Foto Friday – Israeli Center for Digital Art
Digital Art generally describes art created by artists who use digital technologies. The term encompasses video, photography, installation, performance, music/sound art, Internet art, virtual reality and can even apply to traditional media like painting and sculpture if there is a digital component.
The Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon was founded in 2001 with the aim to promote and distribute media art and video art in Israel. It is the first exhibition space in Israel dedicated to presenting media art, video art, net art and interactive sound.
A new book to be launched on February 16th, Agenda – The Israeli Center for Digital Art, describes the Center’s first years of operation since it got started in an abandoned school building in the Holon industrial zone.
The Center describes itself as “a dynamic platform for thinking, researching, producing, presenting, and analyzing contemporary art, as well as providing a meeting point for exchange between contemporary artists, curators, critics and the public.”
“In an effort to stimulate discourse in Israeli society, the center devotes a significant part of its work on art projects that foster questions about identity, ethnicity, nationalism and cultural exchange.”
The Center also runs an educational program aimed at increasing its visibility and involvement within Holon’s disadvantaged communities.
The Center maintains an archive for video art and digital media that contains more than 1,750 titles, including works by Israeli and International artists who have exhibited at the center and works by artists who have contributed works over the years.
“Many of the works are linked thematically through questions of identity, militarism, and nationalism, as well as other socio-political issues relevant to our region.”
We’re unable to embed them here so only a few select still images are presented but you can click on the following images and/or links to visit the archive and see the full videos. Many are overtly political in nature, others more subtle.
DeadSee (2004) by Sigalit Landau was a wall-sized projection installation. The video is of five hundred watermelons tied together to create a 6-meter, spiral-shaped raft buoyed by the salty waters of the Dead Sea. “The nautilus form gradually unfurls, leaving the surface of the water a nearly monochromatic azure and the artist’s body exposed.”
Dana Levy‘s fascination with the domestication of nature is exemplified in Silent Among Us (2008), where 100 white doves are released amongst cabinets of stuffed birds and animals. “This is symbol of a culture that is unwilling to let the past go and lives so naturally with the dead.”
The Torch Lighting Ceremony (1999) by Effi & Amir is “a short video showing the artists lighting up each other’s head.This ceremonial act is a statement of independence and of self-legitimating, with its heroism, pathos, vulnerability and danger.”
In The Fathers Have Eaten (Sour Grapes and the Children’s Teeth Are Set on Edge) (2008), performance artist Shahar Marcus “ridicules cultural preoccupations with hierarchy, power and violence”, reciting a biblical text (Ezekiel: 18) while eating ’medals’ (actually cookies). “The voracious, desperate act of ingestion is at odds with the expelling motion of speech, an opposition that obliterates any sense of meaning.”