Autonomous Sense Object

Nolan Lem
Finalist

Autonomous Sense Object reveals a syncretic habitat that examines the sonic materiality of velcro as it pertains to the ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) and BDSM (bondage, dominance, submission, masochism) communities. In this convergence, the literal 'autonomous sense object' points to the ways in which a particular sound fetish- BDSMR-subverts conventional associations of sound and pleasure. As such this piece presents a speculative account of a sonic world that asks us to reassess our relationship to sound through the dialectics of power and control, arousal and fear, dominance and submission.

In this piece, physical and sonic gestures are merged in synesthetic continuity: its poking motion is inextricably connected to the sound it gives rise to. The industrial mechanization of the revolving piece itself-the crankshaft, gear heads, mirrored panels, pink neon lights-fetishize the object as an automata of techno-erotic desire.

Autonomous Sense Object

Nolan Lem
Finalist

Artist Statement

Nolan Lem
Finalist

Nolan Lem is an artist and researcher whose work reflects a broad range of influences and mediums. His sound-based works examine issues related to emergent dynamics, psychophysics, and the synchronization of auditory phenomena.

Nolan has premiered work at the Hayden Planetarium at the Natural History Museum, Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation, Pro Arts Gallery, The Wallach Gallery, Spencer Art Museum, and the NIME (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) Conference among others. He has held residencies at MassMoCA, Pioneer Works, and Signal Culture. He has received commissions from the West Harlem Art Fund, the Hall Center for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). He holds degrees in saxophone performance, Electrical Engineering, and received his MFA at Columbia University where he studied at the Computer Music Center. Nolan is currently a PhD candidate at Stanford University where he studies at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustic