January 19, 2012
by Josephine Reed
White Noise/ White Light by Meejin Yoon. Photo by Andy Ryan
Meet Meejin Yoon, subject ofand an award-winning architect and public artist. Working at the intersection of architecture, art, landscape, and technology, Yoon is an innovative and multidisciplinary thinker. The Founder of MY Studio, a principal in Howeler + Yoon Architecture in Boston, and a professor of architectual design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yoon is probably best known for her interactive light and sound installations for public spaces, which often incorporate alternative energy sources.
The project that initiated her explorations about art, science, technology, and public space was White Noise/White Light, a light-and-sound installation she created for the 2004 Athens Olympics. White Noise/ White Light was an area constructed of hand-fabricated fiber-optic tubes. As people walked through the area, the light would transform and flicker behind them like a wake in water, and then, also emit a white noise. For Yoon, it was the first opportunity to test the use of sensors, micro-controllers, and fiber optics in a public space. And what a test it was! White Noise/ White Light was tested under the Acropolis, and had thousands and thousands of visitors a day. In this excerpt from the podcast, Yoon recalls how watching people interact with the installation deeply influenced the way she creates public art. [1:42]