#rp-18 Speakerin Morehshin Allahyari - "The Politics of Plastic & Iconography"
Our next #rp18 speaker, Morehshin Allahyari, works as an artist and educator in NYC.
Allahyari grew up in Iran where she studied media and social sciences at the University of Tehran. In 2007, she moved to the US to pursue her Master’s degree, freeing herself from the confines of censorship (Trump’s conservative revolution was unthinkable at the time).
Her work questions current political, socio-cultural, and gender-specific norms by using 3D printers, text, experimental animation, and web art to creatively manipulate digital technologies. Allahyari utilizes and reflects technologies and finite resources, and with her appropriation of plastic and culture, she falls smack in the middle of re:publica’s POP them.
Within our “We can work it out” topic, Allahyari will be discussing how art can help change the re-configuration of the relationship between visibility and planning for other kind of futures through the lens of monstrosity and ‘the other’. Allahyari first gained recognition with her projects “The 3D Additivist Manifesto”, “The 3D Additivist Cookbook”, and Material Speculation: ISIS (2016) in which she re-constructed 12 artifacts destroyed by ISIS at Mosul Museum.
Morehshin Allahyari and artist colleague Daniel Rourke conceived their “3D Additivist Cookbook” in reference to William Powell’s 1969 “Anarchist Cookbook”, which contains texts, (im)practical sketches, and methods for surviving paradoxical times. Its aim is to question the “gospel” of 3D printing (be it in dental labs,
the food industry, or fashion design): As with any innovation, the techno-utopian forecast for 3D printing has been quickly dampened by warnings about copyright, high energy emissions, harmful air pollution, and the realization that this alleged “technology of the future” still largely depends on the sourcing and processing of mineral and crude oil. Their #additivism project conjures up nightmares of poisonous machines capable of producing weapons, drugs, counterfeit money, and useless waste ad libitum, while highlighting the fact that small, cumulative measures can create large and complex realities.
On the bright side, printing processes can be a means of resurrection—real magic: When American or ISIS militant parties destroy statues and national treasures, as they have in Iraq, Syria, any memory of them vanishes, as well. If anything, all that is left are 2D images. A modulation program with a resin compound could at least help resurrect these monuments as memorials.
With “She who sees the unknown,” Allahyari has been creating a new series of works about digital colonialism and re-figuration as feminist and activist practice by using 3D scanners and printers. By examining female deities, monsters, and djinns from the Near East, she explores the symbolism of tradition and mythology, while speculating on the effects of colonialism and other forms of contemporary oppression. Just recently, she was awarded the Rhizome 2018 Commission for her work. For her project “Dark Matter”, Morehshin 3D printed pop culture objects which are prohibited or frowned upon in Iran: satellite dishes, dildos, Simpson’s figurines.
We are very much looking forward to hearing from Morehshin Allahyari herself about why the materials of our future dreams perhaps won’t be those that end up in a landfill.
More information about exhibits, workshops, and past talks here.
Science Year 2018 – “Working Worlds of the Future”
The Science Year 2018 focuses on the “Working World of the Future”. Digitalization, alternative ways of working, artificial intelligence research and similar fields present new challenges and opportunities to scientific and civil societies. How will people work in future? And how do you prepare for these scenarios? What role can science and research play in designing the terms of labor? The Science Year 2018 highlights the impact technological and social innovations have on the economy of tomorrow, and discusses the new standards of socio-political dialogue and work experience that we face today. “Learn, experience, create” is the motto of the Science Year 2018, and all interested participants are called upon to join in, ask questions and find solutions. The Science Year is an initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF, organized in collaboration with Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD). As a central instrument of federal science communication, the Science Year conveys current research to the public and fosters the dialogue between science and society.