In this work, the scenery of a forest in a remote area in Japan is broadcast via live stream. At the site, words related to the coronavirus are played over a speaker, mix with the random sounds of the surrounds and then captured on a microphone. This recording is then converted into slightly unnatural language by an automatic voice recognition program, and the process of voice output - sound collection - erroneous conversion is repeated, resulting in the phrases gradually changing. While it would have been possible to express the mistranslation of words in cyberspace alone, Mohri intentionally introduces the element of the real world. It is as though the confusion between the real and the virtual we see today has been superimposed on this confusion of language.
This work was inspired byFor the Birds(1981), a dialogue between John Cage and Daniel Charles. Cage’s surname is of course reminiscent of “bird cage” and today we, with our movements restricted, are like birds in a cage. The artist has in mind our daily life with the coronavirus, in which we, trapped, encounter countless words on the internet that gradually diverge and morph into ideas quite different from the facts (sometimes intentionally). A bird feeder is placed in front of the camera, but will the birds – as free as they are – really join this loop of misconversion? (K.K.)
* Original phrases used in the work
To adapt to the new normal
State of emergency
Wear a Mask
Wash your hands
Cover your mouth and nose
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation
Refrain from going out unless necessary
Work from home
Join by Video
Some people are already infected by COVID-19
Pandemic-level increase in patients
Please practice proper hand washing and gargle with mouthwash whenever possible
Do you have symptoms such as a fever or cough?
Preventing the spread of infection
Keep rooms reasonably humid and ventilated
I will get vaccinated next week
For the Birds
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1980. Resides in Tokyo. Mohri creates three-dimensional works and installations combining objects such as daily necessities, toys musical instruments, mechanical parts, water and light. The actions and reactions of the various elements in the work are interconnected and unexpected, often making usually invisible forces such as magnetism, gravity and airflow visible. Mohri has created several works referring to modern artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Vladimir Tatlin, as well as works with sound at their core, some involving delays, deviations, or echoes and others in which the movement of objects is converted into sound.
Major exhibitions include “Assume That There Is Friction and Resistance,” (solo exhibition–Towada Art Center, Aomori, 2018), “Voluta” (solo exhibition–Camden Arts Center, London, 2018), “The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art” (Brisbane, 2018), “Japanorama: New Vision on Art Since 1970,” (Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, 2017) and “Yokohama Triennale 2014” (Kanagawa, 2014).