BIT BY BIT, CELL BY CELL
music for soprano & Atari 800XL
Yoav Gal & Yael Kanarek
with dancefilm by Evann Siebens
World of Awe, created by media artist Yael Kanarek, tells of a traveler who searches for a lost treasure in a parallel world called Sunset/Sunrise.
When I first entered World of Awe, I encountered an alien desert landscape that contained the warm and poignant human presence of a lone Traveler. The landscape emanated from the Traveler who in turn inhabited it. A collection of letters, written to an absent lover, were signed with the phrase: "Yours forever, your sunset/sunrise forever yours, yours forever yours." To convey the longing of these words, I gave the Traveler a lyrical voice and cast it inside a machine universe. Polyphony, a musical style that originated in medieval cathedrals, was used as an inspiration. Through sampling and manipulation, Sarah's voice was transformed into multi-layered topographies. To express the digital "nature" of this universe, Yael introduced me to the Atari 800XL. This beige-colored machine became an alluring, yet excruciating, presence in my studio, but I have learned to program it without a manual or a mouse. Sounds and sequences coaxed out of the Atari 800XL, along with Sarah's voice, and a few Apple alert sounds, emerged as the musical code for World of Awe.
Travel log 85.6/98
I'm looking back. Peeping through the hole I just passed my body through. I can still see 6th street and the apartment complex across. In a blur though. The deafening noise of adjacent worlds rubbing against one another was replaced by a deep quietude. A whispery wind is blowing constantly. I am in the Sunset/Sunrise.
It is a major leap of faith following the trail of my imagination. I look through the hole and I see the familiar world I just left. What it has in store for me I put on hold. I turn my head looking into the vastness of the Sunset/Sunrise and I see a magnificent desert terrain. What future it holds I do not know. Yet the wondrous sense of adventure that has charged my spirit is unparalleled to anything I had experienced before. Therefore, with no further delay, I will follow the tracks of the lost treasure. Once found, I will carry its brilliance over to light up my mundane
Vanishing Point (4:39)
Sugar High (5:11)
"[And then it opened up. A little cave not higher than 5 ft. and no larger than 10 sq. ft.—cool and still. In the center, on a little altar, I saw the last glowing bits of a treasure that had just disappeared. The altar was still warm and the treasure’s glow was still rippling through the air. I screamed. "Almost! I almost got it–oh my no–this is unreal–I can’t believe it, this is incredible!" I was running around chasing the treasure’s tail bumping into the walls of the cave and then hopping to the altar sniffing the last fumes of glow.]
Then motion slowed down, as my body became heavy… "What a beauty! What a treat!" I mumbled in a daze, "beauty! be…U... tee!" (the image of the you was forming (in the imagination mind) a nose (large nose) a belly (a nice attractive belly (covered in a fabric, blue (teasing)) (Hello... I love you) hello I love you) (I said) then a head, nice eyes (green in golden rings) yes, your eyes (I’s.) my eyes?) spreading legs, you beautiful YOU handsome you (many-many fingers, running around, many-many) the smell of love fingers–your arms, is this close enough to the source?) did I alter much?) my I’s am (eyes) this is my body) then it was over) then it was over) it was over."
The 1st ring displayed a 100 ft radius of geographical information with 99.8% accuracy. That area was drawn as a green wireframe (hexadecimal value: #66CC00). The 2nd ring provided 68% accuracy for a three-mile radius of data, drawn in red (hexadecimal value: #FF0000). The 3rd ring drew 30 miles radius of information with 16.7% accuracy. This rough data was drawn in burgundy (hexadecimal value: #990000). The background of the interface was a dark gray (probably a #333333).
Your Forever (11:57)
Your sunset/sunrise forever yours,
Yours forever yours
Bit by Bit, Cell by Cell (14:49)
Love Letter 1330/75
In the course of the last seven cycles, I've been putting myself together again—a tedious job of mending my pieces—bit by bit, cell by cell. Unbeknown, I stepped into an old minefield, as all of a sudden I was sailing through the air in many different directions.
Fortunately, I found most of the pieces. Spent, however, much time collecting the blood cells. The red and blue ones are easy, but the white and yellow camouflage with the earth and I can't tell if I'm stuffing myself up with blood or silica. I bet the end result would be interesting, as silica's a natural source of energy. As a matter of fact, did you know that?
Thank goodness I have no mirror and there aren't any water ponds reflecting images because I bet I'd fall in and drown if I faced my reflection. Some cosmetic parts are missing. Will you still find me desirable?
I should not forget to mark the minefield on my map; you know we tend to walk in circles.
Your sunset/sunrise forever yours,
Yours forever yours.
[Still searching for the lost treasure]
Extreme Beauty (3:13)
Love Letter 42/2
I have found the key to extreme beauty but I don’t have the keyhole, So I tried all the holes in my body but none seem to fit.
Your sunset/sunrise forever yours
Yours forever yours
PORTAL (Video - mpeg2, 2:25)
I dedicate my work on this project to my beloved mother, Dahlia, who passed away on November 5, 2004.
Special thanks to Michael Gordon for his inspiration and advice.
Tim Cramer for early help with Wind samples.
Heather Green for being wonderful.
We both thank:
Carol Parkinson for supporting the project from inception and Hans Tammen, both from Harvestworks. Cory Arcangel for advice on Atari. Sylvie Myerson for re-introducing us at a Sandbox Magazine event.
Chris endless love, my family, Michael Somoroff for showing the plenty.
Keith for love, support, listening and everything else, Rhondda for the phone calls, Kate for sharing her friends, Dawn for the costume…
Music production: Yoav Gal
Sound engineering: Paul Geluso and Jody Elff
Mastering: Jody Elff
Graphic Design: Shual.com
Innova is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation.
Director: Philip Blackburn
Operations Manager: Chris Campbell