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Ich wei Fargausen 

This project was created in cooperation with the International School of Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. Ad Azulay and I designed a series of objects related to the yearly theme "Extracting Their Faces - Individual Stories of the Holocaust" We chose to study the Yiddish language, in an attempt to understand the features of the language and culture.

We studied the shape of the mouth, the sounds, and the motions in an attempt to extract an understanding of the Yiddish culture.

 

Part 1:

We began the project with a filmed interview of Grandmother Carmela (my Grandmother).

During the interview, my Grandmother tells her story using classic Yiddish sayings, which elicit humor and also sadness. During the interview and its filming,

we focused on the movement of the mouth, and investigated what remained and what was lost.

For example: we took a sentence spoken during the interview, "Ich wei Fargausen" (translated: "I've already forgotten), and broke the video into frames, and from each frame we extracted the movement of the mouth and the spaces created during speech with outline and fill.

 

Part 2:

Continuing from the extraction of the movement of the mouth and the created shapes, we wanted to investigate with the use of a hand-operated music box, how Yiddish would sound as a melody. To create this process, we took the outlines created from the shapes of the mouth during speech, and encoded them into the music box's papers. We used a hole punch to punch out the outline in the desired locations, and thus, created a melody, which tries to express an entire way of life, which again elicits emotions of joy and humor, then sadness. 

 

Part 3:

From the sound waves created by the music box we began to investigate a Yiddish font made up of the meeting between sound and typography.

For this process, we took the sound waves created while speaking the sentence  "Ich wei Fargausen" (translated: "I've already forgotten), and placed on the waveform the sentence using the "Narkis" font, and extracted from the letters the created space.