How do I look on paper? (stage 3)
Dimensions: 87x22x19 cm
Medium: Interactive installation
Materials: Epoxy resin, water, microcontrollers, microphone, servos, water pump
Description: The installation consists of a transparent structure filled with water and programmed to interact with an audience. The visitors of the exhibition will be encouraged to recite a hybrid of stories that are on display out loud. The installation will then respond non-uniformly to the different parts of the narration, triggering different levels of response that are not necessarily staged by me but by the machine created (through deep learning.) The stories are a mix of narratives about and by Arab immigrants in Canada, in English, but using Arabic punctuation, language flow, structure, common linguistic and cultural perceptions, grammar, etc. Attempting to create a syntactically and physically ambiguous language, rather than duality, the object demonstrates ambivalence. My aim is to use this interaction to monitor and record the results for the second phase of the project.
In an attempt to address the culture of language, I present ambiguity as a possible solution for feelings of displacement within the different immigrant communities in Canada. Ambiguity in that sense becomes a celebration of non-conformity and a vision for a contemporary diverse community. It is also a more inclusive notion than that of a mosaic community—often advocated in Canada—which encourages assimilation and a re-configuration of the different identities, for the purpose of surviving a western context.
Exhibitions: 2020 Overt: Militarization as Ideology. Curated by Fatma Hendawy. The ArtMuseum. University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada