i(dash) (2011, rev. 2014)
After losing all of data in my hard drive because my laptop had been infected with an evil virus, I decided to compose a piece on technology. We take for granted all the technology we use in our daily lives – phones, television sets, cars, mp3 and DVD players – especially when they are continually updated with new versions. While these inventions have made things much more convenient in our lives, they also cause us unnecessary stress and grief when they break down. For me, “i” represents all the high technology that has been merged with the self (just as Mac devices are all signified by the use of “i”). And “dash” represents our identification with and inseparability from high technology.
There are a few dichotomies representing technology’s double-edged sword in the piece. Even though we may feel empowered as users of machines, we become controlled by these machines as we grow to rely on them. In this piece, I wanted to explore the emotions of anxiety, unease, disorientation, and frustration aroused by our encounters with malfunctioning machines. Machines can break down for a number of reasons and in a number of ways. The two that I explore in this composition is the sudden breakdown and the gradual breakdown. The second section of the piece depicts the process of having to start over from scratch to recover or remember all the data that has been lost. I hope that my work will communicate the intersections of loss and recovery within our ambivalent relationship with technology.