Samson Young’s Sonic Mapping of Uncharted Territories

Margaret Hong

As the infamous saying goes, “there are known knowns, known unknowns, unknown knowns, and unknown unknowns''1, which reveals problematic opinions polluting traditional ways of mapping the frontiers and authenticity that comes with it. What sound art challenges, or really offers, in this increasingly noisy world that we live in, is a lateral trajectory of the audience’s understanding of, and navigation to the knowns and unknowns. Samson Young, a Hong Kong-based sound artist, explores these uncharted territories through research-based audio

inspection, in conjunction with other artistic practices.“.

Maps are always selective. You always have to omit as much as you include,” said Professor Christine Leuenberger, a politics and cartography researcher at Cornell University.2 The complication of mapping and producing visual evidence of places, the battleground that strategically foreclosed the marginalised for political stability and legitimacy of history, are amplified by technological advancement and the subsequent disruption of information disseminated through digital outlets such as social media, mobile phone applications and the like. By adding sonic representation to the picture, Young’s work reexamines the mediation of