Born from a dystopian reality – the COVID-19 pandemic – Human Signs is participatory online art project by Yuval Avital that until today involves more than 200 performers of voice and gesture, from 50 different countries.
The project begins with Avital’s self-recorded art-testimony in which he expresses with his voice all the feelings experienced during isolation. The result was a mantra that, “replicating” the aesthetics of the virus, travelled throughout the globe entering into the artists’ homes inviting them to respond through voice and gesture – two of the most fundamental forms of human expression.
Human Signs has been constantly spreading, involving more artists, and shifting towards new forms of proliferation. The different art testimonies are not only personal expressions of life in isolation during the pandemic, but are also part of a collective reflection on a unique historical moment; all the voices and gestures become part of a living digital archive.
Among the Human Signs artists there are: vocalists including some the most celebrated figures of ancient traditions, contemporary and experimental scenes; religious performers from every faith, and key figures of classical and baroque music; and dancers and soloists of leading contemporary dance and ballet companies; choreographers, and visionary performance artists, from every part of the globe.
For the past five months, Human Signs presented weekly live streaming of the art-testimonies in dialogue with each other, and with the Human Signs mantra through Avital’s YouTube channel. The dialogues took the form of Ensembles and Constellations, offering complex dynamic compositions, or static frameworks that resemble allegoric frescos with layers of meaning and metaphors to explore.
Now Human Signs takes the form of website-as-a-museum. The portal becomes a space for you to enter and wander among this chorus of voices and gestures.
Bringing a deep sense of togetherness, Human Signs aims to overcome the physical distance and isolation. And in doing so, it invites us to explore differently the spaces, languages, and forms of interconnection, as part of a collective reflection on a unique historical time.