Walk on water

 

The title “Walk on water” is taken from the idea that exists in Christianity from the exodus of Jews from Egypt and the Red Sea Crossing. The idea of passing through water, which in Christianity has religious implications, in today’s world of political control of movements and migrations of populations, takes on new meanings.

 

Using a military system for motion control in this work of art I attempted to use the object’s (radar’s) military function. With this work I joined two opposing viewpoints – mythical and religious with contemporary military technology.

Motion through the given space (landscape) is perceived by the mobile radar system PR15 and transferred to the water surface creating changing images of waves. The motion sound signal that is the accompanying phase in the transferring of radar signals is directly transferred. The motion of various formations of soldiers as in exercises at military polygons is transferred to coordinates and points on a monitor, or in the case of my work, to water drips. The water droplets are controlled and transferred to the size of the pool in the order of lit dots on a radar monitor.

Movement control

Today, various control models regulate human movement and behavior. An example of movement control that was the main inspiration in shaping the work “Walk on Water” is the mobile radar P 15, by which human movement is controlled in a radius of 16km. Similar radar systems are used by military and police throughout the world in border control, airports, other significant facilities and it is used in direct military conflict.

This radar can detect different types of motion: vehicles, persons walking, running or crawling. The signal emitted by the radar moves like sound – each object it contacts gives off certain changes and jumps in the signal. Different types of movement give off different changes in the signal that are perceived and detected by this radar. When the radar sends its sound signal, it receives a reflection of this signal to its antenna. Augmenting this low frequency signal generates a sound that defines the perceived movement. Up until 15 years ago, when computer technology was not so developed, a soldier had earphones and used this radar to listen to the field. The soldier was trained to distinguish different hums, locate and define the type of movement based on the sound from the radar. Different sounds are given off by for example, a person running or crawling, a cargo vehicle speeding up, or a passenger vehicle. According to sound signals received, radar PR15 distinguishes types of movements and gives their locations on the monitor screen of a computer connected to the radar.

This radar was designed according to the Israeli new generation mobile radar. Similar radar systems are used in Gaza, and they have the role of detecting movements of warring forces and prevent free movement of the population. The intent of this device is not in the least bit humane. Considering that this device is developed by my uncle (a man I observe from a different perspective) the purpose of it has always been contradictory and in some way unnerving. So I decided to apply this device in my artwork and attempt to use its function of motion detection in war conflicts and provide a new meaning to this technology that often works against man, obstructing his nature and freedom.

 

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