Art Kibbutz NYC Organizes First-Ever Elul Shofar FlashMob 9/18
Art Kibbutz NYC announces a unique global project at the nexus of sound, spirit and technology.
On September 18th, the organization will host the greatest Shofar-blowing event since Sinai, a worldwide art performance that takes the Jewish tradition of sounding the Shofar daily during the Hebrew month of Elul (which precedes the Jewish High Holidays) and gives it a 21st century, postmodern twist.
Join a large group of artists and creative volunteers on September 18th who will blow the Shofar together at designated public spaces around the world for two minutes as a call for teshuvah (spiritual return). This is the first-ever FlashMob utilizing a Shofar. Each participating location will be synchronized with other FlashMob locations, globally.
This spiritual public art event will be documented and incorporated into a Rosh Hashana electronic greeting card, orchestrated by a composer. At press time, world-class musicians and artists are starting to join the project, so check the website (http://shofarflashmob.weebly.com) for new developments daily.
Traditionally a ram's horn, the Shofar was used in Biblical times for many purposes, including announcing the new moon (thus the new month), to herald the commencement of the festivals and in battle. Today the Shofar is sounded at times of Jewish celebration such as Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) and during the holiest day of Yom Kippur.
The Shofar FlashMob is the first project of Art Kibbutz NYC. Founded this year by author and impresario Patricia Eszter Margit, Art Kibbutz NYC aims to be the home for stimulating, promoting and producing diverse, innovative, and pluralistic Jewish expression by creating an intentional community of talented International Artists. "As our mission is to celebrate the 21st century Jewish experience -- connecting one community with another, creating a glorious and multifaceted global cultural tapestry -- I cannot think of a more exciting first event than a worldwide Shofar FlashMob."
By bringing together different cultural contexts, the Shofar FlashMob provides the public and the artists with the chance to learn how to sound the Shofar as well as to ponder its very nature, she adds.
"What is the Shofar? Is it a musical instrument? A ritual object? A siren? A tool for creation? G-d's sound on Sinai? A relic from ancient times? All of these above?"
András Böröcz, artistic director of the project adds, "the Shofar FlashMob also explores the places this primal tool could occupy in our contemporary, urban environment. Is it going to be funny, irritating, cool, spiritual, absurd, critical or deeply communal when hundreds blast their horns in a modernistic milieu?"
Art Kibbutz NYC's Shofar FlashMob will take place on Sunday, September 18th. The central site is Manhattan's Lincoln Center at 2:30 p.M. Sharp. From this location, the participants will form a Shofar procession up Broadway to the JCC in Manhattan, at the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 76th Street where programs will commence at 3:30...all related to the Shofar.
The September 18th event is just one component of the project, whose spiritual director is Rabbi Greg Wall of the Sixth Street Synagogue, Hasidic New Wave and other bands. Rabbi Wall is posting teachings about the month of Elul from an artistic and spiritual perspective via the project website, Twitter, Youtube and Facebook. The Elul Shofar FlashMob Twitter teachings are meant as an interactive function. Anyone is free to add their teachings and artwork by using the markers #ShofarFlashMob and @ArtKibbutzNY.
For further information about Art Kibbutz NYCs Elul Shofar FlashMob, to participate or to suggest a location, please visit http://shofarflashmob.weebly.com.
There are specific instructions if you wish to participate in the 2:30 Shofar Flash Mob at Lincoln Center or at 3:30pm at the JCC in Manhattan so please visit http://shofarflashmob.weebly.com. In addition to Manhattan, there are various other sites around New York City...as well as globally, including Budapest, Tbilisi, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oregon, Antwerp, Chicago, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Saxophonist Rabbi Greg Wall has performed and recorded with Hasidic New Wave, Greg Wall Trio, The Wall/London Band, Neshama Carlebach, the Hi-Tops, Greg Wall's Unity Orchestra, Greg Wall's Later Prophets, Ayn Sof Arkestra, Jazz Talmud Quartet, and has made many session appearances for record dates and film scores. His compositions for dance, jazz orchestra, and electronica have been widely performed and recorded. Greg performs frequently at top venues throughout North America and Europe and has been featured at many major festivals. Greg is equally fluent in the jazz and world music idioms and recently premiered his Unity Orchestra, a pan cultural ensemble featuring 8 musicians from 5 continents. He is the rabbi of the Sixth Street Synagogue and the spiritual leader of the Shofar FlashMob.
The Shofar FlashMob is visually directed by András Böröcz, founder of two non-profits, Alma on Dobbin, NYC and 2B Galley in Budapest. He is a Brooklyn-based artist working in numerous mediums, in sculpture, drawing, installation, multi-media performance and book arts. Böröcz's artwork addresses personal history through the boundaries between objects of daily life and art. He also creates works based on Jewish themes & Judaica, such as his version of Purim noisemakers or his more recent installation of suspended Torah pointers or Yads. Böröcz frequently collaborates with musicians, architects, writers and artists. He has exhibited extensively throughout Europe, the US and in South Africa, and is included in numerous institutional and private collections internationally.
Hungarian composer Tibor Szemzö (MFA, Hungarian Academy of Music). Szemzö formed his own trio (later a quartet), and in 1979 he founded the minimalist ensemble Group 180. It was a profoundly influential ensemble, renowned for its performances of Hungarian minimalism; it also performed works by John Cage and Steve Reich. Embarking on a solo career in 1983, Szemzö began integrating spoken word and visual elements into projects otherwise dominated by flute and live electronics, and in 1987 he issued his first solo recording, Snapshot from the Island. In 1998 Szemzö also formed a new chamber ensemble, the Gordian Knot. In recent years Szemzö's interest has increasingly turned to film as well. His award winning feature A Guest of Life was shot in Tibet.
About Art Kibbutz NYC
There are more than 1,000 artists colonies in the world today, but none of them are Jewish. African, Indian or feminist artist groups have their own communities, but only since New York City has become a safe haven for artists to explore and celebrate what it means to be a Jewishly oriented artist in the 21st century did the need arise for a Jewish artistic community.
Much of the work that has had a profound impact on contemporary culture has been nurtured in famous artist colonies by Jewish artists such as Mark Rothko, Etgar Keret, Gary Steingart, Michael Chabon, Philip Glass, Roy Lichtenstein, Helene Aylon, Bernard Malamud, Phillip Roth, Bob Dylan, Woody Allen, Larry Rivers, and Jonathan Safran Foer. Imagine what might have happened at a Jewish residency with all of those acclaimed Jewish artists.
Imagine a community where an award-winning Russian fiction writer is creating his next historical bestseller; an Argentinean sculptor is constructing a natural statue inspired in collaboration with a Jewish environmental organization; an Indian-American painter is creating blue angels based on Biblical stories; a Yemenite composer is collaborating with an Israeli Modern Dance Group on a new composition based on Kabbalah; an American filmmaker is working with a major Jewish human rights and social justice organization on filming Jewish responses to hunger. While the Shofar FlashMob will provide a first encounter with the Shofar and the month of Elul, Art Kibbutz NYC intends to create more in-depth residency experiences for artists to explore and develop serious productions related to Jewish themes of interest.
In an economy where not only emerging artists, but often even accomplished artists are unable to make ends meet, Art Kibbutz NYC can offer a solution to the most expensive part of the creative process. A home, where Jewish arts organizations can bring their outstanding artists on retreats and place more emphasis on bringing them together in community. An environment, where emerging local artists can exchange experiences with internationally known masters, where advanced and beginner, young and old, religious and secular artists of various disciplines engage in dialogue about the most relevant issues of our times.
A flash mob is a group of people who mobilize on short notIce To perform a collective actioN. Howard Rheingold, in his 2002 book, dubbed them "smart mobs," noting that they "consist of people who are able to act in concert even if they don't know each other.