Joel Tauber

UNDERWATER: an operatic disco

Eröffnung Donnerstag, 8. März 2018, 18:00 - 21:00 Uhr

bis 21. April 2018

UNDERWATER brings environmentalism, trance music, and mysticism together; as it suggests, in interactive and immersive ways, that we're all connected to each other and to the land / sea - even if we have largely forgotten that and even if we have to collectively change our ways. As people dance in the UNDERWATER operatic disco, their movements – which echo Tauber’s – blur the distinctions between our bodies. The boundaries between the Self and the Other collapse; just as the distinctions between people / marine life blur, and the distinctions between the human built environment of the exhibition space and the underwater video world merge.

In the 7-channel video installation, 5 videos focus on what Tauber finds underwater: pollution, death, nausea, a beautiful sea turtle, and swaying kelp… A 6th video shows him disappearing into a cloud of air bubbles; and a 7th video shows a visual map of his 40 scuba dives, which slowly moves into existence from left to right in real time with the 51 minute musical piece.

The composition arises from depth readings recorded during every second of Tauber’s dives. Tauber assigned each dive an instrument and a beat and translated the movements of each dive in real time into music: the deeper the depth reading, the deeper the note. Sometimes, all 40 dives play together. Other times, a “band” of dives are heard. And, then there are moments when individual dives have “solos”. Tauber sings his dive depths (higher notes for the higher depths, deeper notes for the deeper depths) ("43 feet"... "80 feet"...) at various intervals to emphasize the relationships between his movements underwater and the music.

Tauber sings about seeking the Other (which is the chorus) in ways that evoke the Jewish cantorial scales; and he sings about pollution and global warming in ways that evoke the iconic old melody "Kol Nidre" from the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. So, there is a prayer-like / collective atonement element to this underwater rave.

8 drawings of the musical notes and lyrics in the composition will surround the videos, and overhead neon blue lights will illuminate the space.

Participation in the show can happen both directly, by experiencing the installation and dancing to its music; and also remotely, by responding to the call to send personal stories about global warming, marine life, seas rising, and hurricanes to These stories will be included in the show.