Monday, May 7, 2007


Fereshteh Toosi, a new media artist, talks about her work, means of acquiring data and how she is not influenced by the information out there. She relates her works with media but however mentions that just by working with or on the computer does not indicated that you are a media artist. In other to be an artist there has to be a thought, purpose and the involvement of others in some way. Fereshteh states that even though she is considered a new media artist in nowadays society, she thinks that calling it “new media” may not be the best title because in years to “media” as we know it might no longer be new. In her line of work, Fereshteh demonstrates that most is personally related but as well involves
She also talks about the principles of computation in use by new media artist, which she states as the interactivity, the algorithm process, networking and reproduction. As a media artist, Fereshteh uses humor to get around issues that people are not comfortable to talk about to obtain information.

The first work that she presents was “Saddam’s Birthday”. The project got inspired by the fact that in Saddam’s country, there were a lot of people that looked like him and when the time comes for him to come out in public, these people would be the ones that came out to represent him, this was a form of protection. In this project, there were two people that dressed up like Saddam and went into public. They walked around talking to people and took pictures.

The second was when then walked around going along with the claim that there was another river. This I thought was interesting and funny. It showed how people would believe in things or information that is handed out to them instead of investing about it. This was the main goal of the project, investigating information that is out in the public. Fereshteh states that a lot of people influence and play some sort of role in her line of work; she mentions Emili Golden and Angela Davis amongst others, who are very important people to her and with that note she wants to show their lives and what they have gone through. A project she discussed in relation to this was a van that they made which contains books of different artists that would go around in towns offering to people knowledge and also bringing them together. She quotes Emili Golden “I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody’s right to beautiful radiant things”.

Lastly, Fereshteh gave us a sneak peak into her own artist work. An installation of a genie bottle made out of Afghan blankets, had a video at the top of the bottle that projected smoke which is suppose to come out of the bottle and placed in a gallery space. The genie bottle she states is a form of protection. She further states that taking things out of their schematic setting and remaking them was one of her goal with this piece.

Even though I would have loved to see more of her work, I adored the fact that she was quite different from the rest of the artist talk that I went to this semester. She focused on her thought of work and how she made her research to obtain information to work with. I felt this was very rewarding to art students, especially me because it gave me a better understanding as to how I can and will be able to be a better artist.
I would like to see more of her work in full details, especially ‘Saddam’s Birthday’ which I understand that there was not much time to see it in full details.

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