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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > Spring 2019 Newsletter > First-Ever “Low-Tech” Hackathon: Intensely Innovative and Groundbreaking

First-Ever “Low-Tech” Hackathon: Intensely Innovative and Groundbreaking

“Low Tech Nation,” Israel's first hackathon to bring together art and technology, was such a success that another cutting-edge initiative inspired by the world of high-tech, an ‘art accelerator,’ is already in the works. 

The unique hackathon was organized by Beit Berl’s HaMidrasha Faculty of the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Embassy, and took place at HaMidrasha Gallery in Tel Aviv during an intense 72-hour period in February. 

Forty participants from diverse backgrounds took part in the project, including artists, students and techies from different fields of expertise. The purpose was to develop cutting-edge initiatives that draw on technology and art. Over 250 visitors came for the final evening.   

Some of the projects spawned at the hackathon are continuing to be developed. Tzila Hassin, an engineer and artist, launched “Shmoogle” – an alternative search engine – at the hackathon, and today she is working on investment options while continuing to develop the product. Artist Miri Segal, worked with a group of students from HaMidrasha’s Post-Graduate Program in Fine Art and with a computer engineer to design a virtual sculpture system during the hackathon, and she is now planning to use the platform in a future exhibition. Dor Zlekha Levy worked with a team that included a programmer, a translator and a soundman to create a Hebrew-Arabic digital choir. Thanks to the hackathon, he was able to work intensely on this project, which he had previously only imagined.

“The participants gained a lot from the experience; the event helped significantly in developing their artwork into new realms,” notes Adina Pearlman Vardi, the Gallery Director and one of the event’s organizers. The event generated interest in the Israeli media; it was covered by television news, a popular news website, an art magazine and other publications. 

The hackathon inspired a new venture – the first ‘art accelerator.’ Now being developed by the Faculty of Art, the accelerator aims to use this high-tech based platform to develop and cultivate cutting-edge art initiatives that deal with diverse social issues.  

Click here​ to watch a short video about the “Low Tech Nation” hackathon. 


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