Changing Waves: Vocalising the Sonic Representation of Chinese Social-Media Weibo

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Changing Waves (34’ 23’’) is one of the last practical works conducted for my practice-based PhD research on reclaimed Chinese cultural heritage in contemporary sonic practices. This composition is inspired by my experience using the largest Chinese social media Weibo at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and further research on internet culture and technological and political developments in China’s communication technologies. This paper and the practical work reflect my interpretation of how netizens1 react to news on social media and how information/misinformation become distributed across the masses while often also being subject to arbitrary censorship like nothing happened. Expanding upon my previous research on glitches, post-digitality and the relationship between technology and humanity, this practice-based research is an examination of my experience in using Weibo, and a sonic experimentation of using speaking voices (Mandarin) generated by artificial intelligence and digital algorithms, to form the ecosystem of this work. Through my sonic re-interpretation of individual pieces of hashtags from Weibo’s ‘Hot Search’ function, first “read” aloud or generated by AI and machine-learning and then interpolated with other pieces of news, an assemblage of “non-sense” is ultimately pieced together. In doing so, this composition creates an acousmatic sonic space that questions and “vocalises” the internet phenomenon, in which information and misinformation become convoluted with each other and the meaning of “information” itself becomes deteriorated. While these pieces of deteriorated information become unimportant and meaningless, I am also trying to evoke a visceral sensation from the act of reading/seeing these re-representations, which I feel conveys a new chain of meaning.
Period13 Sept 2022
Held atTaPRA
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Sound Art
  • Experimental Music
  • Chinese Culture
  • Social Media