Ben Houge is a former Stranger Genius Award winner (as a founding member of Seattle School) who's been living in China for several years, and now is here to pay a visit. He's a visual and sound artist, and for work he makes soundtracks for video games that are so convincing they can stand alone as artworks.

His video Shanghai Traces (below) is a four-channel video "response to Shanghai’s massive beautification campaign in preparation for hosting the World Expo in 2010... an evolving, algorithmic collage, cobbling together the wares of Shanghai street vendors who were banned from the city center during the Expo."

Shanghai Traces is now playing at e4c—the monitors in the windows (with exterior speakers so you can listen on the street) at Gallery4Culture in Pioneer Square—and this coming Tuesday, May 17, Houge will be performing ambient soundscapes from China at Chapel Performance Space in Wallingford. Catch him before he disappears to China again.