Invitation for Residents or Visitors to Jerusalem: Background and Instructions
“He had a vision in a 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)
From Jerusalem in Israel to JerUSAlems in USA is an international digital art project that is a contemporary enactment of the biblical commentary that angels go up on Jacob’s ladder from the Land of Israel and come down throughout the world.
Residents or visitors to Jerusalem are invited participate by documenting life in Israel’s capital by creating smartphone videos that explore the idea that the biblical words for food (malach) and angel (ma’achal) are written with the same four Hebrew letters to teach us that angels are spiritual messages arising from everyday life. The cover of my new book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media shows a smartphone screen with digitized Rembrandt angels ascending from a satellite image of the Land of Israel. These cyberangels will emerge from the videos you create. Your videos will be linked to others in a stream designed to fly via digital technologies from Jerusalem in Israel into the twelve states in USA having places named JerUSAlem: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont.
Use your smartphone to create one-minute videos that present mini-stories about with food – growing it, selling it, cooking it, eating it, etc. Each of the videos should show a different ways of experiencing food. Choose two of your videos that best show an imaginative viewpoint and creative perspective.
Email your name and where you’re from with your two videos as attachments to me at email@example.com. Each video should show a different aspects of your work. I will interweave your videos with those created by students at Emunah College School of the Arts in Jerusalem and volunteers in the Bridges for Peace Food Project that feeds Jerusalem’s needy.
The sound track will be the renowned violinist Itzchak Perlman’s ethereal rendition of Shalom Aleichem, a song sung by Jewish families before the Sabbath eve meal. You can hear the traditional melody for this song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BDaDfmBQXA. It is appropriately spiritual music for escorting the cyberangels on their flight from Jerusalem in Israel to the 12 states in USA that have JerUSAlems and then on to the rest of the world.
The cyberangels will fly from Israel into museums, colleges, synagogues, churches, and bookstores in the 12 states. At each place where they come down to earth, participatory events are being planned that that explore relationships between angels and diverse kinds of work. The Hebrew word for angel (malach) is the masculine form for the feminine word for craftsmanship (malachah).
The photographs above are four of the 50 photographs in Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media that is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, other Internet booksellers, and bookstores. My book speaks to millennials in the language of today’s digital culture of smartphones and social media. It demonstrates to both young and old the most up-to-date thoughts on the interactions between The Bible and the impact of new technologies on contemporary life. Jews and Christians should buy this book for themselves as well as for their children and grandchildren.
I am an artist, writer, and educator working at the interface between biblical consciousness, digital technologies, and global systems. I was art professor at Columbia University, research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and in Israel, professor of art in Jewish thought at Ariel University, Bar-Ilan University, and Emunah College. My artworks are in the collection of forty museums worldwide, from Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Jewish Museum of Prague, to Israel Museum in Jerusalem. In addition to being author of Through a Bible Lens (Elm Hill/HarperCollins), my dozen books include 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).