Signal Path II: Sinister Resonance / Samson Young

Presented by ZERO1, the San Jose Public Art Program, and the Downtown Yoga Shala, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the San Jose Downtown Association.

Signal Path II: Sinister Resonance (2011) is a site-specific sound installation that will be exhibited as part of the ArtHERE program at the Downtown Yoga Shala (450 S. 1st Street) from September 12-December 8, 2012.

During the project conception, Samson Young meditated at various locations within/around/outside of a specific installation site while wearing a sensor that turns his brainwaves into sound. Sensors monitor eight sets of electroencephalographic signals while you attempt to focus your attention. Each signal generates one sinetone or squarewave. Each tone occupies a specific frequency range. When your attention level is above a certain threshold, tones will be redistributed to approximate the harmonic series, producing a “fat,” “harmonious” sound field. Paradoxically, as soon as you became aware of the alignment of tones, you are distracted. This constant focus-distraction constitutes a perpetual signal feedback loop that “short-circuits” the sense of hearing. The sound of my meditation was recorded and played back via small media players, which were installed at the same spots where Young meditated. He now invites listeners to stand at the same spot where he meditated and listen to the continuous drones that were generated by my brain activities, while watching a video of his own full experience shot from the back. Like the listeners, in the video Young is shown standing still, listening.

This project will be exhibited as
part of the ArtHERE program at the
Downtown Yoga Shala (450 S. 1st Street)
from September 12-December 8, 2012.
Opening hours TBD
Free and open to the public

Samson Young

lives and works in Hong Kong, China

Artist website


Samson Young (b.1979), composer, sound artist and new media artist. With formal training in music composition, his works are fundamentally informed by an engagement with new cultural-technological paradigms, yet deeply grounded in the classical musical tradition. Young’s creative output spans the widest possible range: from composition for orchestra and gameboys, to amusement ride-turned-sound installation, to ensembles of ipad and iphones, to multimedia music theatre. Described by Sequenza 21 as “epic, dark and fun,” a sense of play that comes from breaking down preconceived boundaries unifies all of his work.

Young is currently a Ph.D fellow at Princeton University, and an assistant professor in Critical Intermedia Art at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.