Benjamin Hakimian

“Other Worlds Locator” (OWL)


A foreign object has been created for humanity... the “Other Worlds Locator” (OWL) helps simulate future scenarios based on our decisions now. OWL separates key movements (isms) and backs each with historical moments. OWL aims to remind humanity of our most notable rises and falls. Each ism is given a designated zone for which images, videos, words and graphics will populate. This data is an audio-visual guide for users to see exactly what that ism entails. Liberalism acts as the core of OWL. It’s prime objective is for humanity to reach this core.... A non-bias neutral zone of socio-political fantasy. Liberalism has never and will never exist, because it is often thought to be a world of perfect harmony.... or maybe this chaotic flux is harmony in motion?

 With all this data, OWL can model worlds not yet realized...One simply has to stand within OWL and it will simulate a future scenario based on their thoughts, dreams, and realities. Savvy users can interact with OWL through thought and performance to guide and shape a new world. Once satisfied the user can submit their located world. OWL will save each user's world and place them in the correct ism. Worlds will begin to overlap and the isms will blend into one another. Thus the individualized worlds coagulate into a collective of humanity's idealizations. The result will be nothing short of chaotic and unfathomable, yet in a sense beautiful and true.

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Zahra Bonari

The Ethereal

The Ethereal concentrates on different aspects of ancient Persian deities such as Mēnōg (Minu), the invisible (the inconceivable) world in which inexistence dominates as a counterpart of the visible (the sentient/experienced) and the material world (Gētīg/Giti). The visible world has been considered as a fruit of the Minu and Minu as its root. While Minu is unlimited and intransient, Giti is limited and transient. Furthermore Ahriman, god of the darkness (wickedness) is the counterpart of Ahura Mazda, god of the light (goodness). Yet Vāyu, the infinite space, lies between the Ahriman´s and Ahura Mazda´s realms, whereas the Middle Persian evidence suggests that Vayu includes “atmosphere” as the realm of the wind’s activity. This research will try to elaborate archeologically on above mentioned deities specially the untamed potency of Minu for “world-making” with focusing on different approaches such as iconography and demonology of ancient Persian mythology to answer the following questions: What are the invisible counterparts of the visible world? How could one become Minu (someone becoming no one) in order to withstand the current state of structured reality that swallows the mind without giving the possibility of thinking about other possibilities...

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Recent Experimental Electronic Music Practices in Iran:

An Ethnographic and Sound-Based Investigation



The aim of this interdisciplinary (Sonic Arts and Anthropology) and practice-led (thesis plus portfolio) project was to identify and locate an experimental electronic music ‘scene’ in Iran within a web of historical-social-political-religious-economic-technological agencies. Drawing from the growing traditions of digital ethnography and artistic research, this project documented and analysed the processes, aesthetics, and practices that shaped the ‘scene’, while exploring and feeding back to those through sound-based practice. In setting ethnographic study and artistic practice in action within a mutually-interpenetrating loop, this work suggests a context for further anthropological and/or (ethno-)musicological inquiry that incorporates (collaborative) music- and/or art-making as a beneficial and rigorous research methodology.    


Digital ethnography—online fieldwork, field-recording, and more than 40 one-to-one interviews—as well as individual and collaborative composition, installations, and collaborative performances were the main strategies applied to investigate the subject matter. The outcome was, therefore, presented in the form of a portfolio of original works along with a thesis that was produced to contextualise the project’s concurrently theoretical and practical engagement with and investigation of the case at hand.

Shaahin Koohsari

Erasion vs Effacement: Borders as Beings


When we talk about something like a border we talk about a signifier. Border signifies "limit". A written signifier itself is a being that signifies another being (signified). A border as a signifier, as a being, as an undeniable existence is not effaceable. Effacement is merely apparent denial of a being so, effacement of a "border" can't efface the limit that border signifies. A signified being ,  as a being among other beings, is always already ineffaceable. It only can be put "under erasion" by being crossed out because the effacement of signifiers doesn't remove the "problematics" it carries. The difference between a "crossed out" being  border, a being  border "under erasion" and  that of an effaced or removed one is the difference between negation and affirmation. Affirmation of a border is not reception of it, on the contrary, the exigency of affirming the border as the very being of the border predisposes the exigency of putting it under erasion. The claim of "effacing" borders or boundaries without affirmation of its exigencies and implications is naïve. A Border, as a problematic, have to be actively crossed and Effacement only negates it passively in a simple naïve positivist way.The borders can be crossed only in an affirmative way by an affirmative thought considering its being, exigencies, and implications not by an removal attack from outside but, saving and putting it under erasion at the same time...Learn More.

Taraneh Naddafi
Jai Haissman

  We juxtapose the endo vs exogenous to frame the dynamics of foreignness as a disruptive and destructive genius to explore ethno-cultural, ecosystem, global warming, Industrial Age evolutions. 

We do this by telling a story through a botanist/climatologist’s eyes. Recently traumatized with a concussion, afflicted by amnesia from an impact from a foreign object, we explore various conceptual frameworks of foreignness through:

1.    A short story as a graphic novelette to examine how exogenous and foreign objects transform the perspective of our protagonist. They get amnesia from an impact while doing research on effects of climate change on sea level rise; a concussion causes them to lose their memory and sense of smell. Tragically their essential research is lost to the amnesia, but in an effort to recover memory, they discover an archivist and scholar who has preserved essential oils and the DNA of some plant species that have been submerged. Set ~200 years in the future, much of the world is under water, and much plant life is either gone or hydroponic. Consequently, the sensual richness of original smells have been lost, also as a result of over-hybridization.. Learn More

Julio Pattio

Old Fictions and Possible Worlds

We will only able to dodge the current state of exhaustion and fatigue, of fear and confusion, and empower ourselves in order to gain access to other possible worlds, after old fictions are demystified, previous lessons inculcated in the existences of entire generations and counting are revealed for what they are: hushed lines inscribed onto the Western fictional narrative of modernity and civilization.

Benjamin’s words that history is always the one of the winners seems to still be muffled by the sound of Western triumph, the trumpets of their multicultural apocalypse. The only books filling our shelves are those exalting the Western achievements and reasserting unilateral, male-white-patriarchal-able-bodied epistemologies. The only stories our archivists protect are those marked by blood, tears and the gnashing of teeth. But in the end, the celebration of Modernity cannot avoid its dark side, its mortal eclipse, carrying on countless massacres since the dawn of Capitalism and mercantilist maritime expansion.

If in the West some noise is being made now regarding the failure of a long-standing power matrix, its effects are still being lively felt in the bodies and minds of millions of female bodies, mestizos bodies... This multitude of an-other bodies is simply deemed as unfit for the modern campaign, the confused march towards the future. In this sense, those from outside of this machine are categorized as being too late to be included...Learn More

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