All Tomorrow’s Oceans
2019 – 2020 giclée prints & CGI
duration & dimension variable
2020, audio-visual performance
at Send + Receive Sound Festival.
Thanks to the support of the Ontario Arts Council
All Tomorrow’s Oceans is Xuan Ye’s multimedia art project that manifests “oceanic desire” through computational and improvisational image and sound making. The contradictory connotation of the title lies in that the ocean is an idea beyond individual human experiences and spacetime. “All Tomorrow’s” expresses a timeless vision of symbiosis with nature, from the past to the present, and an ultimate nostalgia towards the ocean. In the audiovisual performance, the improvised soundscape renders primarily human voice with one microphone as the only input, through which the artist mimics whale vocalization and sequences the sounds in recursive rhythmic patterns that are common in humpback whale songs. The sound-reactive visuals are morphing pixels generated through an AI algorithm and a custom database that the artist collected by searching the keywords “ocean” in commercial stock photograph archives. It is the idea of “ocean” or the “oceanic desire” that is controlled by the representational power and cultural authority of the stock image ecosystem, while the bio-political control is compounded by the algorithmic economy.