The OWL LAB
The OWL LAB
Ronen Eidelman, Eyal Bitton and Amir Meir, Hadassa Goldvicht, Guy Dolev, Ruth Danon, Sharon Tal, Davíd Lockard, Lonnie Monka, Mica Kupfer
The OWL Lab — a laboratory for Objects, Words, and Labyrinths — began activities in February 2022. The performance lab was founded within the Theater Department at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in collaboration with Mamuta Art & Research Center, which is operated by the Sala-Manca group (Dr. Diego Rotman, head of the Department of Theater History at the University, and Lea Mauas, the Artistic Director of Mamuta). The laboratory was born out of a desire to research and create through: reenactments, hacking, and reusing outdated technological equipment (slide projectors, book conveyors, an analog Moog, and more); signs and operating instructions from other laboratories in the university; as well as new uses of archival material whose time has passed, teaching materials, and pedagogical practices from the past.
Within the performance lab, nine artist and graduate students engaged in various practices for the transmitting and (de)archivization of knowledge. While working with the “useless” and with that which has fallen out of use (the obsolete), the underlying approach of the lab’s activity was creation-research, which aimed at a critical reconstruction of pedagogical events as well as outdated research methods, some of which have been relegated to the margins of academic practice. This approach aspired to create experimental recycling-based practice aimed at producing old-new knowledge. The lab also engaged with the question of how technological innovations influence the design of artistic, performative, and pedagogical experience.
This exhibition turns the rooms of Mamuta into both exhibition spaces as well as a place for members of the lab to continue performing research while enabling these practices to meet a public audience. The duration of the exhibition will also be a time for the leaders of the lab to write and reflect on its first cycle.
About the Works & Projects
At the heart of Eyal Bitton and Amir Meir’s project stands a restored analog Moog synthesizer that was used by the researcher and composer Yosef Tal. Beside the instrument, a documentary-fiction film will be shown. This film deals with the archeology of the medium, the poetics of the device, and stories of its pioneers. Lonnie Monka, following the poet David Antin, will use interactive transcription stations that he created in collaboration with Eran Hadas. His work researches the meeting of speech, text, and the historical avant-garde. The choreographer Mica Kupfer focuses on the traces of movement that the processual history of choreographic work is not able to preserve. In an attempt to maintain a memory of the lost “raw material,” she produces footprints and sound in a space where the body no longer remains. The musician Ruth Danon researches alternative ways of producing music, through an investigation of tremor – an involuntary rhythmic movement that involves body parts vibrating. This investigation will check which sounds the body creates when it tremors and what this free shaking reveals. At the center of Guy Dolev’s work, there are “blind” images of watching without sight or consciousness. With the help of a slide projector, which was used by the Department of Art History at the Hebrew University, Dolev documents an eye operation that is projected on a huge monitor at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. For both the hospital and the university, projection is used for initiation into a discipline and discourse of the gaze. Drawing from memory throughout the exhibition, Davíd Lockard will create maps of Kfar Shaul. This work is an attempt to express an ongoing personal interest in issues related to forgetting and the connection between the representation of a space and the attempt to recall what happened there. The actress and performance artist Sharon Tal researches the past as an experiential means that produces alternative narratives. Her work is based on her relationship with her father as together they perform a dialogue written in collaboration with the writer Mai Resh. Ronen Eidelman established the Institute for Positive Technology, an activist research institute that examines the role and uses of surveillance technology in contemporary society. The basic assumptions of the institute are that we have the ability to amplify the benefits of surveillance technologies and to better cope with their inherent dangers – turning the worrisome into the familiar, the complex into the understood, and the negative into the positive. Hadassa Goldvicht will present a fragment from a long-term documentation project. The fragment focuses on signs of life that were recorded in the warehouse of the National Library, in Givat Ram, which are being emptied in preparation for the library’s move to a new location.
Mamuta Art and Research Center
Artistic and general direction: Sala-Manca (Dr. Diego Rotman and Lea Mauas) | Assistant curator and projects manager: Naama Mokady | Technical and exhibitions set up: Eytan Habib |Graphic design: Maya Shleifer | Sound consultation: Amir Bolzman | Text editing: Inbal Keidar | Arabic translation: Nagham Abuleil | English translation: Lonnie Monka
Opening hours: Tue – Thurs 13:00 – 18:00, Fri 10:00 – 14:00
Image: David Lockard, Photo by Bar Russo
Additional events at the exhibition:
The first Hebrew Synth 24.1, 20:00, Hansen House’s attic