March 2016, Studi Festival, Milan

Video & stereo loudspeakers

  • 1

In 1516 Thomas More created the word "utopia" combining two Greek words, οὐ "not" and τόπος "place", meaning: "a place that does not exist." An ideal and unattainable non-lieu (non-place), that rests outside the common daily reality. Utopias is an artistic investigation focused on the reality of the European holiday houses - concrete example of human desire (wealthy humanity) to build their own utopia. Buildings of private property, often linked to a family's private history or to renowned panoramic spots of great beauty. Temporary habitats in which families and individuals spend their free time looking for calmness, intimacy, silence, slowness and nature, in a sharp contrast to their daily routine. Observing these utopias reveals hidden and contrasting levels of identity both of these environments as of the human experience inside them: on the one hand the holiday houses work as barriers between the outside reality and the ideal location, and on the other they trap everything wished to be exorcised: loneliness, tension, restlessness.

  • 2

The summer house in Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer, where Avital and his wife were guests, is the first microcosm object of observation in the series of compositions Utopias, entitled Utopie N.1 - Rayol. It is a place of contrasting landscape - on the one hand it is located in one of the most overwhelming panoramas of the Mediterranean and on the other, from time to time, it is crossed by extremely strong and violent wind storms, which shake everything around.

  • 3

Subtitled as “Icon/sonic postcards” this work is composed by a series of scenes in video, tape & performance that cross between the non-action of the vacation house and its symbolic wind storms. Unlike other works of Avital's (GARON, OTOT symphony, Unfolding space), in this work he uses simple double-stereo system to keep the sense of flatness. Most of the elements in the “tape” are various results of the sound recordings Avital made (extended with sound & pitch modifications, granulation, morphing, freezes, spectral processes and some effects and so on) with Max/Msp, SoundHack, AudioSculpt, Max for live & Ableton Live.   

The visuals (taken with the iPhone) are elaborated into multi-layer “postcards” created mainly in FCP. Dealing in this composition with the theme of documented reality, Avital decided, in this work, not to use live processing of sound at all.