Morehshin Allahyari, Guest of honour – Special Award
Morehshin Allahyari is a new media artist, art activist, educator, and curator. She was born and raised in Iran and moved to the United States in 2007. Her work extensively deals with the political, social, and cultural contradictions we face every day. She thinks about technology as a poetic tool to document the personal and collective lives we live and our struggles as humans in the 21st century.
At the Xth Florence Biennale she presented a few pieces from her “Material Speculation: ISIS” series, a 3D modelling and 3D printing work in progress focused on the reconstruction of ancient statues and artefacts (of the Roman period, and Assyrian) that were destroyed by ISIS in 2015. Each 3D printed object of the series incorporates a flash drive and a memory card, which includes images, maps, pdf files, and videos gathered on the artefacts and sites that were destroyed.
With this project Morehshin goes beyond representation and metaphoric gesture: she creates a tool for documentation and resistance, and offers a possibility for the archival of cultural heritage. Morehshin has attended numerous exhibitions, workshops, and festivals, and around the world, including the Open Engagement, Prospectives ’12 International Festival of Digital Art, and Currents New Media Festival. She has presented her work and creative research at the TED and CAA conferences as well as in the course of other events hosted by universities, museums, and cultural institutions, namely the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Museum of Art, and other. Her work has been featured in Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Animal New York, Art F City, Creators Project, Dazed Digital, Huffington Post, NPR, VICE, Parkett Art Magazine, Art Actuel Magazine, Neural Magazine, Global Voices online, and broadcasted by Al Jazeera and the BBC. Morehshin is currently a Lecturer at San Jose State University and the Co-Founder and Assistant Curator in Research at Experimental Research Lab at the Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop in San Francisco.