Christine Sun Kim uses the medium of sound in performance and drawing to investigate her relationship with spoken languages and her aural environment. 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 and has been awarded TED and MIT Media Lab Fellowships. In 2020, she made history as the first ever deaf Asian American to sign the national anthem at the Superbowl, in a performance TIME called “required viewing”.