Tuesday, November 3, 2009


The photograph above was taken in Jerusalem, Michigan.
The text below was added to 'On Being a Zionist Artists in a Networked World'

Art creating dialog between Israel and the DiasporaAlthough living in Israel by a Jewish calendar, speaking Hebrew, walking on the soil of our ancestors is the Zionist ideal, the networked world provides unprecedented opportunities for Jewish artists in the homeland and those in the Diaspora to creatively interact with each other. Internet 2.0 generates alternative frameworks for global communities to form and flourish. Zionist artists can form virtual communities spreading rhizome-like across the surface of the globe. Israel becoming the central node in these worldwide communities is the realization of the dream of the cultural Zionists led by Ahad Ha’am at the First Zionist Congress in 1897. In addition, artists share their creative works through their websites, blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Rhizome, Second Life, etc. Particularly vital to the Zionist future is creative dialog and collaboration between the two largest Jewish communities. Through inspired partnerships between artists in Israel, the world center of Jewish culture, and artists in the USA, the world center of artistic innovation, a new Zionist energy will emerge and flourish.

In addition to energizing the creative dialog between Jews in Israel and United States, it is important to the Zionist enterprise in a networked world to establish a creative dialog between Israelis and Americans of diverse backgrounds. To realize this extended dialog, I created a work of participatory blogart ‘JerUSAlem-USA’ linking the twenty places in the United States called ‘Jerusalem’ with the original in Israel: http://jerusalem-usa.blogspot.com. In this collaborative artwork, Americans send photographs of Jerusalems in USA to which Israelis respond with matched images of Jerusalem in Israel. This digital dialog creates an interactive network of people with shared values that deepens friendships between them.

The Lubavicher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, teaches:
“The divine purpose of the present information revolution, which gives an individual unprecedented power and opportunity, is to allow us to share knowledge – spiritual knowledge – with each other, empowering and unifying individuals everywhere. We need to use today’s interactive technology not just for business or leisure but to interlink as people – to create a welcome environment for the interaction of our souls, our hearts, our visions.”

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