It was a joy to write this story for Impakter Magazine about pollution and environmentalism, while thinking about my roots. I talk about UNDERWATER: a 7 channel video installation and operatic disco where I sing about global warming and pollution like a Jewish cantor on the Day of Atonement, while trance music arises from depth readings taken from 40 of my scuba dives. UNDERWATER opens at the Adamski Gallery in Berlin this May. If you have any stories about global warming, marine life, seas rising and hurricanes, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org – they will be included in the show.
Many thanks to Larry Wood and to the Aiken Standard for the wonderful feature, front page story about The Sharing Project exhibition at the Aiken County Historical Museum, and many thanks for the excellent shorter story that ran a few days earlier as well.
And, of course, many thanks to Brenda Baratto, Lauren Virgo, Doris Baumgarten, Joe Christian, and everyone else at the Aiken County Historical Museum for working with me on the show.
There was a time when there were numerous socialist experiments in America, like the one, called Happyville, that 50 Russian Jews from New York started in South Carolina in 1905. Happyville has almost entirely disappeared, but you can explore what remains by visiting The Sharing Project installation at the Aiken County Historical Museum — located just minutes away from where Happyville once was.
In addition to the Happyville video, there are 4 other short films (selected from the 15 in larger versions of the installation) and 21 interviews that explore the meaning and value of sharing in a personal and interdisciplinary way.
I encourage you to participate in the exhibition not only by watching the films, but by sharing canned food and bringing it to the museum. You will have an opportunity at the end of the show to take some of the communal food and give it away to whomever you think will appreciate it.
More information below:
Canned food gathering: now through July 29
Exhibition: June 1 – July 29
Opening Reception: Friday June 1, 6-8 pm
Closing and canned food distribution event: Sunday July 29, 3-5 pm
Aiken County Historical Museum
Open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday from 2:00 to 5:00 pm
Admission is free
Address: 433 Newberry St SW, Aiken, SC 29801
I’m thrilled about the wonderful story that aired on March 21 on ORF Radio: Ö1 in Austria about UNDERWATER: an operatic disco at KOENIG2 by_robbygreif. Many thanks to Hanna Ronzheimer for interviewing me and Robby Greif and for putting together the story! Listen to it via this link through March 28: http://oe1.orf.at/programm/20180321/509144
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
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 email@example.com 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 • firstname.lastname@example.org • http://www.christinekoeniggalerie.com • http://www.koenig2.com
I’m doing a talk on Tuesday the 16th at 10:30 at the Aiken County Historical Museum in South Carolina about The Sharing Project installation and the forgotten socialist Jewish commune of Happyville — which existed for a short period (1905-1908) near Aiken — in advance of the exhibition of the installation at the Aiken County Historical Museum this summer. If you’re in the area on the 16th, it would be great to see you there!
I’m excited about the communal sculpture sharing event this Friday from 5-6:30 at the Smith Gallery, as the finale of the exhibition of The Sharing Project installation at Appalachian State University. If you live near Boone or will be in the area, come check out the 15 videos, 21 interviews and communal sculpture in the installation – and then help distribute / share the objects gathered over the course of the exhibition.
I’m looking forward to doing a talk about my work at Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) this evening (Thursday) at 6 pm at the Turchin Center Lecture Hall. I will be talking about the exhibition of The Sharing Project installation that is on display at the Smith Gallery at App State through October 27, as well as the rest of my work; framing what I’ve done in terms of ethics, environmentalism, and mysticism and in relationship to some of the artists and teachers who’ve inspired me over the years – like my mentor at Yale, Ronald Jones; my teachers at Art Center, including Stephen Prina, Diana Thater, Mike Kelley & Patti Podesta; Bas Jan Ader; Felix Gonzalez Torres; and Mierle Laderman Ukeles. For those of you who will be in the area… I very much hope to see you at App State this evening!