In Between Real and Imaginary Ecosystems
March 15 - April 15
In the winter of 2020, at the beginning of what later unfolded as a long period of major depression, Omer Eilam wrote an entry in his diary which culminated with the following sentence: “We are destroying the natural world and gradually migrating into a self-created simulation”. This idea has been following his ever since as he has been navigating his relationship towards nature and technology. In the exhibition In Between Real and Imaginary Ecosystems, Berlin-based Israeli artist Omer Eilam explores this relationship through the lens of ecosystems. One room of Zemin Art Space showcases a real ecosystem featuring my composition “A Day at Hambacher Forst”, based on Omer Eilam’s experiences as an activist occupying the Hambach Forest which was almost entirely destroyed for the sake of coal-mining. Another room features an imaginary ecosystem with an interactive musical environment in which visitors could interact with sound organisms and shape their behaviour. “In August 2020 I spent a day at the Hambach Forest together with a group of activists who were occupying the forest and trying to save it from destruction for the sake of coal mining. At that time I was an active member of Extinction Rebellion in The Netherlands and wanted to witness firsthand the collapse of our natural systems as well as the struggle of the environmental movement in order to prevent that from happening. As the largest open pit mine in Europe, the forest and its occupation became a symbol of resistance and an inspiration for many activists. When I arrived there it was two years after a German court ruled that the clearance of Hambach Forest by RWE AG had to stop immediately until further evidence could be evaluated. While I expected to find highly motivated activists and “tree hugging hippies” I was totally unprepared to face people whose lives were so utterly different from anything I’ve encountered until then. In retrospect I realized how living in such close proximity to a place of destruction and violent opposition can cause deep scars in the human soul and make a person feel extremely alienated from his fellow men.”
Originally from Tel Aviv Omer Eilam began his academic studies with a Bachelor degree in Neuroscience and later continued to a PhD in Computational Biology and research of the Human Microbiome. In parallel he started a Bachelor’s degree in music composition and later moved to The Netherlands to study electronic music in The Institute of Sonology. Focusing on the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen he acquired a Master’s degree with an electronic music realization of Stockhausen’s composition TIERKREIS. In 2017 he began training and working as a sound projectionist and synthesizer creator for the ‘Aus LICHT’ production in Holland Festival 2019. Beginning in 2019 Omer Eilam became active in the environmental movement, co-founding Extinction Rebellion’s online activist radio, helping to organize the conference ‘Breathing with the Climate Crisis’ at the Goetheanum in Switzerland, writing several essays about the relationship between humans and nature and composing a piece dedicated to the activists who defend the Hambach Forest from destruction.
Alongside his compositional praxis he gives workshops to groups which aim to balance individual self expression and group connection. By way of diverse musical games that he invented participants are invited to explore their individual voice while at the same time find different ways to harmonise with the group.
His work was featured in Hošek Contemporary, MOOS Space, IN-SONORA, The Church of Interbeing, The Goetheanum, The Palace Residency and CTM Berlin, among other places. Since 2021 he lives in Falkensee (Berlin) and continues to explore the many facets of the human condition through art and music.