In Focus: In the Studio with Shih Chieh Huang

Huang connects wires and inserts a DMX control board into the sculpture body. In the bottom left, the artist is testing a prototype DMX control board, running a test program with computer cooling fans.

Shih Chieh Huang (2009 Emerging Fields) is hard at work in the studio creating and testing new DMX control boards for his interactive computer-driven sculptures. Huang appropriates modern household appliances and materials—including lights, computer parts and plastic bags—and programs them to move and interact with each other using original computer algorithms. Huang writes, “The homemade DMX control boards are finally done, tested and ready to be connected to the sculpture body. This control system will allow silent and quiet control of the final sculpture with more channels than previous homemade controllers.”

Huang tests three more DMX control boards built into plastic containers with computer cooling fans.
Huang’s Creative Capital-supported project, EX-SE-10, draws on the artist’s research on the adaptability of bioluminescent marine life undertaken through a fellowship at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Placed together, the sculptures mimic ecosystems that evolve according to their interactions with each other, their environment and people. Huang recently had a solo exhibition of this work entitled The Bright Beneath in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum’s Ocean Hall. Watch the video below to learn more about his process, including Huang’s research and the completed installation.

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