UNDERWATER: an operatic disco opens on March 8 in Vienna at KOENIG2 by_robbygreif

I’m really excited that my new project, UNDERWATER, is premiering this Thursday! It’s a 7-channel video installation that’s also an operatic disco. A fusion of environmentalism, trance music, and mysticism.

Watch the preview video to hear me singing about global warming like a Jewish cantor on the Day of Atonement.

And read more – press release below – about the project and its premiere at KOENIG2 by_robbygreif in Vienna.

Hope to see you soon!

Joel Tauber | UNDERWATER

KOENIG2 by_robbygreif

March 8 – April 21

Opening: March 8, 6-9 pm

UNDERWATER brings environmentalism, trance music, and mysticism together; as it suggests, in interactive and immersive ways, that we’re all connected to each other and to the land / sea – even if we have largely forgotten that and even if we have to collectively change our ways. As people dance in the UNDERWATER operatic disco, their movements – which echo Tauber’s – blur the distinctions between our bodies. The boundaries between the Self and the Other collapse; just as the distinctions between people / marine life blur, and the distinctions between the human built environment of the exhibition space and the underwater video world merge.

In the 7-channel video installation, 5 videos focus on what Tauber finds underwater: pollution, death, nausea, a beautiful sea turtle, and swaying kelp… A 6th video shows him disappearing into a cloud of air bubbles; and a 7th video shows a visual map of his 40 scuba dives, which slowly moves into existence from left to right in real time with the 51 minute musical piece.

The composition arises from depth readings recorded during every second of Tauber’s dives. Tauber assigned each dive an instrument and a beat and translated the movements of each dive in real time into music: the deeper the depth reading, the deeper the note. Sometimes, all 40 dives play together. Other times, a “band” of dives are heard. And, then there are moments when individual dives have “solos”. Tauber sings his dive depths (higher notes for the higher depths, deeper notes for the deeper depths) (“43 feet”… “80 feet”…) at various intervals to emphasize the relationships between his movements underwater and the music.

Tauber sings about seeking the Other (which is the chorus) in ways that evoke the Jewish cantorial scales; and he sings about pollution and global warming in ways that evoke the iconic old melody “Kol Nidre” from the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. So, there is a prayer-like / collective atonement element to this underwater rave.

8 drawings of the musical notes and lyrics in the composition will surround the videos, and overhead neon blue lights will illuminate the space.

Participation in the show can happen both directly, by experiencing the installation and dancing to its music; and also remotely, by responding to the call to send personal stories about global warming, marine life, seas rising, and hurricanes to koenig2@christinekoeniggalerie.at  These stories will be included in the show.

The show will be visible 24/7 from the street via the gallery’s large windows; and on Thursday evenings from 7-9 pm, the gallery will open its doors so visitors can more fully experience the UNDERWATER operatic disco and dance in the space. Please contact the gallery to enter at other times as well.

KOENIG2 by_robbygreif  •  margaretenstraße 5 | 1040 vienna | austria  •  +43 1 585 74 74  •  +43 677 61 38 31 76  •  koenig2@christinekoeniggalerie.at   •  http://www.christinekoeniggalerie.com   •  http://www.koenig2.com

Author: Joel Tauber

Activist. Artist. Filmmaker. Wake Forest University Associate Professor.

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