09 November 2015

The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press)

"A wonderful and important book." - Dr. Ron Burnett, President, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver

"Addresses the rarely asked question: How does the 'media magic' communicate content?" - Professor Otto Piene, Director Emeritus, MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Cambridge

In The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age, artist and educator Mel Alexenberg offers a vision of a postdigital future that reveals a paradigm shift from the Hellenistic to the Hebraic roots of western culture.  The author surveys new art forms emerging fro a postdigital age that addresses the humanization of digital technologies.  He ventures beyond the digital to explore postdigital perspectives rising from creative encounters among art, science, technology, and human consciousness.  The interrelationships between these perspectives demonstrate the confluence between postdigital art and the dynamic, open-ended Jewish structure of consciousness. Alexenberg's pioneering artwork -- a fusion of spiritual  and technological realms -- exemplifies the theoretical thesis of this investigation into interactive and collaborative forms that imaginatively envisage the vast potential of art in a post digital future.
Publisher's text from the book's back cover (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press)

Praise for the book
“In his book, Mel Alexenberg navigates his artistic insight amid the labyrinthian complexities, explosions, and revolutions of the past forty years of art, tracing his way amid questions of science and religion, technology and environment, education, culture, and cosmos. Everyone will find his book full of new vantage points and vistas, fresh insights that give a uniquely personal history of artistic time that indeed points to new and open futures.” – Prof. Lowry Burgess, Dean and Distinguished Fellow of the Studio for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

“This is a wonderful and important book. The author links the history of art to the important role played by various forms of thinking in the Jewish tradition and connects that to the emerging culture of digital expression. Brilliant insights and new ways of seeing make this a must-read for anyone interested in the intellectual history of images in the 21st century.” – Dr. Ron Burnett, author of How Images Think (MIT Press), President of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada

“The author succeeds in opening a unique channel to the universe of present and future art in a highly original and inspiring way. His connection between ancient concepts (Judaism) and the present digital age will force us to thoroughly rethink our ideas about art, society and technology. This book is evidence that Golem is alive!” – Prof. Michael Bielicky, Professor and Head of the Department of InfoArt/Digital Media, Hochschule fur Gestaltung /ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany

“Mel Alexenberg, a very sophisticated artist and scholar of much experience in the complex playing field of art-science-technology, addresses the rarely asked question: How does the ‘media magic’ communicate content?” – Prof. Otto Piene, Professor Emeritus and Director, MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

“Opens new vistas in the attempts to reconcile the newest developments in digital art and postmodern critical perspectives with the ancient concerns of the arts with the spiritual. It offers fresh perspectives in how we can learn from Greek and Jewish thought to understand the present era.” – Prof. Stephen Wilson, author of Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology (MIT Press) and Professor of Conceptual and Information Arts at San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA

“This book is simply a must-read analysis for anyone interested in where we and the visual arts are going in our future. Alexenberg has provided us with powerful new lenses to allow us to ‘see’ how postmodern art movements and classical Judaic traditions compliment and fructify one another as the visual arts are now enlarging and adding a spiritual dimension to our lives in the digital era.” – Dr. Moshe Dror, co-author of Futurizing the Jews (Praeger), President of World Network of Religious Futurists and Israel Coordinator of World Future Society

“This Hebraic-postmodern quest is for a dialogue midway on Jacob’s ladder where man and God, artist and society, and artwork and viewer/participant engage in ongoing commentary.” – Dr. Randall Rhodes, Professor and Chairman, Department of Visual Art, Frostburg State University, Maryland, USA

“This book is amazing, so deep and insightful and full of sweet revelations at each turn of the page! It rocks the world and brings some desperately needed light.” – Dr. David Lazerson, author of Sharing Turf (Ballard), Inductee at the National Teachers Hall of Fame, USA

“Like the Torah itself that Alexenberg refers to regularly, the book is complex. He writes in a lively, engaging style […] I found it informative, optimistic, and spiritually refreshing.” – Prof. Rob Harle, Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology

“Alexenberg offers special insights into the postmodern nature of the Talmud’s biblical consciousness as an open-ended living system. His argument is that the new paradigm of art must be of a structural and dynamic nature. Here, he quotes Allan Kaprow in urging a more ‘lifelike art.’ This has profound implications for art education.” – Dr. Jerome Hausman, Arts and Activities

“If Jacques Derrida had not preceded him, Alexenberg would be the Jewish Marshall McLuhan […] Alexenberg’s art and scholarship represents some of the most innovative work being made in both the Jewish and non-Jewish art worlds.” – Menachem Wecker, Forward

“Alexenberg’s dynamic interplay of insider/outsider methodologies and exploration of the multiple relationships that exist between art, technology, and culture today is the highlight of this text. His combination of practice-based outcomes with scholarly negotiation of the topic presents a distinctive character to this research.” – Dr. Vince Dzeikan, New Media & Society