Educated in music and audio technology, Lynette Quek (b. 1992, Singapore) works audio-visually with an expanding lexicon of media including installations, performances, and sculptures, that commonly brings into view the ways sound could be perceived beyond the sensorial faculties of just the aural. Interested in exploring ideas of synchronicity and interactivity within the realm of audio-visuality, Lynette’s practice also examines the ways art could interface with technology, particularly in the possibilities that can arise from the relationship between digital and physical elements.
While rooted in sound as a primary mode of engagement, intermediality features strongly in Lynette’s works that frequently blur the distinctions between genres, forms, and registers. From works such as re: (2019), a durational performance-installation, to *& interlooping (2018), a procedural, digital work that manifests as a software, Lynette’s investigations create spontaneously and organically hybridised points of inquiries into how affects, textures, and algorithms could be represented.
In re: -act (2021), an elaboration sited within the body of works that includes re: (2019), Lynette repurposes an overhead projector to create a participatory performance-installation where the illuminated glass plate becomes an interface on which a sonic transducer and various small things are placed—as the positions of the objects change due to the vibrations on the plane from the transducer, the projected image shifts and transforms actively. Interspersed with activations where she jockeys additional elements while a collaborating performance-maker interprets and moves to the sense-scape of the installation, Lynette further muddies the formal delineation of representation from presentation.
How does re: -act (2021) fit in your current practice?
I'm very interested in loops, and how loops can exist within a system that is creating a piece of work. With this system here, with the sensors and the microphone, it is producing sound that is itself affecting the items on this interface, and in a way, creating a new body of sound. Depending on what I place on the plate, new sounds are created—metal bearings create their own sounds, so do these fake stones and even acrylic. These are affected sounds being picked up by the system that are then going back into the same system and creating a whole new body of sound.
In a sense, this body of sound is always being created by something that existed before, and it just manifests itself into something new depending on what I choose to do with it. I can choose to not process it as well, and just layer it on top of itself; it doesn't necessarily need to always be very noisy or active.
I am interested in how systems can generate themselves based on the materials that are present in different forms, mainly in audio-visual correspondences and performance behaviours.
Does the idea of noise and randomness factor in your work?
I would say this is actually a form of controlled chaos. It feels like a very Cageian thing to say, but I think with the performances that I've been doing with the OHP systems… while they have always been improvised, there have also always been a structure. While there are variants across different performances, I don’t think they can be considered as random or unexpected. The performer and myself would know what is going on, but for the audience that comes and sees without context, their experience is really dependent on whatever background they have, and any familiarity with these sorts of performing, digital, audio-visual systems. The piece will only make sense to them in a certain way; I have no authority over that—and I don't want to have any authority over that.