Authority Sorter

sound installation for exploring the social hierarchies

Designer: Yi-Chun, Lan
Advisor: Chiao-Wei, Ho/ Rung-Huei Liang Date:  2020
3D printing: Hong-Rui, Lin
Installation Structure: Xiang, Liang
3D animation: Yan-Qi, You
Special Thanks: Xiao-Ni, Chen Pin-Chen, Kuo Rui-Yu, Kuo


Authority Sorter is an interactive sound installation that explored the theme of social hierarchy and mainly focused on the relationship between human control and cultural behaviors.

The idea of this work derives from my personal experience—In vitro fertilization triplet delivered by Caesarean secession. According to the research of Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler, the birth order influences how we are treated at home. Also, it affects our personality, preferences, even how we make a choice. The phenomenon makes me can't help wondering how the public will choose if we can decide our birth order or whether we will doubt this divine power.

It seems reasonable that doctors decide the sequence of fertilization and our birth order. Still, this artificially selected order has replaced the spontaneous labor one, which makes me curious about the influence in nature or the society.

I explored the ranking relationship among groups in nature and found " Yuhina brunneiceps ", which is endemic species of Taiwan. They often declare their ranking relationship with special birdsong. And only the most powerful bird in the flock can freely sing this particular melody.

Details and Scenario

The Authority Sorter is composed of two parts: the top part looks like a horn is a sound originating port of the highest-ranking tune, and the lower section, which is similar to the DNA sequence, is the sound sensing port. When the general singing voice of the Yuhina brunneiceps is detected, the device converts it into the melody of the highest order and broadcasts it.

It stands upright in the forest, trying to manipulate the natural order and play the godlike role. It seems that the work rearranges the natural order artificially, but it classifies all individuals into the same class. Try to make the public imagine a society without sorting. Will it become an equal world or fall into irreparable chaos?

Development Process


Based on a certain degree of research facts, Authority Sorter mainly exists in the fabricated world. The role it plays does not prove that it can destroy birds' power and ecological structure, just as we can never know how society will develop without the birth order, and we cannot get the answer from this work either. The existence of Authority Sorter reminds us that human beings always manipulate nature and artificial. Perhaps human enjoys the superiority of ranking and class over others by nature. Are people willing to give in to equality after eliminating sorting? Just as the utopia where everyone is equal is only a social dream after all.

This work was showed in the exhibition
《New Now: Critical, Speculative and Fictional》

Alice Wang, Cai-Hua Xie, Chia-Yin Wu, Chin-Lin Tu, Guan-Hao Zhu,
Kuang-Yi Ku, Paul Gong, Pei-Ying Lin, Pin-Hsun Hsiung, Te-Chen Chuan Sun,
Tsung-Shuian Hsieh, Ya-Ching Yang, Yi-Chun Lan, Yi-Ju Lin

Organizer: Taipei Art Direction & Design Assoc.,
Curatorial Direction & Production:
digital medicine lab, tuanco., oval-graphic
Visual Design: Chung-Yi Yeh (graphic), Pin-Hsu Chiang (motion)
Exhibition & Graphic Design: tuanco.
Exhibition Production: JKS Studio, uPrint
Foreword: Huai-An Hsing

Curated by Ho Chiao-Wei, Peng Hsing-Kai,
photographed by Huang Shao-Jou(Darren)

Oct. 2020

Let's Get in Touch 🌻
Hey there, I am available for full-time or freelance projects, whether they are remotely or on-site in New York, I'd love to hear from you.