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Morehshin, a medium-toned person wearing an all black sleeveless outfit, sitting outside on a white stoop with black railsMorehshin, a medium-toned person wearing an all black sleeveless outfit, sitting outside on a white stoop with black rails

Photo: Emily Andrews

With Morehshin Allahyari
Date and place of birth
b. 1985, Tehran
Current location
Brooklyn, NY
Year(s) of residency and/or fellowship
201617, Power Resident; 2020, Rapid Response Fellow

How do you characterize the media you work in?

I choose the medium that fits the project best. I work primarily with time-based media, digital fabrication, specifically 3D printing, and processes like 3D scanning and 3D simulation, which have been an important part of my process. Creative writing is also a significant component of my work.

How does your practice engage with technology?

In the past eight years, my practice has focused on the nonbinary relationship between history and technology, wherein history is not considered to be the past and technology is not considered to be the future. Through archival practices and storytelling, my work weaves together complex counternarratives in opposition to the lasting influence of Western technological colonialism in the context of SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa).

Three chrome-colored and gold sculpted figures diagonally displayed on an all black background.

She Who Sees the Unknown Kabous The Right Witness and The Left Witness, commissioned by The Shed, 2019.

What was your focus during your time at Eyebeam?

When I began the Eyebeam research residency in 2016, I had just begun working on She Who Sees the Unknown, which became a five-year project. The project, which looks at female or genderless monsters and Jinn in the mythology of Persian and Arabic origin, involved studying rare manuscripts, researching, and gathering material. For five main figures, I created a 3D-printed sculptural element, an installation, and a written story connecting their mythological power to something in contemporary life or an alternative future. The project also had public events and performances. As a Rapid Response fellow, I worked on the archival aspect of this project while continuing to question digital colonialism and how we can give access to knowledge while also protecting it from colonial powers.

Eyebeam models a new approach to artist-led creation for the public good; we are a non-profit that provides significant professional support and money to exceptional artists for the realization of important ideas that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Nobody else is doing this.

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