From December 2, 2016 to February 5, 2017 Link Cabinet presented Material Speculation: ISIS, a project by Morehshin Allahyari.
Morehshin Allahyari uses 3D printing technology as a tool for alternative artifact archiving, as well as a means of political resistance and documentation. In her series Material Speculation: ISIS she reconstructs selected artifacts of historical value that were destroyed by ISIS in 2015. After collecting and researching vast numbers of images and documents of the destroyed objects, she is able to recreate and print a 3D model of the artifact.
Photographs, documents, maps and videos are all instrumental in the process of re-building, allowing the artist to create an image that cannot cease to exist, but is infinitely reproducible. All documentation gathered by the artist about the destroyed artifact is saved onto a flash drive embedded in the 3D-printed work. Material Speculation redefines notions of materiality, forcing us to rethink the concept of monument and challenging ideas of irreproducibility of the historical image. Finally, Material Speculation is an exploration of the political and poetic relationship between 3D printing, plastic, oil, technocapitalism and jihad.
For SITUATIONS / Re-enactment the work has been presented in its physical form at Fotomuseum Winterthur and simultaneously hosted on the Link Cabinet, where the artist shared all digital files and models from the project, allowing users freely to access and download all data.
SITUATION #57 – Material Speculation: ISIS is a cooperation between Fotomuseum Winterthur and the Link Art Center.
Morehshin Allahyari is a new media artist, activist, educator, and occasional curator. She was born and raised in Iran and moved to the United States in 2007. Her work extensively deals with the political, social, and cultural contradictions we face every day. She thinks about technology as a philosophical toolset to reflect on objects; a poetic mean to document the personal and collective lives we live and our struggles as humans in the 21st century. Morehshin has been part of numerous exhibitions, festivals, and workshops around the world including Venice Biennale, Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal, Queens Museum, Pori Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, Museo Ex-Teresa Arte Actual, Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Miami Art fair, and Material Art fair. She has been an artist in residence at BANFF Centre (2013),Carnegie Mellon University’s STUDIO for Creative Inquiry (2015), Autodesk Pier9 Workshop in San Francisco (2015), and the Vilém Flusser Residency Program for Artistic Research in association with Transmediale, Berlin -in collaboration with writer/artist Daniel Rourke– (2016).
Her work has been featured in NYTimes, Huffington Post, Wired, NPR, Parkett Art Magazine, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Global Voices Online, and Al Jazeera among others.
This post is also available in: Italian