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The solo exhibition of Daniel Meir (*1972 Haifa; lives and works in Tel Aviv-Yafo), whose title simulates the sound of white noise, presents a unique sound installation that reintroduces us to our environment through sonic means and allows us to sense it through the noise it generates. Different soundscapes emanate from two sides of the main gallery. These two soundscapes are optimally synthesized around the center of the gallery, as moving through the space affects the visitors’ auditory experience.


From one side of the sound installation emerges the urban, man-made soundscape entirely immersed in noise. As Meir describes: “The constant rustle is the backdrop to everything we do, to the point that we barely notice it anymore. It’s hard to imagine life any other way, but from a historical perspective, the sounds that make up this ongoing commotion are a relatively new phenomenon.” The city noise radiating from skyscrapers, vehicle movement, machine engines, jackhammers, cellphone ringtones, and electronic musical instruments blend with other auditory fragments into a comprehensive soundscape rooted in contemporary reality. These sounds resonate with Meir’s interest in noise pollution and the impact of the modern auditory environment on our health and listening ability. A vital source he keeps returning to is R. Murray Schafer’s 1977 classic book on auditory perception in modern times, The Soundscape; Schafer’s analysis remains particularly relevant given the growing awareness of the harmful effects of noise on humans and animals.


From the other side of the installation flows another soundscape, composed of recorded natural sounds free of human interference, including recordings of the sea and wind – nature’s white noise – as well as recordings of creatures like bats and wasps communicating through sounds beyond the range of human hearing. Meir records their ultrasonic sounds, harmonies, and rhythms and converts them to the human hearing range, granting us access to parallel worlds that exist in our physical surroundings, yet are often undetected or imperceptible to us.


The sounds heard simultaneously from both sides of the gallery originate from opposing sources, yet the composition Meir weaves periodically reveals surprising acoustic similarities between their textures and frequencies. An additional layer is interwoven into the sound piece through Meir’s ‘stitching’ of the raw audio fragments and feeding them into a synthesizer as if they were musical notes and rhythms in a deliberate subversion of the musical software. The result is a new kind of sound-piece that while remaining faithful to Meir’s conceptual framework, reveals surprising musical qualities, conveying various influences, from the early 20th century Futurist artworks to noise music.


For Meir, listening is more than a state of perception; it is also an explorative method of ‘walking’ through the soundscape. What we hear is discovered, rather than passively received, and this discovery is ever-changing, ever-subjective, continuously unfolding in the present moment. Meir isolates sound and treats it as a material, sampling and reassembling it, contrasting and unifying its different elements. From the sonic structures he weaves, anelusive, poetic essence emerges within the white noise that envelops us.


“Daniel Meir: kkkkkkhhhhhh” is curated by Tamar Margalit and supported by Mifal HaPais – Council for the Culture and Arts.



Images


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Daniel Meir

kkkkkkhhhhhh, 2024

Installation view at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo

Photo: Liat Elbling 

Daniel Meir: kkkkkkhhhhhh

May 11, 2024

March 14, 2024

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