Marjan Moghaddam’s work insist on a deeper dialog in which global, personal, political aspects influence a viewer to engage not just from the aesthetic point of view, but also in a metaphysical sense. As such, this Iranian-American diverse artist touches upon very current and disturbing subjects, such as: revolution, technology, and existence. Moghaddam, who works with technologies textual streams that are embedded in her pieces, uses found text, personal chats, deconstructed writing, essays, poetry, and storytelling. She takes a hybrid approach to the creation of visuals, mixing artistic techniques with generative and algorithmic ones, allowing a reciprocal process in which human creativity interacts with its machine counterpart, a process that reveals its own inherent metaphysical dynamics. Her own experiences as a political refugee who now lives in New York City, form the basis for some of the political and feminist dimensions in her work, as she creates space in her American narratives for other cultural personas that blend into a global stream of ethnicity and nationality.
Exploring the manner in which digital platforms mediate our relationships with others raise challenging questions: Are we analog persons living in an increasingly digital world or How do we create common ground in this digital age? Moghaddam delights and surprises her audience with a continuously evolving work, in a both literal and figurative sense. Only in the last few months, she has had two shows, one in a space on the Lower East Side, and the other one at St. Paul’s Church.
Moghaddam’s latest project, “David & Goliath Still Can’t Fight,” a spectacular High Definition CG animation installation, was shown as part of the #occupycommonground exhibition of contemporary art at Saint Paul The Apostle church in Manhattan. Conceived as a time-based, digital painting, this 14 minute animation with text, explores the myth of David and Goliath as a virus of civilization. The visual and textual narrative blends the biblical myth with Computer and media theory, philosophy, evolution, post humanism, political science, contemporary digital culture, metaphysics and shamanism. The main characters are designed in Moghaddam’s signature Digital Cubist style which is suggestive of contemporary film and video game style digital figuration. They engage in an epic battle amidst explosions of paint and special effects in a mesmerizing slow motion mock battle. The text interacts with the visuals, exploring the power dynamics of revolutions while citing Marx and Picketty, and pondering whether we’re stuck, subverting the myth, or transcending it.
Can’t fight animals
Her second show, SONICA SERIES AT IFAC, (The Yard, 65 Delancey Street, 3rd Floor) is a comprehensive collection of visual and performative projects centered on the premise of technological synesthesia. For this series,Moghaddam created 3d meshes that were a result of a combination of computer generative techniques and additionally, an artistic sculptural process. Using motion, shapes, and color, Moghaddam plays with the threshold between the solid and the de-material used words, whispered into a microphone which were then used as driving channels for various parameters in her virtual reality sets. “Inputting the sonic elements was almost like breathing life into them with words or improvised music”, she says about the process, “Suddenly, I could almost see and feel a living presence as a result of this synesthetic process.”