This program comprises two parts, a screening of short works and a live performance. These works identify patterns of information that lie below visible and audible thresholds and bring them into perception. Drawn largely but not entirely from the Arab world, the films, videos, video database (CAMP), and live cinema performance (VJ Um Amel) are all alert to seemingly random patterns that, when organized into information, can be rendered audiovisually. Moiré patterns, shadow puppets, analog video decay, surveillance technology, and other media collect and give shape to disavowed histories and the voices of the earth. In some cases these acts of translation permit a heightened political analysis. In others, they unfold histories, places, and events from dry data into the sensory responses of the viewer. Laila Shereen Sakr, aka VJ Um Amel, is known for her founding and ongoing work with the R-Shief project that uses social media extraction and data analysis of contemporary global struggles, people’s movements and national crises (using Egypt and the US as her targets) to study our communications over such crises as the recent war in Gaza and the Ferguson protest, and what they say about us. R-Shief issues a global call for participants to view, study, and use its unique and colossal archive – as a form of counter-surveillance. Shereen Sakr will talk about these ideas and more, preceding her performance.
Artists: Basma Alsharif, CAMP (Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran), Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt), Nicky Hamlyn, Cao Fei, Ahmed Kamel, Mounir Fatmi, Naz Shahrokh, VJ Um Amel (Laila Shereen Sakr)
Curated by Samirah Alkassim and Laura U. Marks