Mel Alexenberg is an artist who creates artworks at the interface between art, science, technology, and culture. His artworks explore interrelationships between digital age art and Jewish consciousness, space-time systems and electronic technologies, participatory art and community, high tech and high touch experiences, and responsive art in cyberspace and real space. He pioneered in using computers to make art in the 1960’s when he was a doctoral student at New York University. His artworks exploring digital technologies and global systems are in the collections of more than forty museums worldwide.

Alexenberg is Council member of the Wolf Foundation that awards the Wolf Prizes to distinguished artists and scientists. He is also head of the School of the Arts at Emuna College in Jerusalem, Israel, and was professor of art and education at Columbia University, Bar Ilan University, and Ariel University, head of the art department at Pratt Institute, research fellow at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and dean of visual arts at New World School of the Arts in Miami.

He is the author of the books: 'The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness' (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press, 2011), 'Dialogic Art in a Digital World: Judaism and Contemporary Art' (in Hebrew), 'Aesthetic Experience in Creative Process', 'Light and Sight', and with Otto Piene, 'LightsOROT: Spiritual Dimensions of the Electronic Age'. He is Editor of 'Educating Artists for the Future: Learning at the Intersections of Art, Science, Technology, and Culture' (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press, 2008), former Art Editor of 'The Visual Computer: International Journal of Computer Graphics', and author of numerous papers.

He is writing a new book 'How to Photograph God: Bible Blog your Life' and co-editing 'Zionist Artists in a Networked World.'

Born and educated in New York, Alexenberg earned degrees at Queens College, Yeshiva University, and New York University (interdisciplinary doctorate in art, science, and psychology). He lives with his wife, artist Miriam Benjamin, in Ra'anana, Israel, where they enjoy their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

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Aesthetic Peace

Wed Aug 20, 2008 00:00 - Wed Aug 20, 2008

It is important that you join the AESTHETIC PEACE Facebook group to promote peace in the Middle East Invite your friends to join, too.

The Aesthetic Peace Group aims through art and creativity to inspire new approaches and create new metaphors for peace between Israel and its neighbors. The Arab conflict with Israel stems from an aesthetic problem that calls for an artistic solution. Jews, Christians, and Muslims are joining together to make peace through promoting an aesthetic peace plan for the Middle East.

See and my book: ‘The Future of Art in a Digital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness’ (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press) to learn more about the aesthetic peace plan.


new book

New Book:
Learning at the Intersections of Art, Science, Technology, and Culture
Mel Alexenberg, Editor
(Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press, 2008)


Introduction: Education for a Conceptual Age

Learning at the Intersections of Art, Science, Technology, and Culture
Mel Alexenberg, Professor of Art and Founding Dean, School of Art and Multimedia, Netanya Academic College, Netanya, Israel. (author of The Future of Art in a Digital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness, Intellect Books, 2006)

Beyond the Digital

Beyond the Digital: Preparing Artists to Work at the Frontiers of Technoculture
Stephen Wilson, Professor and Director of Conceptual/Information Arts Program, San Francisco State University, California, USA, (author of Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology, MIT Press, 2002)

Pixels and Particles: The Path to Syncretism
Roy Ascott, President, Planetary Collegium and Professor, University of Plymouth, UK. (author of Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology and Consciousness, University of California Press, 2003, and editor of Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research)

Sustaining Creativity and Losing the Wild
Carol Gigliotti, Associate Professor of New Media, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Making Space for the Artist
Mark Amerika, Associate Professor of Art and Art History, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA, (author of META/DATA: A Digital Poetics, MIT Press, 2007)

Networked Times

Unthinkable Complexity: Art Education in Networked Times
Robert Sweeny, Assistant Professor of Art and Art Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA, USA

Art/Science & Education
Stefan Sonvilla-Weiss, Professor and Head of the International MA Program in ePedagogy, University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland. (author of (e)Pedagogy-Visual Knowledge Building: Rethinking Art and New Media in Education, Peter Lang, 2005)

Learning, Education and the Arts in a Digital World
Ron Burnett, President of Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, (author of How Images Think, MIT Press, 2004)

Afference and Efference: Encouraging Social Impact through Art and Science Education
Jill Scott, Research Professor: Institute for Cultural Studies in Art, Media and Design, Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Zürich, Switzerland, and Vice Director, Z-Node, Planetary Collegium. (author of Artistsinlabs: Exploring the Interface Between Art and Science, Springer, 2006)

Polycultural Perspectives

Expressing with Grey Cells: Indian Perspectives on New Media Art
Vinod Vidwans, Professor and Head of Departments of New Media and Software User Interface Design, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India

New Media Art as Embodiment of Tao
Wengao Huang, Associate Professor of Media Art, College of Information Science and Engineering,
Shandong University at Weihai, China

Between Hyper-Images and Aniconism: New Perspectives on Islamic Art in the Education of Artists
Ozgur Sogancy, Assistant Professor of Fine Art Education, Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey

Touching Light: PostTraditional Immersion in Interactive Artistic Environments
Diane Gromala, Professor and Associate Director of the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada. Co-author of Windows and Mirrors: Interaction Design, Digital Art and the Myth of Transparency (MIT Press 2005), and
Jinsil Seo, PhD Candidate, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University

Reflective Inquiry

Media Golem: Between Prague and ZKM
Michael Bielicky, Professor and Head of the Department of InfoArt/Digital Media, Hochschule fur Gestaltung, ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany, and Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, Czech Republic

Life Transformation - Art Mutation
Eduardo Kac, Professor and Chairman, Art and Technology Department, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA (author of Telepresence & Bio Art, University of Michigan Press, 2005)

Learning Through the Re-embodiment of the Digital Self
Yacov Sharir, Associate Professor of Dance and Multimedia Art, University of Texas at Austin, USA

My Journey: From Physics to Graphic Design to User-Interface/Information-Visualization Design
Aaron Marcus, President Aaron Marcus and Associates (AM+A), and Visiting Professor of Media Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, USA (author of Graphic Design for Electronic Documents and User Interfaces, Addison-Wesley, 1991)

Emergent Praxis

Entwined Histories: Reflections on Teaching Art, Science, and Technological Media
Edward A. Shanken, Professor of Art History, Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia, USA (editor of Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology, and Consciousness, University of California Press, 2003)

A Generative Emergent Approach to Graduate Education
Bill Seaman, Professor and Head of Department of Digital Media, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, USA

Media Literacy: Reading and Writing Images in a Digital Age
Shlomo Lee Abrahmov, Senior Lecturer in Design and Instructional Systems Technologies, Holon Institute of Technology, Holon, Israel

The Creative Spirit in the Age of Digital Technologies: Seven Tactical Exercises
Lucia Leao, Professor of Art and Technology, Department of Computer Science, Sao Paulo Catholic University, and SENAC, Brazil (author of Derivas: Cartografias do Ciberespaço, Annablume, 2004)

Epilogue: Realms of Learning

From Awesome Immersion to Holistic Integration
Mel Alexenberg, Former Associate Professor of Art and Education, Columbia University, Chairman of Fine Arts, Pratt Institute, Dean of Visual Arts, New World School of the Arts, Miami, and Research Fellow, MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, USA


Webart as a Call to Action: Global Reach in a Networked Planet

The global reach of a networked planet gives artists unprecedented power to express their moral outrage as a worldwide call to action to confront hatred, bigotry, racism, terrorism, genocide, and cults of death and destruction.

Artists in the past have exhibited the moral courage to confront evil through their paintings, drawings, and prints, from the etchings of Goya recording the horrors of Napoleon’s invasion, George Grosz’s drawings of the catastrophe of World War I - the disabled, crippled, and mutilated - and his caricatures ridiculing Hitler and his Nazi henchmen, to Picasso’s Guernica crying out against the bombing practice by Hitler’s burgeoning war machine killing hundreds in a little Basque village in northern Spain. The world’s acquiesce to Hitler’s raining incendiary bombs on Guernica gave him the license to proceed with preparing for WW II and exterminating the Jews of Europe.

In the tradition of Guernica extended into our networked times, 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 that is Iran’s prelude to global conquest in the service of a mad ideology. To awaken an indifferent world, he proposes creating in advance memorials to honor the millions of men, women, and children murdered in a second Holocaust.

On seeing this digital-age artwork, Kenneth Treister artist/architect of the acclaimed Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach, commented: “I do not remember being struck so sharply, like a thunder strike, by a work of art, in any form. It is so powerful. In a simple way, you tell a message that is both urgent and so sad.” Otto Piene, Professor Emeritus and Director of MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, wrote: “Mel Alexenberg, a very sophisticated artist and scholar of much experience in the complex playing field of art-science-technology, addresses the rarely asked question: How does the "media magic" communicate content?”


new book: the Future of Art in a Digital Age

Dear Rhizomers,
As fellow explorers at the intersections of art, science, technology, and consciousness, I am sure you will enjoy my new book discused by our colleagues below.

The Future of Art in a Digital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness
By Mel Alexenberg
Published by Intellect Books, 2006

In his book, Mel Alexenberg navigates his artistic insight amid the labyrinthian complexities, explosions, and revolutions of the past forty years of art, tracing his way amid questions of science and religion, technology and environment, education, culture, and cosmos. Everyone will find his book full of new vantage points and vistas, fresh insights that give a uniquely personal history of artistic time that indeed points to new and open futures.
- Lowry Burgess, Dean, Professor of Art, Distinguished Fellow of the Studio for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

Mel Alexenberg, a very sophisticated artist and scholar of much experience in the complex playing field of art-science-technology, addresses the rarely asked question: How does the "media magic" communicate content?
- Otto Piene, Professor Emeritus and Director, MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

This is a wonderful and important book. The author links the history of art to the important role played by various forms of thinking in the Jewish tradition and connects that to the emerging culture of digital expression. Brilliant insights and new ways of seeing make this a must-read for anyone interested in the intellectual history of images in the 21st Century.
- Ron Burnett, author of How Images Think (MIT Press, 2005), President of Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada, and Artist/Designer at the New Media Innovation Center.

The Future of Art in a Digital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness opens new vistas in the attempts to reconcile the newest developments in digital art and postmodern critical perspectives with the ancient concerns of the arts with the spiritual. It offers fresh perspectives in how we can learn from Greek and Jewish thought to understand the present era.
- Stephen Wilson, author of Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology (MIT Press, 2002) and Professor of Conceptual and Information Arts at San Francisco State University.

The author succeeds in opening a unique channel to the universe of present and future art in a highly original and inspiring way. His connection between ancient concepts (Judaism) and the present digital age will force us to thoroughly rethink our ideas about art, society and technology. This book is evidence that Golem is alive!
- Michael Bielicky, Professor of Media Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Czech Republic, and at Hochschule fur Gestaltung, ZKM Center for Art and Media, in Karlsruhe, Germany.

This book is simply a must read analysis for anyone interested in where we and the visual arts are going in our future. Alexenberg has provided us with powerful new lenses to allow us to "see" how postmodern art movements and classical Judaic traditions compliment and fructify one another as the visual arts are now enlarging and adding a spiritual dimension to our lives in the digital era.
- Moshe Dror, co-author of Futurizing the Jews: Alternative Futures for the 21st Century (Praeger, 2003), President of World Network of Religious Futurists, and Israel Coordinator of World Future Society.

This Hebraic-postmodern quest is for a dialogue midway on Jacob's ladder where man and God, artist and society, and artwork and viewer/participant engage in ongoing commentary.
- Randall Rhodes, Professor and Chairman, Department of Visual Art, Frostburg State University, Maryland.


New Media Faculty Positions in Israel

Wed Jan 11, 2006 13:04

Faculty need for new School Art and Multimedia Design at Netanya College in Israel. The School will offer B.A. and M.F.A. programs in which students creatively redefine art at the interdisciplinary interface where new technologies and scientific inquiry shape cultural values of a Jewish state in an era of globalization. The program will couple theoretical studies with studio practice using new media to make artworks that create a lively dialogue between artist and society. It will prepare artists and designers to contribute imaginatively to Israeli and global culture and to develop innovative uses of digital imaging and multimedia in a wide range of fields. Language of instruction is Hebrew. Contact: Professor Mel Alexenberg,