News & Events

Awesome SMRN Meeting of April 2019

SMRN had a meeting on April 30 with members joining including Azadeh Emadi, Carol Bier, Çigdem Borucu, Farshid Kazemi, Laura Marks, Mansoor Behnam, Radek Przedpelski, Siying Duan and Yvan Tina.

We first devoted some time to planning SMRN podcasts on the Creative Disturbance platform. Yvan Tina, who manages Creative Disturbance, invited SMRN members to
contribute audio or video podcasts of any length. Laura and Azadeh suggested some topics for conversations, including interviews between SMRN members; questions
about the practice such as How do you locate your work? and How do you avoid self-orientalism or charges of orientalism?; and themes of breath, light, materiality, composition, rhythm, perfume, network, and transmission.

Two of our members, Mansoor Behnam and Radek Przedpelski, presented their work in progress. Mansoor is currently working on a sound installation based on the Persian mystical allegory of Simorgh from ‘Attār’s 12th-century Conference of the Birds. In the allegory, a large, multi-species flock of birds is in crisis and they need to undertake a journey which passes through seven valleys to find Simorgh to solve their problem. Mansoor connects the fable to concepts of Deleuze, seeing the Simorgh as a process, an assemblage of difference, a line of flight and a singular example of pluralism. Mansoor hopes to incorporate these ideas into his installation, for example, to play songs of birds from different species and try to create a harmonic dynamism.

Radek presented his ongoing research project on Polish culture and art. In this project, he raises the question that how art works on the past and the future simultaneously. Radek finds connections between the Polish neo-avant-garde of the 1970s, especially the work of Marek Konieczny, and Polish-Lithuanian 17th century art of “Oriental Baroque”; he then relates Konieczny’s remarkably metallic artworks to Late Bronze Age steppe culture. Radek thinks of art as ripples that resonate between past, contemporary and future. He also considers art from the perspective of media archaeology beyond the human, engaging with the earth rather than focusing on the artists and viewers.

The two wonderful presentations provoked thrilling discussion as always!