Attuning : Sonic Vibration, Touch and Mindful Drawing in Public

Attuning : Sonic Vibration, Touch and Mindful Drawing in Public is the kick-off of a series of events, gatherings and workshops under the title Interstitial Lives. It’s an attempt to attune our bodies to the vibration that ruderal plants are emitting and to the cultural, familial, and personal memories that are reactivated through various self-organized cultural activities.


During this event, a sonic massage cart will be pulled up on-site at Mary Soo Hoo Park. The audience/participants are invited to sit on the cart and activate the seats by playing with a soundtrack selecting device. By doing so, participants DJ unique remixes for each other. The sounds to be selected from are composed of Cantonese and Mandarin pop songs, recordings of city soundscapes, conversations, and electronic signals collected from ailanthus altissima trees using a psychogalvanometer.


A massage practitioner is invited to give free back rub service to participants using ailanthus tree bark infused herbal oil. In tandem with the massage session, artist Anqi Gu will facilitate a plant drawing workshop that focuses on close observation and mindful connection with ruderal plants.


Interstitial Lives is a community-oriented project that attempts to cultivate cross-species kinship between residents in the Boston Chinatown neighborhood, passersby and their ruderal plant neighbors— ones that grow in interstitial spaces, between buildings, highways and fences. The project focuses on one of the ruderal plants ailanthus altissima(commonly known as “tree of heaven”) and considers them as living monuments. They commemorate moments of self-organized resistance and embody multiple cultural, familial, and personal memories.

The two-week long project features presentations, panel discussions, workshops, a walk tour, a massage session, and a temporary exhibition. Through these commingling events, citizens came together to vibrate with plants, to be massaged, to move alongside others and to collectively ponder on the question: how to live an entangled and interstitial life?

The project is proposed and organized by Che Yeh with participants Darrah Cole, Anqi Gu, Baoyi Huang, Yuqiong He, Jiatong Jiang, Chen Luo, Kathy Liang, Patte Loper, dp patrick, Banu Subramaniam, CoCo Tin, Bella Tuo, Hyperion Çacatzin Yvaire. The events take place in Mary Soo Hoo Park of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Pao Arts Center, and the Chinatown Branch of Boston Public Library.