Christine Sun Kim, ‘Three Not Six’, 2014, Carroll / Fletcher

Quotation marks signify concepts rather than direct or literal translation to English, as ASL has its own syntax and grammar, and some terms are untranslatable. In ASL, you sign 'score' with four fingers drawing four horizontal lines in the air. If you did it with all five fingers, it wouldn't feel natural, because your thumb would be in the different direction instead of other fingers. When I started visually composing, I used five lines for staff but later on, i started to forget to add a 5th line to each staff, and decided to continue with this configuration. These staffs show no notes, but the sounds are still visible as the lines are full of movement and smears. When I gesture with one finger, it could universally mean 'Wait, hand on a minute'. When I gesture with two fingers, it makes me think of how often used to order McDonald's extra value meal number 2. When i gesture with three fingers, it means 'six' in ASL, but non signers see that as 'three'. When I gesture with four fingers, it is a sign for 'score'.

About Christine Sun Kim

Sound artist Christine Sun Kim makes kinetic installations that combine performance with scores of harmonies, cacophonies, and vibrations. Kim was born deaf and has made it her project to explore the physicality of sound. “I constantly questioned the ownership of sound, now I’m reclaiming sound as my property,” Kim has said. The artist also makes paintings and drawings from her experiments with field recordings and breathing. For her “Seismic Calligraphy” works, she places canvases with ink-laden brushes on top of subwoofers. As sound is piped through the speakers, the brushes move and mark the canvas. The “Scores and Transcripts” series visualizes sound with poem-like compositions of words and syncopated lines on paper.

American, b. 1980, Orange County, California, based in New York, New York