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Maayan Sheleff

Maayan Sheleff

Bereich: Medienkunst

Other Lives - CURATOR, The Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem, 2012-3

It's Alive! - CURATOR, The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, 2012



Key Facts






Tel Aviv

Empfehlende Institution



August 2014 - September 2014

{ Selected Projects }
2014-2016 Curator: The Watchers (work in progress), an exhibition exploring the issue of surveillance, planned to open at the Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon, January 2016
2013 Co- creator: Frankie the Documentary Robot- an experimental research project on human machine- relationship, authorship and surveillance, involving a robot that interviews people and documents them, forming an online archive. Frankie was developed at Artport residency, Tel- Aviv, and participated in Ars Electronica festival, Austria, in the frame of Ars Campus exhibition. <link http: www.frankieproject.com>www.frankieproject.com
2013 Curator: The Promised Land, a video compilation of artists from Israel dealing with subjective memories and alternative histories. Screenings and lectures at Yebisu International Festival for Art and Alternative Visions, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan.
2013 Curator: Other Lives, a new media exhibition inspired by the life and work of the mathematician and scientist Alan Turing, exploring the relationship between humans and machines, the Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem (Catalog).
2012 Curator: Secondary Witness, exhibition examining the artist’s position as a secondary witness to a testimony, through alternative documentary practices. ISCP (International Studio& curatorial program), Brooklyn, NY (Catalog).
2012 Co-curator: The Opening Event of Tel Aviv Art Year 2012, a large scale exhibition in the public sphere, initiated by the Tel Aviv municipality, with interactive projects connecting art and technology.
2012 Curator: It’s Alive, a series of multidisciplinary live art events, providing an experimental artistic arena and a social gathering place, CCA, Tel Aviv.

{ selected grants & awards }
2013 Artis Grant Recipient + Grant from the Israeli council in Tokyo for “The Promised Land” project.
2012-2013 Curatorial residency at ARTPORT residency for social practice, Tel Aviv, funded by the Arison family fund. The residency includes a monthly grant, office/ studio, and professional development programs.
2012 Full grant recipient for participation in “Truth is Concrete”, a 24/7 marathon camp on artistic strategies in politics and political strategies in art, Gratz, Austria.
2012 Recipient of ISCP’s (International Studio& curatorial program, Brooklyn, NY) 2012 Curator Award, which offers the opportunity for a curator to present a new group exhibition.
2010 Curating in the public realm, Curatorial Intensive, Independent Curator’s International, New York. A selective training program for emerging curators. <link http: www.curatorsintl.org index.php ci posts curatorial_intensive_2>www.curatorsintl.org/index.php/ci/posts/curatorial_intensive_2
2010 Artis Grant Recipient + Grant from the Israeli council in New York for the Curatorial Intensive

{ Selected Publications & Jury panels }
2013 Jury for artists creative encouragement award, the ministry of culture.
Jury for Kolinar prize for young artist, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Jury in Apexart’s Unsolicited Proposal program, New York.
2011 The ArtAsiaPacific Almanac 2012, writer of the yearly overview on Israeli Art in 2011 for the ArtAsiaPacific Almanac, Published January 1, 2012
2009 Painter: Hunter, the hunted, co- writer with Tali Tamir, in Zulu, Journey and Adventure in Israeli Art edited by Tali Tamir, Keter Books, Israel, 2009, p137-159
2012 Curator: The Troubleshooting Agency, a project exploring the role of the artist as a social agent and the idea of art as problem solving, in collaboration with the Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon, Israel.
2011 Guest curator: Shift in Progress, exhibition in Shift Electronic Arts Festival, Basel, Switzerland. <link http: www.shiftfestival.ch en shift-2011 program shift-in-progress>www.shiftfestival.ch/en/shift-2011/program/shift-in-progress
2011 Curator: Connected, a project connecting the virtual and the real public sphere, reflecting on the world of teenage girls and its performative manifestations on the web, on the Bat Yam Promenade, Israel (Catalog). Among the artists: Sadie Benning, Natan Dvir, Kutiman, Dana Levy, Ruti Sela, Amie Siegel, Althea Thauberger and Charlie White.
2011 Curator: Prolonged Exposure, group exhibition dealing with trauma and testimony, CCA, Tel Aviv. Artists: Yael Brandt, “Breaking the Silence” organization (with Miki Kratsman and Avi Mograbi), Lana Cmajcanin, Juan Manuel Echavarria, Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, Avi Mograbi, Christoph Weber, Rona Yefman and Mich’ael Zupraner (Catalog).
2010 Co-curator: Videozone 5 – 5th International Video Art Biennial, CCA, Tel Aviv.
2009 Co-curator: Transit, a joint project between CCA Tel Aviv and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Naples (MADRE), Italy.
2009 Co-curator: Universal Circus LTD - City Performances, and Side Shows, for ARTLV 09, the first Tel- Aviv-Yafo Biennial. About 80 artists participated in these two main exhibitions, among them: Francis Alys, Lawrence Weiner, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Sigalit Landau, Micha Ulman, Fikret Atay, and Guy Ben- Ner. (Catalog)
2009 Curator: Standard Deviation, group exhibition concerned with perspectives on art making in the context of capitalist systems of production and consumption, CCA, Tel Aviv (Catalog).
2009 Co-curator: The Hunted, group exhibition discussing the image and fate of African refugees through the eyes of the west. Nachum Guttmann Museum, Tel Aviv (Catalog). <link http: www.gutmanmuseum.co.il>www.gutmanmuseum.co.il/Exhibition.aspx?ExhibitionAlias=Exhibition_144
{ For more information on CCA’s exhibitions: <link http: cca.org.il _blank external-link-new-window externen link in neuem>cca.org.il }

{ selected lectures & conferences }
2013 Co- programer of “Critical Space”, a mini-conference on the role of artists in shaping the city, at Artport, Tel- Aviv, on the occasion of Creative Time Summit in NY.
Lecture in Memory and Journey, an international conference on dimensions of Israeli and Jewish Art, Dusseldorf, Germany. <link http: memoryandjourney.com _blank external-link-new-window externen link in neuem>memoryandjourney.com
Lecture in How to Identify with difference – Doing Art in the Public Realm, a conference organized by curator Elke Krasny with Lower Austria public art fund, Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Vienna, Austria.
2012 Lecture on participatory digital practices in art, Print Screen Festival, the Holon cinemateque.
2012 Are curators independent? lecture and panel in a convention by the curatorial studies program of the Technion.
2011 Lecture and screening in the conference 24 Photos a Second- Happenings Between Stills and Video, the department for Film and Television, Tel Aviv University.


“Frankie” is a project by Maayan Sheleff, Eran Hadas and Gal Eshel. It is a documentarian robot that interviews people about their emotions, attempting to ‘learn’ what it means to be human. It responds to certain emotions both with language and eye movements, creating computer-generated videos. These one on one interviews are uploaded online, forming an archive of the robot’s research, which could be searched according to particular emotional tag words (<link http: www.frankieproject.com>www.frankieproject.com).
frankie is in fact a physical version of a chat bot, hinting to The Turing Test, and the questions it entails about telling the difference between a human and a machine. frankie also references Eliza, the first 70s Chat Bot that was designed to resemble a psychoanalyst, and questions the “Eliza effect” – a phenomenon which causes people to treat an artificial being like a human being, thinking that it could understand them. In fact, it’s a sort of reverse Turing test- while frankie is far from being human, it compellingly challenges the interviewees to show how human they actually are.
As a form of “automatic” documentation that allegedly excludes the artist authorship, frankie questions notions of representation and participation. A deliberately well-exposed surveillance camera, frankie examines issues such as agency, control, and privacy, questioning how they effect us in a world in which every second is documented and mediated. It reflects upon the manner in which we choose to perform and present ourselves in the digital age, and how this ultra narcissistic world effects our perception of the other.

"Frankie’s name is a reference to frankness"

Maayan Sheleff (ISR), Artist-in-Residence at quartier21/MQ was invited for the current festival for digital art and culture, “paraflows”, with her project Frankie.



During my stay in Vienna I showed my project, Frankie the documentarian Robot, in the frame of Paraflows festival for Digital Art and Culture. Frankie attempts to learn what it means to be human by interviewing people and asking them questions, while filming and recording them. The interviews are then uploaded online, forming an archive of this research. Frankie set up her “office” at the Kunstlerhaus Vienna, and for the first two weeks of the festival she conducted interviews with many visitors. In addition there was a short film, made out of previous interviews, shown throughout the exhibition.

Through these interviews I also learned a lot about the culture in Vienna, for example how people are sometimes hesitant about participating and being exposed, but once they do decide to engage, they are very honest. That's why some of Frankie's most touching interviews were from those sessions. You can watch them here:
<link http: www.frankieproject.com>www.frankieproject.com

In addition I enjoyed walking around the city, experiencing as much culture as I possibly can, meeting artists and curators, researching for my next projects, going to openings, getting to know the various different scenes within the local art world, and establishing collaborations for the future, particularly as a curator which is my main practice. I especially enjoyed getting to know the Digital Art world in Austria, through my generous hosts Paraflows and monochrom.
One special highlight for me was to meet groups of children in the frame of the educational tour organized by quartier21. Having to mediate Frankie to the children made me think about the project in different terms, and I felt that they could understand it in a deeper way somehow, as they are so immersed in the digital world.

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