How do I look on paper? (stage 3)

Structural ambiguity


Dimensions: 87x22x19 cm

Medium: Interactive installation 

Materials: Epoxy resin, water, microcontrollers, microphone, servos, water pumps

Description: The installation consists of a transparent structure filled with water and programmed to interact with an audience. The visitors of the exhibition are encouraged to recite a hybrid of stories that are on display out loud. The installation then responds non-uniformly to the different parts of the narration, triggering different levels of responses that are not necessarily staged by the artist 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. 


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