The Book Will be Out Soon

Scroll down to read pre-publication reviews of the book by Jewish and Christian spiritual leaders and experts in digital culture from five continents. The colorful photographs in each blog post are selected from among the fifty photographs in the book that illustrate the text.

Through a Bible Lens 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. Christians and Jews should buy this book for themselves as well as for their children and grandchildren.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"Compelling Integration of the Sacred and Profane" From author of "Earth Angels: Engaging the Sacred in Everyday Things"

“The most recent, and arguably one of art’s most complete and compelling integrations of the sacred and profane.  Mel Alexenberg shows the way to the divine via digital imagery and heightened perception of its presence in the moving face of every person, place, and thing. The book is packed with wisdom and learning about Talmudic tradition, creative expression, and cyberangels. It reads like a swift and soulful breeze. I love every “byte” of it.” 
- Dr. Shaun McNiff, author of Earth Angels: Engaging the Sacred in Everyday Things and Imagination in Action: Secrets for Unleashing Creative Expression; university professor of Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Monday, September 17, 2018

TV Interview of Author of "Through the Bible Lens"

See the interview about my book "Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media" aired on May 7, 2018 on the Israel Now News program on the DayStar Television Network that reaches 35 million viewers. I was interviewed by Josh Reinstein, Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, on a Jerusalem rooftop studio.

"Intellectually exciting book" From Oral Roberts University Head of Art Education

“An intellectually exciting book that stimulates the sensory palate.  Drawing from the Kabbalah and Hebrew traditions, Dr. Alexenberg shares in-depth, meaningful insights about encountering God in the creative process through photography.  Using photography as the vehicle, we are guided, one idea at a time, to an understanding of what the author means by, ’looking up, looking out, and looking inward.’”  
- T. Mandel Chenoweth, head of the Art Education Department, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

"Thinks brilliantly outside the box" From Georgetown University Professor of Theology and Fine Arts

“For those of us familiar with the diverse and exhilarating work of Mel Alexenberg as an artist, educator and profound thinker, this latest book offers precisely the four things we would expect. The narrative thinks brilliantly outside the box. It synthesizes the realm of the abstruse and transcendent with the realm of the concrete and immanent. It crisscrosses disciplines, from science and technology to philosophy and mysticism to art as both historical and creative phenomena. Finally, the entirety is managed in a style both accessible and inviting. Those with prior knowledge of any or all of the disciplines from which Alexenberg draws will smile again and again in affirmation, and those entering without prior knowledge will be thrilled to understand things that they thought might be beyond them. This is one of those books that other thinkers will wish they had somehow thought about how to write, and to which readers of diverse sorts will simply respond by saying: wow!” 
- Dr. Ori Z. Soltes, author of Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish Art and Architecture; professorial lecturer of Theology and Fine Arts, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Friday, August 31, 2018

"Unique and fascinating book" From author of 'The New Christian Zionism' and Professor of Divinity

“Who would have thought that there would be a way to connect smartphones to the ancient world of the Bible?  Professor Alexenberg has the expertise and experience to do so.  This is a unique and fascinating book.”                                                                    
- Dr. Gerald R. McDermott, author of Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land and The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land; Anglican professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

"Great Book!!!" From author of 'How Images Think' (MIT Press) and University President

“The iPhone has changed our culture and our ways of thinking and acting in the world. This book brings together spiritual thought, everyday practices of communication and interaction and profound insights about meaning and purpose in contemporary life in a brilliant and sustained exposition. Once again, Alexenberg has carved out a unique point of view that deserves the highest praise and a large readership. Great book!!” 
– Dr. Ron Burnett, author of How Images Think; president, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada

Friday, August 24, 2018

“Artist’s ‘Angel’ to Fly by Computer” (The New York Times, Aug. 16, 1987)

On Sunday, August 16, 1987, The New York Times published Barbara Delatiner’s article “Artist’s ‘Angel’ to Fly by Computer” that I present in part on August 16, 2018 in The Times of Israel. She interviewed me at the Fine Arts Museum of Long Island about my one-man exhibition “Angels of Peace.” From the Museum, I connected Long Island to the 48 states on mainland USA via a faxart event. 

Although this project is conceptually as relevant today as it was 30 years ago, fax technology has morphed into the Internet, smartphones and social media.  I explore the spiritual dimensions of this change in my newest book Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media.  The cover of the book uses the same digitized Rembrandt angels that appeared in my 1987 exhibition.  However, they appear in 2017 ascending from a smartphone screen showing a NASA satellite image of the Land of Israel. See    

As a child on Long Island during World War II, Mel Alexenberg had a recurring nightmare.  “Because the Island wasn’t connected to the mainland,” he recalled, “I kept on dreaming that we’d float away and be connected to Europe – and be killed by Hitler.”

More than 40 years later, Mr. Alexenberg, now a noted practitioner of computer-generated art whose works are in the permanent collections of museum throughout the world, is about to do something about joining the Island to North America, if only for the 13 seconds it will take for a computer in Hempstead to tie in with a computer in California.

As part of his one-man exhibition “Angels of Peace,” which opens Tuesday at the Fine Arts Museum of Long Island in Hempstead, he will send his “Long Island Angel” flying, via computer a telephone hookups, to 48 mainland states and the District of Columbia where images will be rematerialized on facsimile machines.

“We’ll probably transmit to newspapers because they already have fax machines, said Jamie Z. Young, director of the Hempstead museum’s Computer Imaging Facility.  “That way we hope they’ll send back clippings.  And a museum in every states will get a copy of a limited-edition serigraph ‘A digital Homage to Rembrandt.’”

The event will mark the first transmission of what is called “fax art’ in America, Mr. Alexenberg said. Last March, Mr. Alexenberg who calls himself a ‘conceptual artist,” send his angles, digitized – translated in computer language – from a Rembrandt image from Jaffa, Israel, to New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Melbourne and Buenos Aires.

More than just a technical feat, “to show that it can be done,” the electronic angel launching, from the museum at noon on Sept. 3, is meant to “link Long Island to the rest of the country, both physically and in spirit,” the artist said. “It parallels the biblical commentary in Jacob’s dream that angels go up from the land and come down in other places throughout the world.”

In 1969, he and his family moved to Israel, where he has taught at Tel Aviv and Bar-Ilan universities and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.  He founded and directed both Ramat Hanegev College and the Experiment School of University of Haifa. Today, he is chairman of the art department at Pratt Institute and research fellow at M.I.T.’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies.

An Orthodox Jew with what he called a “strong Hasidic connection,” Mr. Alexenberg tends to discuss his art in terms of mysticism in the kabbalah and bilingual letter play. For example, during an interview at the Fine Arts Museum – where his show of computer-generated paintings, lithographs, etchings, serigraphs and mixed-media works runs through Oct. 25 – he explained how traditional Judaism and modern technology are inexorably linked to his particular art.

“The Hebrew term for ‘computer angel,’” he said “is ‘MaLaH MaHSheV,’ which is the masculine form of the term for ‘fine art,’ or ‘MeLeHet MaHSheVeT.’ Art and angel are basically the same word in Hebrew.  Its root is ‘going,’ the action of communicating a message.

So, an angel is a divine message, and inspiration received by the artist guiding him in his transformation of the material world.  The artist, through his work, creates new angels that emanate from his work, communicating to others the qualities of his inspiration.

“But Jewish art,” he said, “is distinct from Western, or Hellenistic, art in a very basic way. The English word for ‘art’ is the root for such words as ‘artificial’ and ‘artifact.’ Similarly, the French word ‘ars’ and the German word ‘kunst,’ as well as art in all European languages, are related to imitation, copy, phony, counterfeit and falsification.  On the other hand, the Hebrew word for artist is not only different, it’s opposite.  It’s the same word as truth, faith, craft and education.”

“Furthermore, in Western art, the artist’s task is to imitate nature as if it were the height of creation. Judaism, however, does not view nature as complete or ideal. It – and therefore Jewish artists – see the artist and God as partners in an ongoing creative process.  It is imitation the Creator, rather than the creation, that is valued.”

“As I wrote in the exhibit catalogue,” he said, “the words ‘art,’ ‘food’ and angel’ are all written with the same Hebrew letters.  As an artist, I am most interested in pointing out the spiritual in everyday life.  I strive to make the ordinary extraordinary.  I aim to show the miraculous in the mundane.”    

(My “Long Island Angel” serigraph is in the collections of Birmingham Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Kansas City Art Institute, Mississippi Museum of Art, North Dakota Museum of Art, and University of Michigan Museum of Art.)

"Compelling Integration of the Sacred and Profane" From author of "Earth Angels: Engaging the Sacred in Everyday Things"

“The most recent, and arguably one of art’s most complete and compelling integrations of the sacred and profane.  Mel Alexenberg shows t...