What is the physical embodiment of sound? For the jewelry artist Dana Hakim Bercovich, it’s the metal mesh of speakers. Bercovich collects the mesh from loudspeakers, where it is mounted over the face of the speaker, protecting the internal components of the device while still allowing the sound to pass through. The material is the centerpiece of her latest solo exhibition, currently on display at the Design Museum Holon in Israel, as part of the museum’s show Sound and Matter in Design.
The works on display, which range from statement necklaces, brooches, earrings, and bracelets, turn a material we all know well into surprising and beautiful geometric creations. Inside the museum, the pieces are accompanied by an unusual soundtrack, all recorded in the artist’s studio: wire snipping, hammering, the whoosh of spray paint, and even the subtle rustling of Bercovich embroidering the mesh.
She first began working with the material as an MFA student at Konstfack University in Sweden. Her thesis pieces, which are on display at the museum along with more current works, reference the power of information broadcasting today. “Today there are some bigger forces that are transmitting information towards us,” she says. “I was thinking about these meshes that are part of these objects, these machines that are part of this system. They broadcast this propaganda, this agenda.”
Bercovich envisions her glittering necklaces, bracelets, and earrings as protective amulets against a phantom big brother. “The mesh from the audio was relevant because I was dealing with the theme of the society’s fear and how we feel we need to protect ourselves from imaginary fears, just like with amulets,” she says. For Bercovich, deflecting the intangible but omnipresent reach of media means donning a piece of the system like a talisman.
You can buy Bercovich’s jewelry through art galleries in the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, and China. Prices range from $800 to $5,000.