■ Open Closed Open

First DAGESH Art Prize, Jewish Museum Berlin 2019

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Yair Kira, Liat Grayver,  Amir Shpilman

Open Closed Open is a multimedia installation that explores a multitude of perceptual positions realized as a result of the continual movement of organic materials. Sand, light and human voice are shaped by a layer of technological interventions that impose varying degrees of control and predetermined roles upon both themselves and the resulting response of the materials.

Each individual who enters into the exhibition space contributes to the work’s evolution. Emerging from a room comprising audio and visual components, visitors find themselves in the midst of a large sandbox where a robot continuously reforms the terrain while driving over and writing Hebrew letters in the sand. Custom-made tools are scattered around the sandbox, which the visitors are invited to use to reform and flatten the terrain, preparing further surfaces for the robot’s calligraphic activities. Hundreds audio recordings of vocalized Hebrew letters comprise the generative and electronically shaped soundtrack. Each vocal fragment has been composed individually, yet these gestural materials converge in continuously varying densities, forming a rich, ever-changing soundscape projected over 10 speakers in the space. Depending on their movement, visitors may hear a single whispering voice or an assemblage of vocal gestures. A live visualization of visitors’ movements inside the sandbox is projected on a large, transparent screen hung at the back of the space. This animated representation reflects the movement and interactions in the exhibition and, along with the robotic and audio components, offers a stylized perspective on the social relations occurring between individuals and within groups.

Impression from the show at the Jewish Mesuem Berlin, 2019. Photos by Marcus Nebe

פתוח סגור פתוח. לפני שאדם נולד"
הכל פתוח ביקום בלעדיו. כשהוא חי הכל סגור
.בו בחייו. וכשהוא מת הכל שוב פתוח

.פתוח סגור פתוח. זה כל האדם​

"Open closed open. Before we are born,
everything is open in the universe without us.
For as long as we live, everything is closed
within us. And when we die, everything is open again.
Open closed open. That’s all we are."

— Yehuda Amichai’s “I Wasn’t One of the Six Million: And

What Is My Life Span? Open Closed Open” was published

in a collection of his poems titled Open Closed Open (1998).

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