The Jessy Cohen Project is an initiative of the Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon, that seeks to explore how art can take part in the processes of change on a city or neighborhood scale, by working side by side with other municipal, governmental, and private institutions and the tools available to them.
The Jessy Cohen Project is a long term project during which various art projects are taking place. However, we encourage the development of projects that take into account sustainability beyond 2011 that can be funded independently of the center in Holon. The intention is to enable the long-term involvement of artists in the neighborhood in collaboration with other "players" like the neighborhood community center, elementary and junior high schools, various municipal departments, etc.
Project coordinators, Eyal Danon and Ran Kasmy Ilan, conducted a series of meetings with key people and organizations in or relating to the neighborhood to get basic information and identify potential partners for the project. These meetings revealed a few guidelines about how our work needs to be conducted and possible courses of action:
1. Creating a place of culture for the different communities in the public sphere through community empowerment activities.
2. Hearing life stories and working with residents around private/communal narratives and turning them into part of the public sphere. This could take the form of a wide breadth of activity - interviews, video workshops, Internet platforms, and screenings in the public/private sphere.
3. Opening a project space in the neighbourhood to be used for exhibitions, meetings, workshops, and which centers the project and has a prominent presence in the neighbourhood.
4. Exploring local knowledge and considering workshops exploring local knowledge transfer between residents.
5. Utilizing open, public spaces and private courtyards.
6. Organizing a series of conferences / lectures / meetings of artists, activists, etc. as part of the local production of knowledge.
7. Offering various forms of hosting artists in the neighborhood and creating working spaces.
8. Rediscovering the neighbourhood through tours and mapping.
9. Gaming on an urban-scale.
10. Founding a neighbourhood radio project in collaboration with Radio Halas (www.halas.am).
11. Mediating between the population and "players" in the municipality, government, etc. by the visualization of information, creating an awareness of rights and so on.