Mel Alexenberg

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Mel Alexenberg
Biofeedback-generated portrait of Mel Alexenberg.jpg
Biofeedback-generated self-portrait created at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies
Mel Alexenberg

1937 (age 84–85)
Known forexperimental art

Mel (Menahem) Alexenberg is an artist and art educator best known for his explorations of the intersections between art, science, technology and Jewish thought through his artworks, teaching, writing and blogging.

He was born and educated in New York City, where he earned degrees in biology from Queens College, City University of New York and in education from Yeshiva University, and an interdisciplinary doctorate in art, science, and psychology from New York University. He lives in Ra'anana, Israel, with his wife, artist Miriam Benjamin. They have four children, Iyrit, Ari, Ron, and Moshe, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

As an educator in the US, Alexenberg served as professor of art and education at Columbia University, head of the art department at Pratt Institute, research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and dean of visual arts at New World School of the Arts in Miami. In Israel, he has taught at Tel Aviv University, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, University of Haifa, Bar-Ilan University, Ariel University, and was head of the School of the Arts at Emuna College in Jerusalem. Alexenberg has served as a member of the Council of the Wolf Foundation that awards the international Wolf Prizes in the sciences and arts. He was appointed to the council by the President of Israel upon the recommendation of the Minister of Education (2002-2017).

Art Works[edit]

His works explore relationships between the networked world and spirituality, postdigital art and Jewish consciousness, participatory art and community, and space-time systems and electronic technologies. Millions throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia have seen his blogart, environmental sculptures, multi-media installations, telecommunications art events, and exhibitions of paintings and prints that explore digital technologies and global systems. The leading American art magazine, ARTnews, praised his "LightsOROT: Spiritual Dimensions of the Electronic Age" exhibition created in collaboration with Otto Piene at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies for Yeshiva University Museum in New York by writing: "Rarely is an exhibition as visually engaging and intellectually challenging." Alexenberg's papers, exhibition catalogs, and art project documents are in the collection of the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

Mel Alexenberg's experimental printmaking was praised my MoMA and Smithsonian: "The Committee on Prints of the Museum of Modern Art is pleased to accept this computer-assisted etching of Rembrandt’s imagery. As an example of the innovative technological experimentation taking place at Pratt Graphic Center, it will be of great interest to students of the development of graphic techniques.” "As Chairman of the Department of Social & Cultural History, it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge, on behalf of the National Museum of American History, the receipt of Digitized Homage to Rembrandt: Day Angels presented to our Division of Graphic Arts. This lithograph from a computer-generated image is a most valuable addition to our collection."

Museum Collections[edit]

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Museum of Modern Art, New York City; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York; National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama; Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Meridian Museum of Art, Meridian, Mississippi; University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington, Kentucky; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, Indiana; University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas; Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville, North Carolina; University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, Wyoming; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Canada; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa, Israel; Jewish Museum in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic; Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary; Museum of Modern Art, Vienna, Austria; Malmo Art Museum, Malmo, Sweden; Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Art Museum of The Hague, The Hague, The Netherlands; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Caracas, Venezuela


The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press), Educating Artists for the Future: Learning at the Intersections of Art, Science, Technology and Culture (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press), Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media (HarperCollins), Aesthetic Experience in Creative Process (Bar-Ilan University Press in Israel), Light and Sight (Prentice-Hall), Photograph God: Creating a Spiritual Blog of Your Life (CreateSpace), LightsOROT: Spiritual Dimension of the Electronic Age (MIT and Yeshiva University Museum), and in Hebrew Dialogic Art in a Digital World: Judaism and Contemporary Art (R. Mass Publishers, Jerusalem)

Book Chapters[edit]

“Postdigital Relationships between Digital and Hebraic Writing,” Handbook of Digital Writing and Rhetoric (Routledge), and chapters in four books published by National Art Education Association: “From Science to Art: Integral Structure and Ecological Perspective in a Digital Age," Interdisciplinary Art Education: Building Bridges to Connect Disciplines and Cultures, “Semiotic Redefinition of Art in a Digital Age,” Semiotics and Visual Culture: Sights, Signs, and Significance, “Space-Time Structures of Digital Visual Culture: Paradigm Shift from Hellenistic to Hebraic Roots of Western Culture,” Inter/Actions/Inter/Sections: Art Education in a Digital Visual Culture, “Legacy Thrones: Intergenerational Collaborations in Creating Multicultural Public Art,” Community Connections: Intergenerational Links in Art Education

Journal Papers[edit]

“Art with Computers: The Human Spirt and the Electronic Revolution” The Visual Computer: International Journal of Computer Graphics, “Postdigital Consciousness: A Paradigm Shift from Hellenistic to Hebraic Roots of Western Civilization,” Archithese: International Thematic Review of Architecture, “Ancient Schema and Technoetic Creativity,” Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research, “Cyberangels: An Aesthetic Peace Plan for the Middle East,” Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, “Wright and Gehry: Biblical Consciousness in American Architecture,” Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, "An Interactive Dialogue: Talmud and the Net," Parabola: Myth, Tradition, and the Search for Meaning, "Eruv as Conceptual and Kinetic Art," Images: Journal of Jewish Art, "Jewish Consciousness and Art of the Digital Age," Journal of Judaism and Civilization, "Space-Time Structures," South African Journal of Pedagogy


Ori Z. Soltis. Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish Art and Architecture (2016). ISBN 978-1530201273. Ori Z. Soltis. Fixing the World: Jewish American Painters in the Twentieth Century. Brandeis University Press (2003). ISBN 1-58465-049-4. Who's Who in American Art. ISBN 978-0-8379-6316-7.

External links[edit]