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15-16.9 | Jerusalem Art Conference #7

Thursday | 15.9 | 13:00-20:00

Hansen House, 14 Gedaliah Alon St.


Friday | 16.9 | 9:15-13:30

Shalom Hartman Institute, 11 Gedaliah Alon St.

New Neighborhood/Moabit initiative with the self-made posters at the #unteilbar demonstration, 13th October 2018, Photo: Marina Naprushkina


The 7th Jerusalem Art Conference will be dedicated to the role of art in tackling international and local political, environmental, and technological issues. The presentations will touch on artistic use of algorithms and emotion recognition technology, the connection between art and biological processes (bio-art), artists’ and designers’ responses to the climate crisis, and the dance language of protesters.

The conference will also host two panels on current events: The first will be dedicated to Documenta Fifteen, held this summer in Kassel, Germany, which has been at the center of debates and controversies even before it opened, and the second will be dedicated to the status of artists in times of emergencies, war, and displacement, with artists from the post-Soviet region


Founded by Manofim Festival and Erev Rav and Harama Magazines, the Jerusalem Art Conference is aimed at connecting higher education institutions with artists, curators, artistic directors, and cultural practitioners. The previous conferences were devoted to the themes of “Signature,” “What Shall We Do With Art?” “Excess Demand,” “Trick,” “The Moment of Truth,” and “Excess.”


Conference curators and directors: Dr. Ronen Eidelman and Yonatan Amir (“Erev Rav”), Rinat Edelstein (“Manofim”, “Harama”)

Production: Alina Alexa Osipova


The international hosting with the assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Goethe Institut Israel




Thursday | 15.9

Hansen House, 14 Gedaliah Alon St.


Greetings and opening remarks + Session 1 | 13:00-14:15


Yael Mushkin | Missguistic Play-Talking

“Missguistic” is a deliberate performative-vocal disruption of language, which uses words and sounds as playful raw materials. Breaking down and reassembling words and meanings opens a gap between words and meanings, subverting communication, social, and cultural conventions. 


Yael Mushkin is a speech therapist and language artist who talks, breaks, and rejoins words and meanings. 


Dr. Liat Lavi | The Return of High Modernism? Thoughts about the traumatic and promising encounter of the art and design worlds with automation, generative space, NFT and the Metaverse in 2022

Prophecy was given to fools, but history repeats itself. In the intersection of historical and speculative perspective, and in the chasm between the Modernist human notions that still pulsates through culture, and the “posthuman” digital space, I will delineate a surprising art and design thought horizon – horizon whose critics may call “reactionary” but its supporters will call “humanistic.” The argument will navigate philosophy and praxis, ideology and financial interests, the art market and the finance market, as well as the ancient and the contemporary. From this movement I will propose to drop the utopian/dystopian (or bipolar) discourse, to take a sober look at the present and near future, and recognize new opportunities within it. 


Dr. Liat Lavi is a scholar specializing in the intersection of technology, ethics, and the visual space, who serves as Head of Bezalel Master of Visual Communication Program.


Tal Nisim | Open Face

Emotion recognition technology is a code-based system based on psychological-anthropological studies, which claims to identify the emotion expressed by a human subject at a given moment, by deciphering their facial expressions. Used more and more by security, recruitment, media, and retail companies around the world, this technology is one of the most rapidly developing fields today.

One of the main problems of this technology has to do with the fact that it is based on the contested theory of psychologist Paul Ekman, who identified six universal emotions – anger, sadness, fear, disgust, surprise, and joy. A counter theory suggested by Prof. Lisa Feldman-Barrett claims that emotions are shaped by culture and context, and so it follows that they are not universal, but rather are perceived and defined differently across cultures. 

Over the last couple of years, I tried to study and challenge the technology used in the emotions defining process by interfering and playing with it. I exposed its black box, deconstructed the mechanism, and understood how it turns visual deciphering into a verbal definition. Based on this, I tried to channel the use of this technology to expand its vocabulary beyond the six given emotions and create a new and richer language of emotions.  


Tal Nisim is an artist and architecture photographer. He graduated from Minshar School of Art Photography Department and Bezalel Master of Industrial Design Program’s Design and Technology Track. He teaches at Shenkar Art and Visual Communication Department. In his works, Nisim explores the medium and its cultural contexts. He has had several solo shows and his works have been featured in group shows at Ramat Gan Museum, Haifa Museum of Art, Eretz Israel Museum, Indie Gallery and more. 


Neta Moses | Reality is Virtual

A small screen in a large screen in a small screen in a large screen. A performative talk with an invitation to take part in a multiscreen, multiparticipant video installation. In the talk we will explore the value of the image that travels between the small screen in our pocket, the big screen in the movie theatre, and the body between them. What do the virtual and the real agree on? Do I live only in my skin or my screen, or am I part of something bigger?


Neta Moses is a video and installation artist who graduated from the combined degree in Computer Science and Screen Based Arts of the Hebrew University and Bezalel.


Break | 14:15-14:45

Session 2 | 14:45-16:00

Yonatan Amir, Rinat Edelstein and Dr. Oded Wolkstein In memory of Maya Attoun

In July, in the last days of closing the conference program, the artist, lecturer, colleague and friend Maya Attoun unexpectedly passed away. Each and every one of us met Attoun under slightly different circumstances, and in the short words that will be presented here we will try to remember her through a conversation about her creative and special world. Rinat Edelstein will talk about working with Attoun in the exhibitions she participated in as part of the Manofim Festival, Yonatan Amir will talk about teaching alongside Attoun at the  Multidisciplinary Art school – Shenkar,  and Dr. Oded Wolkstein will talk about Attoun’s work and its connection to Gothic.

Oded Wolkstein is a translator and teacher at Sapir College.


Material FLow eCollective – Material Flow – Ecological Action

Material FLow is a collective of 12 makers, artists, and design teachers founded in response to the climate-social crisis. Established in 2017, the group has been working to generate a holistic ecological discourse, exploring, developing and looking for alternative models of thinking, working, and human behavior through art and design. The presentation will discuss the ecological discourse through the methodology developed by the group, which draws on collaborative and interactive artistic actions, linking abstract ecological-philosophical ideas with practical artistic-design processes. The talk will present the theoretical inspirations of ecological thinking, following the notion of the “Three Ecologies” (mental, social, environmental), which was coined by Gregory Bateson and serves as an ideological compass of the group’s practice. We will also present the project Organism 144 – a collaborative art installation-performance that brings together materials, ideas, and actions as an ecological-social manifesto. Featured in the Tel Aviv Arts and Crafts Biennale in 2021 and Zumu Nahariya in 2022, the project reflects the group’s work as an endless set of exchange, interactions, and a systemic view of the world as an existential essence where every individual is complete and at the same time an inseparable part of a larger whole. 


Rakefet Kenaan is a maker, artist, scholar, and founder of the Material FLow eCollective. She has earned a BFA from Cooper Union NYC, studied for a master’s degree at Porter School of Environmental Studies, Tel Aviv University, and is currently completing her thesis for Bezalel Policy and Theory of the Arts Program. Her multidisciplinary work combines diverse materials, technique, mediums, and work environments.  She is a faculty member and senior lecturer in Shenkar’s Visual Communication Department. 


Assaf Krebs is a designer and culture researcher. He graduated from Bezalel Visual Communication Department, and holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in Classical Studies from Tel Aviv University. His studies explore questions of skin and surface in history and contemporary culture, focusing on surface as a metaphor for contemporary philosophy, the corporal-material skin in psychoanalytical theory and surface philosophy. He is a lecturer in Tel Aviv University Architecture Department, a faculty member and senior lecturer at Shenkar’s Design School, and co-director of the Design Factory Shenkar.


Galit Eilat | “The Lobotomized Museum” or When Did the Museum Become So Popular Again? 

It has been almost thirty years since Rosalind Krauss published her influential essay “The Cultural Logic of the Late Capitalist Museum,” which identified a rise in the dispersion of cultural artifacts from museum collections and the corporate nature of their management. Today museums enjoy an unprecedented popularity; using public mobilization and management strategies, implementing practices of reciprocity, equality and inclusiveness, and egalitarian rhetoric, museums have become the property – and the temple – of the people. Following the postcolonial era and emancipation processes, cultural heritage is now explicitly recognized as public commodity to be managed by the majority of its stakeholders and at their pleasure. 

How can we assess the value of various practices used by the museum, including hosting tactics and inclusive and participatory technologies that appeal to the senses, when most museums still present a sharp incongruence between the democratic messages displayed in the gallery and the hierarchical management of the organization? Not only that, there is also a physical and virtual separation between the museum archive and collection, which do not share a common interface – like a lobotomized brain. In reality, the art objects are removed from their historical and biographical context, leaving the visitor with only the objects’ sensory or artistic value. This begs the question: What is the value in implementing practices of reciprocity, equality and inclusivity when the exhibits they advertise do not receive the same treatment?

The talk examines museums’ inclusive ethos and asks why we should turn a critical eye to exhibitions organized out under this statement.


Galit Eilat is a writer and curator. In 2022, she was appointed director of the Art Laboratory for Future Ecologies in Hazeva. Eilat is the founder and director of the Akademie der Künste der Welt in Cologne, German, as well as the Israeli Center of Digital Art in Holon. She has founded several platforms including Maarav online magazine, the mobile Archive and the traveling seminar series Liminal Spaces. She curated and co-curated international projects such as the Polish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale; the 32nd October Salon, Belgrade; and 31st Sao Paulo Biennial. She has served as associate curator in several museums in Europe and the Balkans. Eilat is the recipient of the Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at Bard College, 2017-18.


Break | 16:00-16:30

Session 3 | 16:30-20:00

A special panel on Documenta 15 with guests from abroad


Oliver Marchart | Documenta X to fifteen: Paradigm shifts in recent documenta history

(English Lecture)

In my talk I will present documenta’s recent history along a number of paradigmatic axes. The documenta shows will be analyzed as an exemplary case of larger developments in the art field. In this way, a canon shift in the art field will be retraced with regard to political art practices, theory, art education and the decentering of the West.


Oliver Marchart is professor of political theory at the University of Vienna. His recent publications include: Hegemony Machines. Documenta X to fifteen and the Politics of Biennalization ( and n.b.k. 2022); Conflictual Aesthetics. Artistic Activism and the Public Sphere (Sternberg 2019) and Thinking Antagonism. Political Ontology after Laclau (Edinburgh University Press 2018).


Dr. Shaul Setter | Division and Controversy – About Documenta Fifteen 

Currently taking place in Kassel, Documenta Fifteen has been causing a stir and making waves: The decision to replace artists with collectives, the exhibition’s open, modular format, relinquishing curatorial authority, the focus on resource distribution, the question of whether all this is even art, and now also the accusations of antisemitism scandal. A group of students from Bezalel MA program led by Dr. Shaul Setter visited Documenta Fifteen during July. In a special session at the conference, they will propose different ways to think about this exhibition, its challenges and meanings, in itself and in relation to the summer’s other big exhibitions (Berlin Biennial and Venice Biennale).


Dr. Shaul Setter is head of Bezalel Master in Policy and Theory of the Arts Degree and editor of the Theory and Criticism journal.


Nora Sternfeld | Documenta as a common – infrastructure, history, politics, and now?

(English Lecture)

With documenta fifteen ruangrupa challenges the classic notion of a “documenta“ with a project based on collaborative structures, shared resources and alternative economies.  The result is an exhibition that marks a shift from representation to infrastructure.  In my lecture I will present documenta fifteen as a project of the commons and in a second and third part contextualize the debates around the exhibition.


Nora Sternfeld is an art educator and curator. She is professor of art education at the HFBK Hamburg. From 2018 to 2020 she was documenta professor at the Kunsthochschule Kassel.


Neta Moses, How Ro Enjoy Nature, 2021


Friday | 16.9

Shalom Hartman Institute, 11 Gedaliah Alon St.


Session 1 | 09:15-11:30


Jonatan Omer Mizrahi | Controlled Climate 

The greenhouse is a climate-controlled space that offers an aesthetic experience of nature. The orientalist display in the exotic plant greenhouse, like the “Victoria Amazonica” water lily in the Crystal Palace, ushered in the Romantic and post-imperialist image of Earth. 

Today, industrial greenhouses use ultraviolet lighting to maximize the photosynthesis potential. The film “Lucky Coal” (2022) is a fictional adaptation of the new glamours greenhouse, using cutting edge technology and lighting. Alongside the agricultural, scientific and leisure greenhouses, the greenhouse also holds a special place in the history of Israeli art: The greenhouse in Ein Shemer, created by conceptual artist Avital Geva in the 1970s. Today, this greenhouse is discussed mostly through the lens proposed by art scholar Sarah Hinsky who claimed that Geva’s modernist ecology is detached from its surroundings and the walls of the greenhouse border on Europe as in the Zionist imagination.

In the project “See Through Me” (2020) Jonatan Omer Mizrahi visited the greenhouse in Ein Shemer to find a critical approach that would be more suitable for his generation. In light of Geva’s artistic outlook, he became interested in the speculative language of the place. In Ein Shemer, the greenhouse’s material properties are downplayed and the focus is on stronger symbolism: the participants talk about politics, they learn “Tikun Olam” (“world repair”) as a framework for ecological thinking, and devise experimental biological explorations. More than the science itself, they are interested in the its aesthetic representation. In his talk, the artist will present how the juxtaposition of the greenhouse images with metaphorical representations of the greenhouse effect theory, involves a new conceptualization of environmental, contemporary and political art.


Jonatan Omer Mizrahi is an artist working mainly with video and performance, who graduated from Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM). In his mixed media works, Mizrahi explores environmental images and their relationship with power and art. His works straddle the intersection between creativity and urgency. 


Dr. Lilia Chak | Art, Biology, and Ecology

My talk will be devoted to the emergence of a new trend in contemporary art – Dendro-art.

In recent years, I have studied the subject of “Bio-art: When a Tree Becomes an Artwork. Contemporary Practices.” During my research, I noticed that a growing number of bio-artists focus their practice on issues surrounding the human-plant relationship. Today, artists are drawing attention to major global issues, including the shrinking of our planet’s forests.

How does this threaten the future of mankind? The shrinking of forests leads to both local and global ecological problems: climate change, reduced soil adhesion, loss of biodiversity, and degradation of oxygen sources.

Art, which is at the forefront of social processes, has to respond to the climate crisis. Recently, we see more and better art projects that explore various facets of the relationship between humans and plants, trees in particular. 

Contemporary technologies form and alter invisible connections between different areas of human activity. Artists explore the nature of these connections and the models of their interaction. They present a new vision and pose more ambitious challenges. These challenges include establishing intraspecies and interspecies communication; discovering extinct plant species; ecological education of the population – and more broadly, protecting the environment.


Dr. Lilia Chak is an Israeli artist, designer and bio-art researcher (PhD, Sorbonne, Department of Art and Science). She explores the intersection of art and biology, and proves that cutting edge technologies in biology can be used as a new artistic medium. 


Tzaphira Allison Stern | Pandemic and Biopolitical Dance in 2020 Israel 

In 2020, the residents of Israel experienced radical changes in their routine following the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and the government policy of dealing with it through lockdowns and restrictions on movement. These influenced personal, social and political aspects of movement patterns. The interruption of movement, manifested in empty spaces, slowing down, and sheltering at home, left many with basic, existential and social uncertainty. This uncertainty led to new daily habits, widespread political protest and unique artistic responses, with an emphasis on dance that of course centers on movement. On the backdrop of this unusual situation, I examine two dance works performed in the public space in 2020: “AMPHI” by Omer Kriger and “About Blindness – An Intervention in Public Space” by Dana Hirsch Laiser. Beyond the unique phenomenon of performing dance pieces in the public space during lockdowns, the biopolitical aspect that emerges from these works can illuminate this period in a broader human and social light. In the presentation, I will demonstrate how the work’s choreographic structure embodies the fundamental tension of Covid-19 days: between the government’s power and regulation of the body to physical and social helplessness that aspires for freedom of movement. 


Tzaphira Allison Stern is a dance activist who graduated from the School of Visual Theatre, and holds a Master’s Degree from the Jerusalem Dance Academy. She completed her research in the Cultural Studies Program at the Hebrew University.


MindLab | Experiencing Microperformativity in Art

(English Lecture)

The worldwide viral pandemic on the one hand, and the global climate change and biodiversity loss on the other, have made homo sapiens more aware that his/her actions, constructions, and objects are more impacted by micro and macro phenomena than traditional anthropocentric thought admitted. How do the arts react to this shift and the need to go beyond your human “mesoscopic bubble,” and to create experiences that allow for going beyond scales in which “art” happens?

The lecture revolves around the notion of “microperformativity,” which denotes a current trend both in art practices and theory, destabilizing human scales as the dominant plane of reference and emphasizing biological and technological micro-agencies that, beyond the mesoscopic human body, relate the invisibility of the microscopic to the incomprehensibility of the macroscopic. Investigations into microperformativity redefine what art, philosophy and the technosciences consider a “body” and a “performer.”

The associated workshop presents and analyses biotechnological performances, physiological processes and micro-gestures, traditional rituals and techniques of craft, as well as microperformativity seen through the lens of the natural sciences, as well as in economics.

Participants will be encouraged to set themselves in sensorial and meditative modes of perception and imagination, based on presented microperfirmative works, and further develop first conceptual sketches of art projects in which microperformative agencies are made central.

The lecture is brought by MindLab, a multidisciplinary project by Dar Moussafir and Carmel Barnea BreznerJonas, for the development of practices in which art is not an external image – but the experience itself.


Dar Moussafir is a writer and art and design critic on Ynet, artistic director, curator and entrepreneur (Shdemama residency program, where artists stay and display works in nature, within an ecological community, MindLab project and more), UX-UI designer and artist. 


Carmel Barnea Brezner Jonas is the daughter of a psychoanalyst mother and a scientist father who graduated from Shenkar College Multidisciplinary School. A dyslexic who loves to dance. Co-founder of a community channel, co-founder of Desperately Seeking, co-curator of KDIMON Collection, member of Pathos Mathos collective, and other initiatives. Her works have been exhibited, among others, at the Haifa Museum of Art, Transmediale Festival, Night Light Festival, Digital Festival, Toronto Festival and more. 


Jens Hauser is a media theorist, art curator, lecturer and scholar, focusing on the interweaving of art and bio-technology. As the curator of technologically oriented art project, Hauser accompanies complex, at times very extensive, art processes. He is a researcher at the University of Copenhagen’s Medical Museion and at the Art/Science Chair at the École polytechnique Paris-Saclay, a distinguished affiliated faculty at Michigan State University where he co-directs the Bridge Art Program, a faculty member at the Department for Image Science at the Danube University Krems, Austria, as well as a guest professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.


Break | 11:30-11:45

Session 2 | 11:45-13:30


Artists in Times of Emergency | International Panel

Following the war in Ukraine, the conference will hold a panel with artists from the post-Soviet region. The artists will present their work and how it has been impacted by the events of recent months, since the escalation in Ukraine in early 2022, and the growing oppression in Russia and Belarus. Among others, they will touch on the mass protests of 2020, the great refugee crisis following the wars in Syria and Afghanistan, and the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014. In the panel we will discuss the role that art plays in dealing with crises and generating resilience, as a way of defying oppression and violence, and as a tool of solidarity. The artists from the post-Soviet region, some of whom now live in Western European cities, will also discuss the war in the wider context of the climate crisis, the effects of the global economy, the spread of nationalism, and ghosts from the past.



Marina Naprushkina | Neue Nachbarschaft/Moabit – artistic work within self organised migrant structures

(English Lecture)

Marina Naprushkina will introduce the work of the Neue Nachbarschaft/Moabit (New Neighborhood/Moabit) initiative in Berlin and Moabit Mountain College as an example of building a commons space based on migrant self-organization where art became a key means of communication. Applied knowledge, new crafts, as well as new theories form a mutual practice in which everyone is invited to take part.


Marina Naprushkina is an artist, feminist, and activist. Her diverse artistic practice includes video, performance, drawings, installation, and text. Naprushkina is mostly working outside of institutional spaces, in cooperation with communities and activist organizations. In 2007 she founded the Office for Anti Propaganda, which centers on power structures in nation-states. In 2013, she initiated Neue Nachbarschaft/Moabit, which grew up to be one of the largest initiatives in Berlin and built up a strong community of people with and without migrant and refugee background.  Naprushkina teaches at the Universität der Künste Berlin.


Dmitry Vilensky | Art Making: Between Hard and Rock Place. Time for anger, time for resignation, time for resilience

(English Lecture)

In this talk I respond to the situation that developed after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in 2014, its escalation in 2022 and growing repression in Russia and Belarus following the mass protests in 2020. We have to deal with these issues in the broader context of climate crisis, austerity measures, growing nationalistic tendencies, haunting spirits from the past, proliferation of necropolitics and urgent demands for decolonization, demilitarization, and solidarity.


Dmitry Vilensky (born 1964 in Leningrad) is an artist, educator and cultural environmentalist with no art degrees. He works mostly in collective practices and focus on developing an architecture constructions, situations and relations, educational seminars and learning plays, photographic works, time lines and films. Не is the founding member of Chto Delat (“What is to be done?”), a platform initiated in 2003 by a collective of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. Vilensky is also an editor of the Chto Delat newspaper and main facilitator of a School of Engaged Art in Petersburg. Since the escalation of the war in Ukraine in 2022 he is working on the realization of The School of Emergencies in Russia and other places.


Ivor Stodolsky (independent funding) | Benjamin’s Angel of History with Her Eyes to the Future: Lisa Fittko and Activism Now

(English Lecture)

What better allegory for the paralysis and fatalism of a horrified humanity in the face of the mass extinction of species, the onset of climate catastrophe and the resulting avalanche of social calamities – in short, eco-suicide? Watching “the mountain of rubble before him grow sky-high,” the image of the Angelus Novus in Walter Benjamin’s “Theses of the Philosophy of History” faces the past. “Progress” stands as the very cause of our ruin. The only hope for the future is “a narrow gate, through which the Messiah could enter.”

Fearless and highly practical, Lisa Fittko embodied a female counterpart to that helplessly theoretical, backward-facing angel. Benjamin’s guide to his escape across the Pyrenees mountains before his tragic suicide, Fittko and her husband’s forward-facing clandestine political activism saved over one hundred lives of refugees and anti-fascists.


Ivor Stodolsky is a curator, writer and theorist. He is the co-founder and co-director of Artists at Risk (AR), Perpetuum Mobile (PM), and Ecologists at Risk (ER), for which he recently co-curated the symposium “Institutions and Resistance – Alliances for Art at Risk” at ZKM, Karlsruhe. His curatorial projects and publications include “The Raw, The Cooked, and The Packaged,” ““The Raw, The Cooked and The Packaged,” “The Square.” He has also published articles such as “A Multi-Lectic Anatomy of Stiob and Poshlost,” and “21st Century Re-Alignments in Art and Politics.”