Mentoring COJECO Blueprint Fellowship Artists

The Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations hired me to mentor one of their artists with her Chavruta Bots project.


COJECO is the central coordinating body of the Russian-speaking Jewish community of New York. The BluePrint Fellowship brings together a select group of Russian-speaking Jewish artists, intellectuals, and innovators to explore the link between personal identity and creativity.

What does it mean to be Jewish for someone born in the Former Soviet Union and living in the United States today? The BluePrint Fellowship offers participants the opportunity to examine and explore this question on their own terms. Chosen through a competitive application and interview process, fellows are able to bring their ideas to life and thus shape this community-wide conversation.

Chavruta Bots

Chavruta Bots at the Kemper Museum, St. Louis, MO

One artist’s Blueprint Fellowship project is Chavruta-Bots – the Chat Room.

This art installation explores the evolution of Jewish texts through artificial-intelligence algorithms embodied in robotic sculptures. Chavruta-Bots are human-size robots with artificial intelligence, programmed with text-to-speech and speech-to-text modules. Paired in a Chavruta-like manner, they converse with one another as well as with visitors, using databases of Jewish texts.  The robots continuously learn and evolve from their conversations with humans and with each other.

She will do this in collaboration with another artist, a multi media artist originally from Israel and a Fulbright scholar who now lives and works in NYC. That artist’s Blueprint project is to create a multimedia art installation, Blender Bodies, that reflects the multicultural nature of the Jewish community and the common ground we all share collectively.
I can’t wait to meet these talented artists!

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