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    Go Go to the Desert

    • Duration of Activity: 12/07/2024-26/10/2024

    Let the sand slip through the fingers / Udi Edelman

    The Center for Digital Art migreted to its current location in the Jessy Cohen neighborhood in 2012. This move, led by former director Eyal Danon, was a dramatic initiative whose full impact became clear only a few years later. The art center’s activities had to be redifined in relation to its new environment through enteractions with the neigborhood, old and new collaborators, and by learning from the experience of similar institutions worldwide. During these years, a series of projects were developed to create a space of mutual significance for the center and the neighborood’s diverse communities. This space was intended not only to serve these communities but will also become a place of action for the neighborhood’s residents. Some projects successeded in establishing a foundation for long-term engagement, while others, which worked only partially, evolved through the process or were replaced by other initiatives. Regardless, the center’s primary mode of operation developed into a sustained and ongoing framework, fostering continuity between various activities for different audiences – some minor and fleeting, others extended and significant. Various crises in recent years, such as wars and the COVID-19
    pandemic, strained the relationship between the center and the local communities, demanding constant adjustment and change. However, the center’s activities maintained their core logic by preserving the infrastructure for a wide array of community projects. On this conceptual foundation, the art collective Studio and Co. was invited to collaborate with the center.

    Since 2022, Studio and Co. members have been visiting the center, developing actions and reactions in its old gymnasium. These actions, which explore the center’s grounds and the environmental experience they invoke, were collaboratively and cyclically created by Studio and Co. members through mutual observation, exploration and reaction. Some of the works evolved as collaborations and others as platforms for the ongoing discourse between the people and the place. The body of
    work was created in a series of periodic meetings and continuous 24-hour
    residencies at the center, sometimes through encounters with the occasional residents of the neighborhood, and other times though the experience of the empty environment. The current overview, which is converged into this exhibition, is an almost arbitrary freezing of moments embodied as works about the empty and full
    space surrounding them.

    The prolonged presence of Studio and Co. members at the Center for Digital art in the Jessy Cohen neighborhood, adjacent to the Ayalon freeway, evolved into the exploration of the urban environment, which is simultaneously local and abstracted from any particular place, as well as the imagined experience of the desert’s vastness within the city, its outskirts, and their intersection with other environments.
    The individual and group residencies in this unfamiliar setting sparked ongoing observations and reactions. In the various works, the urban experience unfolds as one of wandering and the creation of a new language – that of temporary presence, disillusionment, and chance encounters with space and environment revealed through unmediated interactions. The identities of individuals and the group are revealed though the physical presence and engagement with the buildings and land, the local and national history, and the potential for collaborative action. The audience is invited to experience the space through the hourglass suspended beyond time, to feel the sand slipping and lingering in the air.

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