcher, and currently a PhD candidate in the lnterdisciplinary
Media Arts and Practice program at the University of Southern California. Her current research focuses on the immersive, embodied, and affective nature of sonic experience. Through various sound projects she explores the role of sound in 21st century media culture as a sense modality, sensorial stimulus, and cultural object. Juri's current projects comprise Somatic Echo, an embodied sonic experience engaging with bone conducted sound, and Nightfield, an immersive sound installation exploring immersive and embodied nature of sonic memory.

Engineering Consultant: Andreas Kratky
Supported by Division of Media Arts and Practice, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California