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Absence #12. My Friend the Olive Tree


This work is created in the style of Soft-Art– a mobile app that serves as a medium for textual communication between the author and a tree in a purpose-built chat program. The software transforming the digital values of the stream of sounds made by the rustling leaves in real-time is based on a unique property of the Hebrew language: each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has been assigned a unique numerical value. This enables her to reanalyze the stream of digital values as a stream of letters.

For the chatting partner, the artist has selected an olive tree growing near her home in Ma'ale Adumim. This olive tree was rescued from death and transplanted in a new location, which lies near the spot where it used to grow in the territory of a small town near Jerusalem. The tree has now become the town's symbol. It is 2500 years old, and it "remembers" the time when it was surrounded by Hebrew speech. Later, Hebrew ceased to be a spoken language, until its revival in the same land in the late 19th Century. Therefore, the speech of this ancient olive tree sounds particularly impressive after being translated into Hebrew.

A simple webcam with a highly sensitive microphone, which has been installed on the branches of the tree, transmits the image of the leaves and the sound of their rustling to the mobile device. The resulting sound graph is then transformed by the software into a stream of digits, which is simultaneously a stream of Hebrew letters. Then, through the use of a special code, this stream is separated into individual words, which appear as a text message in the chat.





A simple webcam with a highly sensitive microphone, which has been installed on the branches of the tree, transmits the image of the leaves and the sound of their rustling to the mobile device.


































  Copyright © Galina Bleikh, 2017