Christine Sun Kim

What is our relationship with sound? How do we define it, and how does it help define us?

TED Senior Fellow, Sound Artist, and Composer

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Christine Sun  Kim | TED Senior Fellow, Sound Artist, and Composer
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Christine Sun Kim uses technology to investigate and rationalize her relationship with sound and spoken languages. Born deaf, Kim felt that she had no “ownership” of sound. In her multimedia presentations, she takes claim of sound and the relationship she has forged to it, by liberating the voice from social constraints and norms. 

Due to her deafness, figuring out which sounds she “owned” and which were “out of limits” remains a long process. She gives workshops and talks on sound art, combines musical notations and several other systems to produce visual scores and transcripts, conducts a choir that uses facial expressions to “sing,” and vocalizes through a set of piano wires and transducers. Kim combines conceptual and literal attempts to shift the “ownership” of sound and language, while simultaneously legitimizing her perception.

 

Born in California and based in New York, Christine Sun Kim has an MFA in Sound/Music from Bard College and an earlier MFA from the School of Visual Arts. She is a TED Senior Fellow.   

Speech Topics

Musicians
Liberating the Voice Owning, Exploring, and Knowing Sound
How much of a role does sound play in identity formation? Who “owns” sound? Growing up deaf, Christine Sun Kim felt that she was disconnected from the sounds she made, and further disconnected from those around her. By taking an new approach to creating and experiencing sound, she opens up the possibility of liberating the voice. In her interactive presentations, Kim develops a polyphonic approach to understanding the role sound and spoken language plays in our lives. By using technology and her art practice to give her a “voice,” Kim harnesses drawings, performances, installations, workshops, and talks to bring her voice alive and break down the walls between us.