On Digital Colonialism and 'Other' Futures

Lecture | March 18 | 6:30-8 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Osher Theater

 Morehshin Allahyari, Artist, Activist, Educator

 Berkeley Center for New Media, Art Practice Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Stanford University

Presented by Berkeley Center for New Media and co-sponsored with the Art Practice Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series, the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and Stanford University

For her talk Morehshin Allahyari will discuss some of her previous projects focused on topics such as 3D fabrication, activism, digital colonialism, monstrosity and fabulation. She will use this talk as a platform to show the possibilities of art-making beyond aesthetics or visualization. She will posit and contextualize “a position outside” that asks difficult questions and suggests alternative methods.

Morehshin Allahyari is a media artist, activist, educator, and curator who uses computer modeling, 3D scanning and digital fabrication techniques to explore the intersection of art and activism. Inspired by concepts of collective archiving, memory, and cultural contradiction, Allahyari’s 3D printed sculptures and videos challenge social and gender norms. “I want my work to respond to, resist and criticize the current political and cultural situation that we experience on a daily basis,” she explains.

She is developing a new body of work on digital colonialism and ‘re-figuring’ as a feminist and de-colonialist practice, titled She Who Sees the Unknown. Researching female monsters, jinn and dark goddesses of Middle-Eastern origin, Allahyari devises narratives through practices of magic and poetic-speculative storytelling, re-appropriation of traditional mythologies, collaging, meshing, scanning, and archiving. Continued development of the project is supported by a joint commission from The Whitney Museum of Art, Liverpool Biennale, and FACT, as well as a 2018 Rhizome Commission.

Allahyari is currently an artist in residence at Pioneer Works in New York. Recent accolades include a research residency at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center (2016-17), a sculpture award from the Institute of Digital Art (2016), and Foreign Policy Magazine named her a Leading Global Thinker of 2016. Other outlets featuring her work include Huffington Post, Wired, NPR, National Geographic, Rhizome, Hyperallergic and Dazed Digital. Her work has been part of numerous exhibitions, festivals, and workshops at venues throughout the world, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Centre Pompidou in Paris, France; Venice Biennale di Archittectura; Pori Museum, Finland and Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Germany. Allahyari received her MFA at the University of North Texas, MA at University of Denver and her BA at the University of Tehran, Iran. She is co-creator of the 3D Additivist Manifesto and subsequent 3D Additivist Cookbook.

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 510-664-4125