While the List Gallery and the Media Lab lobby are closed due to Covid-19, The Sound of Obsessing has been highlighted as part of the virtual exhibition The List at Home. Dive deeper here!
The Sound of Obsessing
This exhibit, on view in the Media Lab lobby, is a complement to the MIT List Gallery exhibit.
This piece, The Sound of Obsessing, is an adaption of a large-format charcoal drawing created by Media Lab director’s fellow Christine Sun Kim. It is one of seven created for The World Is Sound exhibition at the Rubin Museum in New York City in 2017.
The symbol “p” stands for piano. It means to play quietly; the more "p’s" you see, the more quietly you play. “For this piece, I’ve made ‘obsessing’ a sound,” explains Kim. “When people obsess over something, they return to it over and over again in their mind. There’s a rhythm to it. As time goes on, the obsession quickens, represented by the shrinking distance of p’s. Finally, at the end, the p’s are crowded and your mind is racing non-stop. You become totally engrossed with your obsession.”