Autoethnography of artist Mel Alexenberg's quest along the vibrant interface between
multiple fields - art/science/technology/culture,
multiple roles - artist/researcher/teacher/writer,
mutliple identities - Jewish/Israeli/American/Global.
Torah Tweets: A Postdigital Biblical Commentary as a Blogart Narrative
Artists Mel Alexenberg and Miriam Benjamin are celebrating their 52nd year of marriage by collaborating on this blogart project. They were married motzei Simhat Torah, the Jewish holiday when the torah scroll is rewound to begin the annual cycle of reading it. During each of the 52 weeks of their 52nd year, they post six photographs reflecting their life together with torah tweet captions that relate the weekly torah reading to their lives, past and present.
Postdigital art addresses the humanization of digital technologies through interplay between digital, biological, cultural, and spiritual systems, between cyberspace and real space, between embodied media and mixed reality in social and physical communication, between high tech and high touch experiences, between visual, haptic, auditory, and kinesthetic media experiences, between virtual and augmented reality, between roots and globalization, and between web-enabled peer-produced wikiart and artworks created with alternative media through participation, interaction, and collaboration in which the role of the artist is redefined.
People throughout the networked world can become wikiartists by collaborating in creating web-enabled peer-produced artworks. MERIWIP: MEditerranean RIm WIkiart Project is an exemplary wikiart project in which anyone from the 21 countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea can participate.
Focus your camera lens on God and you will see God looking back at you. Seeing God is seeing divine light reflected from every facet of your life. The ancient wisdom of kabbalah will help you recognize that you have been looking at God all the time but missed the action. "God is the Compassion, the Strength, the Beauty, the Success, the Splendor, and the Foundation of everything in heaven and earth" (Chronicles 1, 29:11). Post photos of these divine attribute in your everyday life.
A participatory art project that links the twenty places in the United States called “Jerusalem” with the original Jerusalem in Israel for which they are named. There are Jerusalems in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont. Residents of the American Jerusalems are invited to participate by sending photographs of their everyday life that are matched by photographs from Jerusalem, Israel.
Future Holocaust Memorials
In the tradition of Picasso’s Guernica extended into our networked times, artist Mel Alexenberg has created a work of webart as a call to action to prevent a second Holocaust before Ahmadinejad executes his plan to wipe Israel off the map with a nuclear bomb as Iran’s prelude to global conquest. (Rhizome ArtBase at the New Museum of Contemporary Art has honored this webart blog by adding it to its online archive of exemplary works of new media art.)
An aesthetic metaphor derived from Islamic art invites a perceptual shift through which Muslims see the Jewish State of Israel as a blessing expressing Allah’s will rather than as an alien presence in the midst of the Islamic world. Perhaps thinking out of the box from a fresh aesthetic viewpoint can succeed in bringing peace where politics has failed.
Future of Art
About Mel Alexenberg’s recent books: The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness, and Educating Artists for the Future: Learning at the Intersections of Art, Science, Technology, and Culture (both published by Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press), and in Hebrew: Dialogic Art in a Digital World: Judaism and Contemporary Art (Jerusalem: Rubin Mass House/Emuna College).
The great biblical miracle of liberating one nation of thousands from enslavement in the one country of Egypt after hundreds of years of exile pales in comparison with the Zionist miracle in our time of liberating millions of Jews from persecution, pogroms, and Holocaust in scores of countries after thousands of years of exile and bringing them home to Israel. Being an integral part of this Zionist miracle is an enthralling creative opportunity for artists unprecedented in world history.