Once A Wall, or Ripple Remains: Documenting Personal Encounters in Palestine

Tirtza Even
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Once A Wall, or Ripple Remains is the last fold in an on-going documentary project spanning more than seven years to date as well as a wide range of media (from single channel video, CD-ROM, website, to written text, 3-D animation, and interactive installation). The various media reflect and undermine each other’s reports, detecting gaps, contradiction and bias in the perception and mediation of the primary experiences or encounters that set the trail of records in motion. Together they form a shifting history not only of the experiences themselves, but of each moment’s viewing and of its articulation: a manifold document that questions the stability of any perception, record, or rendering of such encounters.

The encounters referred to occurred in the area known as the Occupied Territories in Palestine (1998-99), where Bosmat Alon and I embarked on a video project (Kayam Al Hurbano) that was intended to provide a political and social visual interpretation to a series of dream texts Alon had previously written. Two years after the completion of Kayam Al Hurbano and of its two subsequent iterations (Occupied Territory CD-ROM and Web-site), I returned to the images imagined (“dreamt” or remembered), the images seen, the images shot and the images digitally manipulated, this time with Maree Makom, a written text that wove these four states--projection, perception, framing, manipulation--into a series of verbal snap shots. Once A Wall, or Ripple Remains, a work-in-progress, is an attempt to return yet again to the haunting visual presence of the documented images of Palestine; a return that would incorporate these images’ passage through media, and through the history impacting their perception, in their very display.

The piece will consist of video/3-D stage sets, constructed in accordance with the dictates of a selection of paragraphs from Maree Makom. My intention is to grant the text of Maree Makom, which was initially conceived as “post-script”, the role of an actual film script, or a series of staging instructions, and with the aid of a 3-D animation software to mould the original shots within a staged set that reflects the interruptions and projections depicted in the text of Maree Makom.  The camera navigating the 3-D environment will lay bare its seams, reveal the flatness of the image at the structure’s base and the projected characteristics of the constructed site’s occupants. 

A database of audio clips from interviews with people on both sides of the Palestine/Israel divide reflecting on the meaning of the Wall now built to physically split the two nations, will be accessed dynamically by the computer, providing a shifting audio interpretation to the visual landscape.

Keywords: Palestine, Interactive Installation, Security Wall, Israel, 3D, Video, New Media, Experimental Documentary
Stream: Arts Agendas, Art in Communities, Constructing Art Worlds, Analysing Artforms, Meaning and Representation, Other or Stream Unspecified
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Once A Wall, or Ripple Remains

Tirtza Even

Assistant Professor, School of Art and Design, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

A video artist and documentary maker, I have produced both linear and interactive video work representing the less overt manifestations of complex and sometimes extreme social/political dynamics in specific locations (e.g. Palestine, Turkey, Spain, the U.S. and Germany, among others). My work has appeared at the Modern Art Museum, NY, at the Whitney Biennial, the Johannesburg Biennial, as well as in many other festivals, galleries and museums in the United States, Israel and Europe, and has been purchased for the permanent collection of the Modern Art Museum (NY), the Jewish Museum (NY), the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), among others. I have been an invited guest and featured speaker at numerous conferences and university programs, including the Whitney Museum Seminar series, the Digital Flaherty Seminar, Art Pace annual panel, ACM Multimedia conference and others.

Currently an Assistant Professor at the School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, I have been teaching Video and Multimedia, Experimental and Documentary Film practice and theory at Columbia University, N.Y.U., and other colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad.

A Fulbright scholar, I completed a Masters Degree in Cinema Studies and a Masters in the Interactive Telecommunication Program, both at New York University.

Ref: A06P0060