Friday, October 11, 2019

Press Release: Rembrandt Cyberangels Make the Bible Come Alive by Flying from Israel to Museums throughout the World


Artist Mel Alexenberg is making 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.

The "Year of Rembrandt" began on 4 October 2019 with the launching of his Rembrandt inspired cyberangels on virtual flights from the Land of Israel into thirty art museums on five continents. All these museums have artworks from Alexenberg’s “Digital Homage to Rembrandt” series in their collections.

Cyberangels are 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)

They fly up from 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 Bible 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 Bible 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 biblical thought in universities in Israel enhances the spiritual energy 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 the 320th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death.  On the morning of 4 October 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.

See praise for Through a Bible Lens by Christian and Jewish spiritual leaders and experts on art and digital culture at Israel365.

Contact information: Prof. Mel Alexenberg, melalexenberg@yahoo.com, phone +972-52-855-1223, Ra’anana, Israel

All images in this press release were created by Mel Alexenberg who gives permission to print and electronic media to use them with texts about Global Tribute to Rembrandt.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Cybermiles in the Age of Smartphones and Social Media Erase Miles


There are thirty museums participating in the Global Tribute to Rembrandt on five continents including those from the twelve states in USA that have places called JerUSAlem.  The title of the blog posts for the museums in the twelve states shows its distance in miles to Jerusalem in Israel and to Jerusalem in the US state.  

For example: University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor: 6,018 miles from Jerusalem, Israel; 14 miles from Jerusalem, Michigan; or 0 cybermiles, and Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York: 5,698 miles from Jerusalem, Israel; 78 miles from Jerusalem, New York; or 0 cybermiles 

I coined the word “cybermiles” to highlight the difference between my digital events honoring Rembrandt on the 230th anniversary of his death in 1989 and on the 250th anniversary on 2019. Cybermiles symbolizes the shift from the fax generation to the ubiquitous digital culture of smartphones and social media.

On the morning of October 4, 1989, my Rembrandt inspired cyberangel ascended from the AT&T building in New York.  It flew to Amsterdam to Jerusalem to Tokyo to Los Angeles, returning to New York on the same afternoon. It took an hour in each city to receive 28 pages of angel fragments and fax them on to the next city.  After a five-hour flight around the planet, the deconstructed angel was reconstructed for the fifth time at its starting point.  

Unlike fax technology where the cyberangel went from one city to the next on its circumglobal flight, today’s technology sees cyberangels ascend into “The Cloud” and descend into cities throughout the world.  The Cloud describes a vast number of computers interconnected through a real-time communication network such as the Internet. The Cloud is a living network of networks blanketing our planet that expresses the biblical commentary that the angels in Jacob’s dream ascend into The Cloud and come down throughout the world.

In 1989, the distance between participating cities is measured in miles. Learn more about the circumglobal faxart event at Rembrandt Inspired Cyberangels Circle the Globe.

In 2019, rather than flying from place to place, cyberangels ascend into The Cloud and drop down anywhere in the world.  Cybermiles in the age of smartphones and social media erases miles. Follow my emerging digital homage to Rembrandt as it is happening at this Global Tribute to Rembrandt blog.

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