Lina Eunji Chang is a radio maker that works with sound as embedded memories in the form of digital and electronic traces. Using radio wave frequencies, memory is carved and inscribed into our ears through the listening experience. Working with oral history techniques, she utilizes the unique quality of time and space that archival tape houses and transcribes them into her audio pieces.
Listening to a recording I made in Korea is a walk I made to my mom’s childhood house, revisiting a story I was told tied to that place. By the apartment stood a corner shop that now holds a real estate office, but what used to be a bakery that my grandfather would visit on his way home. It’s a place that is significant in my mom’s memory, remembering the shop owner’s reaction when she found out that he had passed away after asking about his absence. Although I wasn’t directly there at the time to experience that memory myself - I’m able to re-encounter that in time and space through the act of listening.
When time becomes non-linear and sound becomes a way for us to capture a memory of place, people, and emotion, how do we relate to memory that then becomes embodied by listening? Sound is both a keeper of moments that may not exist in the present with the ability to become a record bearer that’s able to transition in between the past, present, and future. Listening back, you’re able to re-encounter the past and situate yourself into the time that was captured.
To investigate the locative and archival (tied to memory) qualities of sound, my research will look into ways for people to intervene with the environment by aurally mapping out spaces. Through recording sound and developing ways of transmitting through maps, spaces related to my home country will be juxtaposed into spaces elsewhere where the listener will be able to navigate and interpret a space aurally. Although most of the project will include an aural element, I'll also work with various exercises that focus on physical and somatic sensations when accessing a space that I've recorded to look into the ways our body responds to memory through audio.
By visiting locations tied to a family memory, field recordings will be made to narrate my relationship to a specific location, including audio notes based on family history, hauntology, migration, and memory. By recording spaces and creating a structure for a listening experience, I'll incorporate media archaeological research in order to understand the ways we shape, and are shaped by our environments.This will provide a critical frame of thinking when it came to observing how we explore space and who has access to it.