“Songs of the Revolution”
“A 442 Hz”
is a single-screen digital video installation by Egyptian artist Sameh Al Tawil.
Musicians holding different instruments emerge in front of the steadily focused camera from beyond the screen of the film (hors-champ) and into the limelight of the camera’s – the public’s – attention.
A small orchestra of Egyptian musicians begins to take a seat, tune their instruments and prepare for a performance, a concert, in front of the spectator.
The image is plunged in a death-blue cast that enhances its sculptural form. Three minutes into the digital film it seems this is no rehearsal session but an abruptly beginning performance in its own right, intentionally missing out on the organic test sound of 442 Hz whilst plunging into an array of sound deliberations. Since the 2011 Egyptian revolution the interrelation of art in public – and primarily in digital and virtual – spaces and politics has created a new paradigm of a digitally enhanced reality.
The awakening civil dissent in contemporary Arab society has been attended by forms of artistic and aesthetic agencies that reflect on an impure aesthetics that carries the struggle and fatal consequences of the asymmetrical conditions and means of the Egyptian uprising.
Media technologies, mobile media and their crowdsourcing capacities in particular – virtual counterspaces -, for one, have not only paved the way for a rhizomatically perceived political movement and structure of the upheavals across the Arab world since 2011, but they have also mirrored and finally enacted the political demands and actions of the people in real-time.
This rhizomatically ‘medial’ form and perception of the insurgency in an art context is conceptualized in virtual passages of new media art and the decisive role digital technologies and social networks have played during the revolutionary processes.
Al Tawil’s film installation epitomizes the counterpunctual sound of disparate individual ‘players’ in rhizomatic structures of political performers and their digital impact in the visibility of events. The intentionality of gestures of incoherence and dysfunctionality culminates in indulgent, self-satisfied facial expressions of the musicians at the end of their performance. The one minute time span of testing sound, pitching instruments for an orchestra, is transformed to lived time and re-enacted rehearsal; the duration of tension and lasting inconsummerability.
Al Tawil conceptualizes the disruption of political events, civil political activism, and national repercussions through the sound of disharmony; sound, the medium of sensual allurement and intuition then transforming to a medium of ‘resistance’ directed against the blatant power of ruling political regimes and their imposition of religious ideologies and arbitrary laws and rules.
The re-enactment of fatal arbitrary decisions and their continuation of staged harmony and unity in pseudo-political ruling powers of parties is just one speculation on Al Tawil’s work. His digital installation critically reflects on the history of performance in video art and the politics of new media art in fragile post-revolutionary Egypt.
by Rania Gaafar, Germany 2013 (B.A., M.A., Research fellow at the HFG Karlsruhe / media arts.).
Sixth Floor Exhibition catalogue:
CLOCKWISE باتجاه عقارب الساعة is a Short film by the Egyptian Artist Sameh Al Tawil 2014
Staring: Mohamed Shafik / Alaa Shaaban, Written & Directed by Sameh Al Tawil
A Performance by Artist Sameh Al Tawil, within his ” Ready To Go ” Exhibition in Bern, Switzerland, June 2013; In this performance the Artist is trying to wrap a live moment for himself while playing different favorite pianoriental music
INTEGRATION is a real-time / interactive art project by Sameh Al Tawil 2013
about expats and the question of integrating themselves in a hosting society?
” Vs. ” بالعكس
Augmented Reality, interactive Art work by Sameh Al Tawil 2013, Whithin the Di-Eg festival in al jazeera art center,Cairo, EG.
A video by Artist Sameh Al Tawil 2013 exhibited in the sixth floor exhibition , showing a professional orchestra without a Maestro pitching their instruments that made an unsuccessful attempt for compatibility between the instruments for a 3 full minutes.
In this live-performance I’ve been looking for a solution in available strategies of content and technology, and for new instruments, which have yet to be developed.
Opening both worlds for each other equals the creation of an imaginary space.
“Meeting” Interactive video-installation exhibited in Goethe Institut hall, Cairo, Egypt 2004
using my body-language and music knowledge to express my feelings and opinion about many things in a dynamic way, and illustrating visual and audio relations between ideas in MindMap format
In this project i’ve improvised oriental music as a symbol of my Eastern culture and played it with piano which is a symbol for Western culture.
this video has been filmed in Saudi Arabia in the desert.
I invited some of my Egyptian Expats-friends in Saudi to meet in the desert and discuss our problems as foreigners talk, fight, make fun, in front of a camera after that i started to manipulate the video and produced a video version of our meeting the video visualize in a dramatic way how we feel about our life.
using a fixed surveillance Camera-like expresses again the privacy interruption and the Extimacy condition.
It’s my 26th birthday (2004), and i decided to create another video about myself and my fSpeedy, shiny, noisy and Exhilarating life-tempo.
A short video of an Egyptian friend ” Hany” the video captures a 20 Min of his work-life in a very old fashion, unproductive workshop , filmed at the year 1999 away before fast internet and social media revolution.
This video-Installation captures a 20 Min of Alaa’s exceptional-life in an old storage.. and how he is dealing with the life limitations
A video documents a domino-round where we can see the players hands; hear their voices talking about many things.
Video installation 2004, Exhibition “Right on time”
Frankfurt Dom Museum, Germany
” When a grave of a person become an access point to God!”