Joel Ong: Those Who Observe the Wind . . .

In June 2015 Jack Straw and Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences (AVIA) presented a pair of accessible workshops at Jack Straw in conjunction with Joel Ong’s New Media Gallery installation Those Who Observe the Wind . . ., which incorporates sculpture, sound, and data-triggered electronics.

Over two consecutive weekends, sighted and visually impaired students from Seattle and around the region participated in hands-on art and sound workshops with Joel and Jack Straw teaching artists. The installation was audio described for the visually impaired by Jesse Minkert of AVIA.

For the first half of the workshop, Joel guided the students in building their own light-activated musical instruments. The instrument he designed has a light-sensitive plucking mechanism and a hand operated wheel to control the tuning of the pitch. Through this project, they learned the basics of physical computing and interacting through the Arduino and a light-sensitive photoresister, and got hands-on experience with tuning and playing a stringed instrument.

For the second half of the workshop, the students played their instruments in the studio, with Joel conducting. They then recorded personalized versions of a wind-inspired multiple choice fill-in-the-blanks poem by Jesse Minkert. The recordings of their instruments and poems were then added to the soundtrack of Joel’s installation for the rest of its stay in the New Media Gallery.



Joel Ong

Joel Ong is a media artist. His work explores the ideas of resonance, feedback and site-specificity in the mediums and systems of interdisciplinary digital technologies. He has been interested…

Photo of Jesse Minkert

Jesse Minkert

Jesse Minkert’s work has appeared in about fifty literary journals including the Cream City Review, Confrontation, Mount Hope, the Floating Bridge Review, the Minetta Review, Poetry Northwest, Common Knowledge…



Joel Ong | Those Who Observe the Wind . . .

May 21 – July 1, 2015

Those Who Observe the Wind . . . is a sonic meditation on the unpredictable movements of the wind. Through sound, the installation reveals an inescapable connection to…