UMWELT 2023 (Gwangju Biennale, Sounth Korea)
UMWELT 2022 (Tea-House sound Pavilion - Ma'amuta - Hansen House, Jerusalem)
The concept of Umwelt, or, the world as it is experienced by a particular organism, was coined at the beginning of the 20th century by German zoologist Jakob von Uexküll. According to von Ukxküll, every living being experiences the world in a different way, as a result of both its sensory perception and physiology, and therefore organisms that share the same environment but belong to different taxonomic orders, divisions, or classes (for example, bats, birds, bugs, and human beings) will experience their environment differently. Human beings, for example, do not have the ability to perceive sounds that are beyond the range of human hearing. We can only use technological manipulations to “translate” sounds that are beyond our auditory range.
Daniel Meir’s sound installation is comprised of recordings of Insectivorous bats (some from species that are on the verge of extinction) living in abandoned caves and bunkers along the Israel-Lebanon and Israel-Syria border; slowed-down recordings of ecosystems in swamps and ponds that reveal harmonies and rhythms beyond the range of perception of the human ear; and the “drumming” of wasps in a hive that was built around a contact microphone. Meir recorded, edited, and adapted the recordings for listening in the “Tea House” sound gallery quadraphonic sound installation. The project uncovers the auditory dimension of the lives of creatures that share our environment but whom we cannot hear, because their frequencies are above or below the human auditory range (ultrasonic or infrasonic).
The installation was conceived in the framework of the exhibition “Land. Milk. Honey” at the Israeli pavilion at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale and continues via the artistic-investigative work of Daniel Meir in cooperation with Dr. Eran Levin from the Tel Aviv University School of Zoology. In parallel to the exhibition, an album of these works will be released on the label Halas Records (under the auspices of the Israeli Center for Digital Art).
From the press:
Boxes 2022 (in collboration with Maya Dunietz) 2022
The piece contains six plywood boxes of different sizes that resemble a casually arranged sound system. Powerful, loud, energetic music and natural soundscapes emerge from the empty boxes, inviting viewers to engage with the work: to touch, stand inside and crawl into the display. The music flows as if from a space, with each box playing a layer of a recorded live set by Possibilities of Milk - the band consisting of musicians Hagi Pershtman, David LeMoin, Daniel Meir and Maya Doenitz, recorded in Kibbutz O'Hagan in Israel for the purpose of this work. The extreme combination of visual minimalism and auditory maximalism creates a strong presence of emptiness.
Water Above, Water Below 2021-2022
The sound installation "Water above, water below" plays with the biblical metaphor: separation of upper water from lower water. The installation is based on the sound map of the same name within the Atlas of Mediterranean Fluidity. The auditory experience, which invites pause and immersion, offers a sensory connection to the physical feeling of being in water.
Atlas of Mediterranean Liquidity is a digital platform for maps based on the artistic and research representation of different perspectives related to water. The Atlas is an ongoing project in its preliminary phase that allows multiple voices and representations that can coexist without hierarchy.
The installation was presented in group exhibitions at the Israeli Center for Digital Art and Philodramatia Gallery, Rijeka, Croatia in 2021 2022
Every Living Creature That Moveth 2021
The installation and the album were made in collaboration with the Land. milk. honey. exhibition.
Presented at the Israel Pavilion at the 17th Architecture Biennale in Venice 2021. The project explores spaces and histories from the perspective of animals and landscapes that have been radically changed and reshaped by forces such as ideology, settlement, politics, technology and modernization.
The installation and album include slow-motion field recordings of swamp animals and ultrasound recordings of several bat species (ranging from 50,000 Hz to 110,000 Hz), adjusted to the human hearing range.
The Booth 2019
The live television broadcast documentation of the Apollo 11 mission is the substrate for Daniel Meir's sound work. Every moment of the morning broadcast was documented in detail by some camera crews. The fruits of their labor were broadcast around the world, beginning with the filmed and smiling breakfast and ending with the moment when all that was left of the spaceship was a small dot in the sky, which also disappeared.
The work operates in an acoustic chamber set up in the gallery space. It is about twenty minutes long, and it is intended for one visitor or visitors at a time. The video (whose chronological order has been destroyed) is used purely as a substrate for the sound. You can also close your eyes and devote yourself to listening only. The journey opens with a compressed and metallic sound, as if the metal alloys, the sensors, the insulation materials and the regulation systems have joined together to create a pulsating and layered metallic choir, which accompanies and promotes the play. You can hear the many parts coming together into one machine, with strings stretched.
With the transition to surveillance cameras, the soundtrack also changes. The vehicle with the astronauts in it moves forward on the road dedicated to its use. Mobiles in front of him and behind him, stand to serve him. The convoy passes the cars on the sidelines and the crowd of spectators, and the sound is released from its compression. A dull and consistent mechanical hum remains. The vehicle is advanced. Fewer and fewer companions are standing on the side of the road.
Finally the mobility also stops, and he continues alone: a flashing white cube slides on gray surfaces. The mechanical hum becomes a human voice trying to break through to us, perhaps through a communication system, but the words themselves cannot be understood. The undeciphered murmur brings to mind an ancient mother tongue, perhaps the one that was the fruit of the first ripeness of the linguistic revolution that ended with Homo-Speines ruling the earth. Perhaps this is the tongue of the earth, mother-of-all-living that is about to say goodbye to three of her children and send them to the rock block that was once a part of her too. We watch in silence, and suddenly she can be heard moaning and groaning.
Single Copy (In collaboration with Noam Rotem) 2011-2018
The performance takes place in a field, which obliges everything inside it to act according to a cyclical set of rules. The artist struggles between his desire to fulfill himself in the work, and between the time allotted to him, and the sharp transition between attachment and parting, when he finishes his work, and sends the only copy to an unknown fate, when he must continue immediately, to the next work.
The piece that the random viewer will receive for free and as a surprise, becomes his property. From now on he owns all the rights to her, and is responsible for her fate. He can throw it away, sell it, or keep it, only if he chooses to complete the action, and publish the work, the artist will be able to meet it again. The artist, the object, and the viewer participate in an experiment examining their relationships, when the balance is shaken and the boundaries are blurred.
Over the past decade, over 10 Single Copy events have taken place throughout the country, at festivals and art events, including the Center for Contemporary Art - Tel Aviv, the Yarkon 19 Gallery, the Center for Digital Art - Holon, the Musrara Mix Festival, the Jerusalem Design Week, the Print Screen Festival and more. During the event , the live studio operated for 8 hours. To date, over 200 segments have been recorded at these events and they are circulating around the world, some of them were uploaded by their owners to the project website and some of them we will never know.
In your possession is the only existing copy of this work which also gives you the right to legal ownership of it. The fate of the work is in your hands and you can make any use of it that comes to your mind. You are welcome to display, play, give away, sell, or dispose of it. If you would like to share it with others, we will thank you if you send us the work.
Music for Wasps, Bats and Toads 2023 (Musrara-Mix Festival, Jerusalem)
A Real-time quadraphonic sound installation
Every creature is enclosed within its own sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of an immense world.
After presenting the sound installation Umwelt, Daniel Meir intents to use its materials as the basis for A music composition and present it as a real-time sound installation. The composition include and triggers into elctronic textures: ultrasonic recordings of insect-eating bats, some of which are endangered species, that live in caves and abandoned bunkers along the Israeli-Lebanese and Israeli-Jordanian borders; slow-motion recordings of life in swamps and winter pools; and the drumming of wasps in a nest built around a contact microphone.
For a moment, one can imagine a non-human audial perspective.
Photo: Hadas Satt