25 August 2019

Cyberangels Go Up from the Land of Israel and Go Down Throughout the World

“A ladder was standing on the ground, and its top reached up toward heaven, and angels were going up and down on it.” (Genesis 28:12)  The preeminent biblical commentator Rashi teaches that the angels in Jacob's dream go up from the Land of Israel and come down throughout the world.                                                             

A proposal to Chabad Lubavitch to realize Rashi's words in the age of smartphones and social media

A global tribute to Rembrandt on his 350th yartzheit (he died on 4 October 1669, 9 Tishrei 5430, that falls in 5430 on Yom Kippur) by flying cyberangels from the Kfar Chabad in Israel to the 770 headquarters of Chabad in New York and on to the 100 countries in which there are Chabad Houses.

My digitized homage to Rembrandt events on his 320th yarzheit.The Rebbe was enthusiastic about my bringing Jewish thought into the world's mainstream. 

The photo below is from the 1989 Annual Report of AT&T sent to the 3,000 AT&T shareholders.  My event was watched by ten million people in TV broadcasts on all the major networks. See Rembrandt Inspired Cyberangels Circle the Globe via AT&T Satellites

At the Rebbe's prompting when I was head of the art department at Pratt Institute and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, I had a one-man show of my computer generated artworks at the Chassidic Art Institute on Kingston Avenue. At the same time, my exhibition "LightsOROT: Spiritual Dimensions of the Electronic Age" that I created at MIT filled the Yeshiva University Museum. The exhibition catalog features my dialogue with Rabbi Norman Lamm, president of YU, "Light, Vision and Art in Judaism." The ARTnews critic wrote "Rarely is an exhibition as visually engaging and intellectually challenging. 

Catalog for exhibition of Mel Alexenberg showing serigraph of "Ascent of Computer Angels from the Land of Israel" in the collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

The same image for the smartphone generation appears on the cover of my 2019 book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media. Throughout my book are nine quotations from the Rebbe.

It is a more popular version of my two academic books published by Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press: The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness (2011) and Educating Artists for the Future: Learning at Intersection of Art, Science, Technology and Culture (2008)When I was head of Emunah College School of the Arts in Jerusalem, I wrote in Hebrew the book Dialogic Art in a Digital World: On Judaism and Contemporary Art (2008).  

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