10 October 2019

Press Release: Rembrandt Cyberangels Fly from Israel to Museums throughout the World

Press Release
Cyberangels Fly from Israel to Museums throughout the World on Rembrandt’s 350th Yahrzeit

Artist Mel Alexenberg makes the Bible come alive in the age of smartphones and social media by creating a global tribute to Rembrandt on the 350th anniversary of his death on 4 October 1669.

On 4 October 2019, he sent his Rembrandt inspired cyberangels on a flight from the Land of Israel into thirty art museums on five continents as a digital age expression of the biblical passage on Jacob’s dream: “A ladder was standing on the ground, its top reaching up towards heaven as divine angels were going up and down on it.” (Genesis 28:12) All these museums including have artworks from Alexenberg’s “Digital Homage to Rembrandt” series in their collections.

Cyberangels fly off the cover of Alexenberg’s highly acclaimed book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights on Smartphone Photography and Social Media.  We see them spiraling up from a NASA satellite photograph of Israel as they emerge from a smartphone screen.

The Global Tribute to Rembrandt blog shows the cyberangels continuing their virtual flight from the Israel Museum's Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, home of ancient Torah scrolls.  They gain momentum by going up from the tallest building in Israel, the 91 story Azrieli Spiral Tower being built in Tel Aviv in the shape of a giant Torah scroll. The cyberangels then come down into museums around the globe.
They arrive at the cafes of each of the museums. Why cafes? The biblical words for angel and food are spelled with the same four Hebrew letters to teach that angels are spiritual messages arising from everyday life. Perhaps there is spiritual significance that museums that offer art also offer food.

Alexenberg’s experience as an art professor at Columbia University and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies gives him the conceptual and technological tools to create digital events for the “Year of Rembrandt.” His teaching Jewish thought at Bar-Ilan and Ariel universities in Israel enhances the spiritual power of the events. 

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History wrote that Mel Alexenberg’s “Digitized Homage to Rembrandt” lithograph from a computer-generated image is a most valuable addition to the national collection as a historic prototype of the use of new technology in printmaking.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York wrote that they were pleased to have Alexenberg’s computer-assisted etching of Rembrandt’s imagery as an example of innovative technological experimentation of great interest to students of the development of graphic techniques.

Alexenberg first set a cyberangel on a global flight on Rembrandt’s 320th yahrzeit.  On the morning of October 4, 1989, it ascended from the AT&T building in New York and flew to Amsterdam to Jerusalem to Tokyo to Los Angeles, returning to New York after five hours.  Since its circumglobal flight crossed all time zones, it flew into tomorrow arriving in Tokyo in the morning of October 5th and back into yesterday reaching Los Angeles on October 4th.  Cyberangels reshape our concepts of time and space.

Mel Alexenberg dressed as Rembrandt’s friend Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel in Rembrandt House Museum
Contact information: melalexenberg@yahoo.com, phone +972-52-855-1223, Ra’anana, Israel

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