Bora Yoon and Yuliya Lanina, together at Lanina’s exhibition at the Highline, NYC.  October 2019

Visualizing the Visceral: a conversation between multimedia visual artist Yuliya Lanina and composer/vocalist Bora Yoon 

This dialogue was curated by SXSW to be presented as a panel on Experiential Storytelling. Unfortunately, SXSW was cancelled due to the Covid-19 Global Pandemic. However, we are able to offer it as part of our Resonance Series.

As artists working with technology, we are interested in powerful new tools technology provides, in the ways they can aid us in creating transformative experiences that bring people together and how they make these experiences meaningful, complex, and multidimensional.

Many questions emerge when combining art and technology and here, we explore the answers. 

Bora Yoon:  How do you think about experiential storytelling when you conceive the work? Does it germinate with an image, a sound, or an idea?  How do you sculpt that into a story?

Yuliya Lanina: Sometimes, it begins with an image, or an idea. For example my audiovisual performance and video installation “Misread Signs” started with these two paintings:


Yuliya Lanina, “Beauty”, Acrylic paint on paper, 19”x24     Yuliya Lanina, “Anxiety”, Acrylic paint on paper, 19”x24” 

I thought they perfectly captured anxiety, being frazzled and on constant alert and, at the same time, feeling judged and uncomfortable. And being confined in a tight outfit or corset that restrained breathing. I started elaborating the idea of feeling unsettled, of being watched and watching, and the animation started from there, which then became a multichannel visual installation piece and performance.

Yuliya Lanina, “Misread Signs”,  multimedia performance and installation featuring animatronic sculptures, projected animation, music, and movement, grayDUCK gallery, Austin, TX

Sometimes, ideas come first. I often think of theater and the interconnection between life and theater. How often people play their role in life instead of living it, or how theater can provide deep emotion or new insight. How a woman’s body could be a vessel or a theater or a place that stores personal history and once the curtains are parted, the story is revealed, a journey begun. 
 As an artist, I often think about being on display in some way and creating the space where everyone could go along on their own journey together with me and each other. 


Yuliya Lanina, “Not a Sad Tale”, audiovisual performance, music by Vladimir Rannev, Fusebox Festival, Salvage Vanguard Theater, Austin, TX

I know that you think of theater a lot but in a different way…

BY:  I agree, theatre performance, yes, is very much crafting a collective journey.  My aim as a composer, vocalist, and sound artist– is to make visible the invisible — and to make visceral the intangible, on that journey.  So for me, it’s not so much “visualizing” the visceral, but ‘sonifying’ or ‘audifying’ the visceral senses, and the work usually does start with a sound, a sensory paradox, a triggered memory, or association of sound, that I find striking, ironic, bemusing; containing richness to unpack. I think of it like activating the ‘theater of the mind’ as Yvette Jackson puts it  — through sounds, and senses, how that triggers associations, memory.  Sound can reveal a lot about place– what type of space we are in — a dense place, a celestial place, a dream space, an actual architectural space, or even a cultural space, with how time and space is weighted, favored, utilized. Sound then evokes associations, and imagery, activating the visual senses. This is how the sensory storytelling begins for me, as one sense implicates another, and builds upon that initial seed.  

Bora Yoon, “Father TIme” an art film / music video by Adam Larsen, feat. music by Bora Yoon, from album Sunken Cathedral (Innova Recordings)

For example, in ‘Father Time’ (video link above) — it started with the idea of simultaneous realities, which manifested as phasing metronome rhythms, overlapping senses of scale and time — from metronomes, to bell towers, Tibetan bowls (which are upside down bells, without the clapper).  Textured white noise akin to wind, are actually tactile white sounds of the Tibetan bowls moving left to right, in the stereo field, meant to disorient and create a sense of proximity, and scale, invoking an experience of memory and surreal space. The size of this space to me, was very narrow — like a hallway, which connected spaces to another space — and served as a kind of short vignette, and transitory kneeplay as it lead you from mouth of the Sunken Cathedral (title of my last record, as a reference to the architecture of the subconscious), into where each room’s different gravity, luminosity, viscosity, mood, and time of day / night is reflected in a unique track.  It was a parallel reality. The image below is of the same sequence, staged in opera form.  

Bora Yoon, “Father Time”, as staged sequence in multimedia opera form in Sunken Cathedral, PROTOTYPE Opera Theater Now Festival, NYC 2015.  Photo by Cory Weaver. 

BY:  What type of spaces are you creating when you make art?  How are you crafting this experience? 

YL: My work lives in a variety of spaces: galleries, parks, homes, offices. When the project is done for a gallery I have the most freedom. Of course, not having any limitations and creating work for the sake of creating work, in some way, is most enjoyable. However, there is limited viewership. Once the work enters a public place there are limitations, different considerations  4_Lanina_flowers.jpg

Yuliya Lanina, “Never and Both”,  Multimedia installation, XPosed Gallery, Chelsea Highline @19 st., NYC, Projection measurements: 75’ x 400’ x 226’ 

for the public, and some level of censorship; even in museums. When I had a show in Seoul Museum in Korea, I was asked not to show any nudity or violence. This was the case with most of the public projects: parks, public screens, and others.

 When I was working on mechanical theaters, my studio was near Times Square at a time when peep shows were still there. I was fascinated with this idea of creating a personal fantasy show for a viewer and what it would mean. The excitement brought on by the forbidden nature of the experience  changes how the viewer perceives my work – opening curtains to see a hidden performance, pushing a button to see something unexpected, turning a crank to start a music box

Celebration (detail)

Yuliya Lanina, “Celebration”, Mixed media animatron, 5’x3’x3’, Dam Stuhltrager Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Fred Hatt

BY: I love this idea of discovered performance you bring up.  See, when I think about the spaces I am creating in, I don’t necessarily think about physical spaces, tho of course, they are set up in various architectural configurations: blackbox theatres, galleries, concert halls, or site-specific, but I utilize scale of sound to create a spectrum of sensory spaces for the listener:  psychological, architectural, cultural, headphone, installation, liminal, durational space (see Diagram 1, below) — while also exploring the elasticity and layering of time. 

Live performance photo from Bora Yoon, live at Brooklyn Academy of Music in Michael Gordon’s songcycle of Emily Dickinson poems, ‘Lightning at our Feet’. Live projection design by Bill Morrison, utilizing the kinetic movement of Yoon’s record player and musical sound devices to create a sense of place and environment, originating from sonic elements. Set design by Jim Findlay.  Photo by Laurie Olinder. 

Rubric drawn by composer Bora Yoon of the various sound spaces created (left), and how she designs her musical soundworks and balances the ‘sonic picture’, akin to visual art and moving image (right). 

This idea of simultaneous realities keeps threading through my work, and how narrative can be drawn from the needle being threaded through these multilayered fabrics.  How I craft these experiences is by balancing, akin to photography, I think of the concept of sonic imagery — what is in the foreground / background (Diagram 2), how I can exploit the full spectrum of Music to Sound to Noise, and all of its narrative qualities.  What are expository elements (setting, scenery, environs, time of day, atmos) and what is narrative and event-driven.   

How can I make tension and friction from overlapping layers to either create synergy or conflict, irony, or paradox, how can I create a reveal over time, that is dynamic and unexpected.  

Music’s magic trait is its ability to create space.  Transform space.  Transport one to that place.  And in that sense, be elevated while not moving anywhere — but the senses and experiences of the mind.   Growing up, music really became that safe place, and almost like a form of prayer — it allowed one to construct the place and mental space I need, even if doesn’t exist in the world.  So even, if temporary, it becomes a ritual space. 

BY:  So let’s get into this deeper idea of ‘ritual’. In your art practice, what is your connection to the ceremonies modern-day and otherwise? What is the connection between artistic experiences and ceremonial practice? What does the performer symbolize?  [Environs/Individual : Intention] 

YL:  I was brought up in an atheist family and society, and yet my mother would often have me attend Russian Orthodox services in gorgeous old churches in Moscow. The ambience of the ceremony was really enticing to my younger self – men singing in low voices, elaborate church bells, long-bearded priests in tall hats walking around and burning incense during prayer. Everyone had to stand or kneel, and the place was covered with gilded icons and frescoes. There was something for all the senses: the sight of these mysterious candlelit halls, the strong smell of incense, and the rich, deeply felt choral singing that was collectively uplifting in some way. Some of that ritualistic vibe, deeply lodged in my memory, made its way into Misread Signs. Last summer, when I performed in an old theater in Mexico, I felt this connection very acutely. It was on my mother’s birthday. At the end of the piece, as the projected image of a woman opens up to reveal a flowery garden inside, I lit a candle and led my daughters in a procession throwing petals on the floor. (My mother is buried in Russia and the last time I was able to go to her grave was 16 years ago.) That stage was the place where I could pay tribute to her life and in a way invite the audience to do it with me, and at that moment, I felt that I really needed this experience.  Every time I perform, something new opens to me about the piece or myself, and that revelation is only possible because  of the time, the place, andr the people present.. My viewers feel it, too. In fact at my last performance one of the members from the audience referred to his experience of my piece as spiritual and transformational. And made a parallel to his experience of a religious ceremony. My art is my spiritual practice. 

Yuliya Lanina, “Misread Signs”, multimedia performance and installation featuring animatronic sculptures, projected animation, music, and movement, Teatro Santa Anna, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  Photo by Scott David Gordon

BY:  Yes.  Art does hold that liminal space, between worlds, between strata of thinking — that certainly makes it a spiritual practice for the creator and the viewer.  One learns about one’s self, through the creation, and that ongoing creative dialogue, is a valuable medium of self discovery, and self-knowledge.   

Music and art’s greatest power is its ability to transmute difficult and challenging emotions like grief, anger, sorrow, and despair that society normally tries to sock away, sanitize, deodorize, or simply ignore — and actually transforming them into a sense of hope, acceptance, revealing a new perspective, in order to make sense of difficult challenges, and find a way to integrate it into one’s life again meaningfully.  It’s precisely why in times like now, in the COVID19 lockdown or shelter in place moments — that music and art is getting people through these difficult times, by way of distraction, but also catharsis, and articulating the difficult emotions many don’t even know how to express into words, still.   Music and art offer a kind of transcendence, or transport of some kind, an elevation, a transformation.   This ritual of music and art-making is very important to me, because the act of creating and sharing, is the moment when the individual journey has potential to become collective, universal, and a shared experience.  It’s the gesture that bridges the individual to the collective experience of shared time and space. 

Bora Yoon, Object theater and symbolism evoked initially from sound and music.  From live performance of staged multimedia opera version of ‘Sunken Cathedral’ at PROTOTYPE Festival.   Photo by Cory Weaver. 

YL: Do you think people have to be together in one physical space in order to have transformative experiences of art or can have these experiences virtually or online? Especially now, during COVID-19 quarantine, we are all looking for ways to recreate that “togetherness” online. Do you think any of this is working? How are you dealing with this new reality?

BY: Especially now with COVID19 — we are being challenged, and tested to see what art forms can and cannot be replaced by digital presence, or how they are altered, and yet, better than nothing!. This pandemic is highlighting just how important and vital the role of human connection and interaction is, and the assumed privilege we took for granted, to be within one another’s company, proximity, and attention– and how we will find new ways to still maintain that.   Thankfully, music is bound by time and space — and so while collectively shared space might be restricted, my music can live online, to be experienced at different times, virtually, in the form of a recording, music videos, as well as an interactive audiovisual graphic album (a concept spun off the the format of a literary graphic novel where you can ‘page’ through the track and its various visual and sonic layers, created with Brooklyn-based collective GrAlbums, run by Sarth Calhoun).  The thinking here  was that these first two formats were the blueprint and 2D rendering  for the fully staged operatic multimedia performance version to be realized in a blackbox theater. 

To me, each medium + format has their own dimensional advantages and disadvantages.  Digitally,  listeners experience their own journey, and experience — but the concert experience inextricably weaves us into the same shared time, and entrains each audience member to one another, and the room, just like the performer does, to ‘breathe’ and create music in response to the vibe of the room, and facilitate the larger time-based fabric of shared collective experience through music, sound, and now spectacle.  I thnk despite the virtual or shared human space, it’s important to remember that breath is a common function we all have, and that can still allow us to find a way to synchronize and connect, online, or in a shared space.  

Bora Yoon performs “Inspiral”, a site-specific performance with ensemble Sympho, at the double-helix spiral staircase tower, created as a music venue, by visual artist Ann Hamilton. Oliver Ranch, Sonoma, California.  

YL: Like many others, I much prefer to be in the company of other people. There is something about certain forms of art like  performance or physical installation that simply cannot be translated into the digital realm. It is impossible to experience large scale by viewing it on the computer screen or spontaneously react as a group to the experience in real time. 

Because many of my exhibitions and performances have been cancelled, postponed or moved into an online realm, I am trying to do my best within the circumstances. 

Yuliya Lanina, “Never and Both”,  Multimedia installation, XPosed Gallery, Chelsea Highline @19 st., NYC

Fusebox Festival, the premier festival of experimental art, is trying to replicate the experience digitally. So the video I created for large scale projection will be available for viewing online instead of a large space it was originally created for. I am also working on a VR/MR project that would allow the viewer to experience the animation in 360 environment both on screen and via Google Cardboard. Online experiences can be meaningful, but many are nothing more than simulacrum compared to the physical counterpart. 

Yuliya Lanina, “Always and Forever”, VR environment, technical assistance by MJ Johns.

Yuliya Lanina, “Always and Forever”, 360 VR animation, Unity development by MJ Johns.

The times we live in are very challenging and we are all trying our best. But art and artists uniquely contribute to society and will persist no matter what. 

Difficult life experiences, like the one we are living in now, change our perception of time. 

BY: Yes, let’s go further into this idea of TIME:  time’s arrow, how we experience time differently, and craft performances at a multisensory level.  In your work, how do you consider time? 

Or Time as Density, or density of meaning, or density of experience (a visual sensation of time).   Since experience is about the phenomenology of the senses, before they become flattened into hindsight, and you forget the minutiae of the experience.   How do you write that into your medium?  

YL: When the experience is acute and rich, time slows down. I remember feeling time very differently right after my twin daughters were born. How all of a sudden time seemed to stop or move painfully slow. These days time is moving much slower as well. There is so much information and emotion that is packed in each day.

Yuliya Lanina, “This is a Test”, Museum of Human Achievement. Anya and Katya Lanina’s participation in the performance. Photo by Philip Rogers.

Yuliya Lanina, “This is a Test”, Museum of Human Achievement, Austin, TX. Anya and Katya Lanina’s participation in the performance. Photo by Philip Rogers.

In my animations and performances multiple stories coincide and interweave – in the visuals, in sound, and in movement.  This multilayering influences the way the pieces are perceived and make the time slow down in the moment. 

Yuliya Lanina, “Never and Both”,  two channel animation 

BY:  Time to me, is the medium or the fabric that holds all of music, together.  I love playing with the idea of simultaneous realities, so when I overlap rhythms together, I intentionally make them irregular sizes, so that they create interesting phasing patterns, and synergies, with each rotation.  In ‘Jansori Pansori’ — the rhythm is created by altering the childhood game ‘Cups’, and then separating them in canon, to create the patty-cake rhythm of interplay.  You can hear with the rhythms, they are all offset within their own sense of time, giant steps, and smaller circular rhythms, that align every now and again:   

This also creates a different type of entrainment — that is actually how elevation and transport is achieved!   Experiential storytelling is an amalgam of the senses:   how visual rhythm aligns with sonic rhythm (or doesn’t), and how that type of multi sensory phasing, or the juxtaposition of various directions (as seen in Father Time video — of going inward, but also all the scenes going left to right) also create a sense of overlapped time, multiple realities, and create a beta state in the mind, of trying to make sense of so many different actions, within an overall fabric.  

YL: Do you find there are ways in which your cultural and/or personal background influence what you do as an artist? 

BY:  I think the worlds we experience are certainly shaped by the bodies we live in: through culture, gender, race, class, comportment..   Being Korean certainly shapes and weighs my expressions in music-making.  Inadvertently, in my selection of timbres, how I react and respond in rhythmic relationships.  There is this idea of blood memory that I am obsessed with.  This idea that one’s cultural epigenetic memory can be traced generationally — and finds expression in new forms, as the diaspora evolves. 

There’s this idea that the blood recognizes its own — and they say that every Korean when hearing these drumming calls and driving rhythms and calls of traditional drumming and dance, that it is refreshing to the soul, as it holds a type of ancient resonance and shared wellspring of energy and wisdom, that the North Korean government sees as threatening.  [It is for this very reason that pansori was also banned and made illegal when North Korea was established].  I notice that in the music I create, even though with wildly different materials and found objects in my environment (cell phones, voice, water, Tibetan bowls, electronics) I seek to strike the same balance of timbre, narrative, between worlds, mood, ambiance, pulse, and a sense of transport.  

Bora Yoon. Still from staged operatic multimedia performance of Sunken Cathedral — a 2-person opera about cultural and intergenerational epigenetic memory. Featuring video by Adam Larsen, and movement by Korean dance and drumming artist, Vong Pak.  Photo by HERE Art Center. 

In the image above, the figure holds a diamond in his hand, just as historic phonographs were diamond-tipped to play records — so the video projection design at this moment juxtaposes this idea of ‘playing’ one’s blood, to hear when one’s blood speaks louder than the Self. 

YL: You have such a gift of bringing culture, everyday objects and your beautiful voice into your work creating a stunning and magical experience for the viewer.  

There are many ways the culture I grew up in and my life experiences also influenced my work. 

I grew up in the Soviet Union, watching a lot of Soviet animated films. They were fascinating and beautifully done. One of my favorite animations was Yuriy Norshteyn’s “Hedgehog in the Fog”. It is about a hedgehog walking through dense fog to meet his friend the bear. It is a sort of a meditation on life and walking through the unknown, often mistaking one thing for another. There is a lot of suspense and emotion,  but virtually no plot beyond a loose series of events. The whole animation is hand drawn and beautiful. Soviet animations kept at the forefront the artistry and originality of sound and visuals.  Early experience with this genre deeply affected my work. 

However,  growing up I mostly wanted to be a performer, singer actually. I studied music seriously for 10 years, sang in choirs and played piano. Music plays a crucial  part in my work. I enjoy collaborating with composers, and all of my projects except for paintings involve music in some way, even public art sculptures.

Yuliya Lanina, “Misread Signs”, multimedia three channel installation, grayDUCK gallery. Photo by Scott David Gordon

As for my stories, they are never linear, one can call them bizarre and surreal. I went through some extremely difficult and traumatic experiences in my teenage years and early twenties. As a result, creating absurdist art was a way for me to deal with these experiences, the way Dada artists used their art to make sense of the horrors of World War I.  And so my practice is very much influenced by all these experiences.  

My ancestry is complex. In some way it has been too overwheming for me to address the topic of Holocaust and antisemitism in a direct way.  My grandmother’s entire family was murdered by the Nazi during World War II. However, I am planning to address  exactly that in my next project.

BY: Ancestry certainly leaves traces in how our aesthetic can be shaped.  How would you say, if any, might gender play in your work?

YL: As a kid, I was often mistaken for a boy, up until even my mid 20s. I also watched my mother battle cancer and lose all attributes generally associated with her gender: hair, breasts, female reproductive organs and how much she suffered because of it. So my characters do not belong to any one gender. They are free to move from one to another or belong to none at all. I paint high heels and the viewer assumes the character is female. But each attribute is complex and socially conditioned. High heels represent different things for different people. To some, they symbolize freedom, to others – oppression.

Let's Dance

Yuliya Lanina, “Dancer”, Acrylic on paper, 19”x24”     Yuliya Lanina, “Mistress”, Acrylic on paper, 19”x24”  

BY: I love this sentiment in your work of fluidity between animistic and human, between genders, and that symbols of femininity can mean very different expressions, depending on the different bodies we live in, which in turn,  shape the worlds we experience.  

To be honest, I think the entire creative process, really, is a very female thing.  For industries being as male-dominated as they are (by sheer biological imbalance of who carries the child), the actual process of composing / creation / art-making is very akin to the act of procreation + birthing.  Women were built to procreate, and make life, and know the burden, weight, and sacrifice of giving birth — one nearly destroys one’s self to create life — which is very similar to art-making.  < laughs >  But it teaches you!  It bears your mark, and you are in constant dialogue with it all the time, and reflects parts of you, tames and teaches you, enriches, and inspires, as one fosters and grows alongside one’s creations, in a growing body of work. 

YL: We are inextricably shaped and are shaping the world with our access to certain tools and technologies.  Why do you think artists need to be involved in creating technologically driven work?  How does the evolving language of technology surrounding us inform our practice and medium?  

BY: Tech is ultimately a tool to serve expression.  It’s important to remain focused on CONTENT, and not get carried away by troubleshooting and becoming mired in the mundane but essential aspects of tech.  To me, a piece of technology remains a demo — if it is about the technicalities only.  However, as soon as meaning is ascribed, then it can be poetic. It is the difference between what is mundane, and what is a form of storytelling, symbolic and profound. This is the difference between what is a screensaver vs. what is art.  

Wide variety of musical instruments and technology from a variety of cultures and centuries, employed in performance by Bora Yoon at Visiones Sonoras, an electronic music conference, in Morelia, Mexico, presented by CMMAS, Fall 2017.  

YL: A moving image on the screen is seductive. In fact if there is a screen at an exhibition,  no matter how complex or involved the rest of the show is, everyone  will inevitably get glued to the screen. And so it better not be an afterthought and, as it often does, become merely decorative. We know that fractal images and rainbows are pleasing to the eye and are popular. So are LED lights and certain kinds of sounds. But there is danger in relying too much on these things and creating a lot of pleasing screen savers that blend  one into the other. As an artist, I expect more from visuals than mere pleasure. I want them to challenge, to ask questions, to help see things differently and be memorable.There is also a danger of being so seduced by the bells and whistles of gadgets that we forget about the content. And I guess at the bottom of this is the age-old question: why make work? And so I favor artists for whom it’s not enough to just create a pleasing ambience or storylines that are focus-group-tested. One of my idols, the brilliant William Kentridge creates visuals for many spaces: from museums to theaters to opera houses to public spaces. He masterfully combines form and content and uses his artistry to tackle very difficult subjects creating work that is both visually stunning, original in every way (most of his images are hand drawn), beautiful and makes us think about difficult subjects like colonialism, violence, injustice and much more. 

Yuliya Lanina, “Dancers”, Animatronic sculpture, mixed media. Music by Vladimir Rannev, technical assistance by Ted Johnson.

BY: So after touching on all these points, what would you say are creative strategies and tools you can recommend for artists working with technology that can assist in creating rich experiences for the audience?  

YL: To those artists who are interested in experimenting with technology but are afraid of it, I’d say don’t be. If you feel that dealing with tech is too overwhelming,  find someone who can help you; and the benefit is mutual, as engineers benefit from artists just as much. I started working with engineers after I realized that the sculptures I was creating could potentially cause fire because I did not think to add a fuse. At the same time just knowing how to program does not make one an artist. There are many examples of works that are technically dazzling but don’t engage in a meaningful, memorable way. And don’t be afraid to create your own path. In some way living in Austin, which is kind of like creating your own adventure, pushed me in that direction. There is no structure in place for a visual artist and so we can invent one as we please.   Forming collectives or working in pairs where everyone draws on their strength to make better work is a great way to go as well.

BY: Actually amid this COVID19 sheltering in place, technology is an incredible tool for all of us to connect remotely, and be able to find or create creative spaces.   

An inspiring example is how indie band Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, created this fantastic music video with Zoom, which is how new mediums are born by creative limitations to limitations!:  

Still from Thao and the Get Down Stay Down’s newest video “Phenom”, utilizing the limitations and restraints of video platform Zoom, to find creative new ways to reframe the medium.  

As for resources to collaborate in this COVID-19 time: a great online tool developed by Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) created a tool JackTrip, which is similar to Soundflower or Black hole but allows you to connect audio devices over the internet, so you can play in pretty close to real time w/ someone across the country for example, or all spread around your campus.

Some companies are offering free access to software during this quarantine period, like Adobe Creative Suite, Reaper, and Ableton. There’s also a great creative strategies book for music producers and electronic artists, a fantastic resource, that has become available pro bono amid the COVID19 crisis.   

Just remember: technology is a powerful tool, but also must serve the larger creative force, which is the artist.  I always like to remember 2 mantras on this creative journey, that creativity is a 2-way street: that we are shaping the world around us, just as we are also being shaped.  

Bora Yoon’s Sunken Cathedral is on innova recordings.

Photo by Leslie van Stelten

BORA YOON : Composer + Multimedia Artist 

Korean-American composer, vocalist, and sound artist Bora Yoon conjures immersive musical soundscapes using digital devices, voice, found objects, and instruments from a variety of cultures and historical centuries—evoking memory and association, to formulate a sensory multimedia storytelling through music, gesture, sound, and place. She has presented her unique performances and sound works internationally at Lincoln Center, Nam June Paik Art Center in South Korea, Patravadi Theatre in Thailand, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Walker Art Center, Festival of World Cultures in Poland, and performed her live original score for the multimedia staged adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s Wind Up Bird Chronicle at the Singapore Arts Festival, and the Edinburgh International Festival.  Featured in The Wall Street Journal, Wire magazine, and TED for her musical innovations, she has been commissioned to write new works for Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion, Voices of Ascension, Young People’s Chorus of NYC, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Modern Medieval, the Sayaka Ladies Consort of Tokyo, HERE Arts and Beth Morrison Projects, presenting her opera Sunken Cathedral released in multi-media formats as a kinetic fine art object, a graphic album (on iPad), and as a staged opera at the PROTOTYPE Opera Theater Now festival.   Her music is published by Journal of Popular Noise, Boosey & Hawkes, and MIT Press; and received awards From New Music USA, the Asian American Arts Alliance, New Jersey State Council for the Arts, Sorel Music Foundation, and New York Foundation for the Arts. 

Photo by Anya Ross

YULIYA LANINA : Visual Multimedia Artist 

Yuliya Lanina is a multimedia artist whose work ranges from paintings and robotic sculptures to video installation and performance. She creates alternate realities in her works—ones based on sexuality, femininity, fetishism, and identity.  Lanina’s honors include fellowships and scholarships from Fulbright (Vienna, Austria), Headlands Art Center (CA), Yaddo Colony (NY),  NY Studio Residency (NYC), The Puffin Foundation (NJ),  and NYArts (Beijing, China).  Her exhibitions and performances include SXSW (TX), Seoul Art Museum (Korea), SIGGRAPH (Japan), 798 Beijing Biennial (China), Cleveland Institute of Art (OH), Museum Ludwig (Germany), Creative Tech Week (NYC), Teatro Santa Ana (Mexico), Blanton Museum of Art (TX), Fusebox (TX) and Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Russia).  Her  work has been featured in Brooklyn Rail, Houston Press, Glasstire, Art Review, Bloomberg News, Austin-American Statesman, Australian Art Review, SightLines, NYArts Magazine, ART on, PS 1, and Bejing Today. She was listed among the “top 10 artists in NYC now” by Revolt Magazine and received an honorable citation from the New York State Assembly in 2013.  She is an Assistant Professor of Practice at the Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies at The University of Texas at Austin.

Bora Yoon and Yuliya Lanina, together at Lanina’s exhibition at the Highline, NYC.  October 2019.