Nadim Choufi is an artist, trained as a chemical engineer, with a practice in installation, sculpture, performance, and video. He completed his studies at UCLA and recently completed an artist fellowship at Ashkal Alwan’s Home Workspace Program between 2018- 2019. His work deals with the socio-political implications of technological and scientific advancements as extensions of belief systems and explores how it manifests in the soft and hard aspects of materiality. Recent exhibitions include Sharjah Film Platform, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (2019), MENA-logue, Macao, Milan (2019), To the moon and back, South Hill Parks Art Centre, Bracknell (2019), and Inhuman Art, Galerie U Mloka, Olomouc (2018).
Nadim's practice is concerned with how modes of thinking transfer into scientific modeling particularly focusing on institutional bodies and its manifestation in organic and inorganic bodies. He recently produced a solo installation as part of his fellowship at Ashkal Alwan which investigated the ways radiation was made visible during and after the cold war on organic and celestial bodies through two technologies, the Reference Man and the Hubble Telescope, and traced their frontiers to the American frontier where expansion through conquest at the level of the pixel and the vertex. Currently he is researching how neoliberal thinking and promissory capital have directly influenced the design of organisms and built living environments.
On earth and other planets, extreme climate conditions have shifted the nature of living space. The problems of space are no longer physical; they are biological and are seen in biotech and architecture firms designing at the limits of life.
Entangle for the Alien to Continue
The video essay begins by tracing the influence of the pet-toy Sea Monkeys, marketed as Instant Life, on bioengineering and multi-planetary architecture as they exemplify failed promissory capitalistic mechanisms of care for built living environments and species while unfolding to complete the transition from capitalistic efficiency to ecoefficiency.
Yet 100-year architectural plans for Mars colonies and bioengineered extremophiles are produced for an unsustainable survival of capitalism that seeks to overcome its own ecological limits. Entangle for the Alien to Continue is a series of 3D infrastructures that exist as sculptures and in a video essay that deals with the material trajectory of evolution through design and a reconfiguring of efficiency to eco-efficiency, where the care for entanglement replaces production as an evolutionary scheme.
The sculptures subvert the fiber-optic-like networks of bacterial vertical farming and Mars Scientific City into open porous dissipating ecologies of unbounded bodies where entanglement through design becomes the care for a new alien. An alien, meshed life forms whose place in our forms of life are yet to be determined, is then developed in this work to question the ontology of living and living space and time through linguistic, biological and material connections of a speculative eco-efficiency.