Talk Magazine
Sunday, August 21, 2011

Look from behind

the 3rdi is an automatic photographic apparatus that is comprised of three different components

“And the more natural the process by which the storyteller forgoes psychological shading, the greater becomes the story’s claim to a place in the memory of the listener, the more completely is it integrated into his own experience, the greater will be his inclination to repeat it to someone else someday, sooner or later.”
- Walter Benjamin, The Storyteller (p. 91, Illuminations)

I am nothing if not a storyteller. My work to date has been concerned with the communication of public and private information to an audience so that it may be retold, distributed. The stories I tell are political dramas, which unfold through my past experience and into the present where they interact with the currency of media as the dialectic of aesthetic pleasure and pain. Through various layers of distribution and interpretation, pictures are drawn using interactive models established through the stories’ (technological) framework where they are revealed and shared. With an audience locked in participation, my story may be retold.

The 3rdi is just such a platform for the telling and retelling of another story. A camera temporarily implanted on the back of my head, it spontaneously and objectively captures the images – one per minute – that make up my daily life, and transmits them to a website for public consumption.

During my journey from Iraq to Saudi Arabia, on to Kuwait and then the U.S., I left many people and places behind. The images I have of this journey are inevitably ephemeral, held as they are in my own memory. Many times while I was in transit and chaos the images failed to fully register, I did not have the time to absorb them. Now, in hindsight, I wish I could have recorded these images so that I could look back on them, to have them serve as a reminder and record of all the places I was forced to leave behind and may never see again.

The 3rdi arises from a need to objectively capture my past as it slips behind me from a non-confrontational point of view. It is anti-photography, decoded, and will capture images that are denoted rather than connoted, a technological-biological image. This will be accomplished by the complete removal of my hand and eye from the photographic process, circumventing the traditional conventions of traditional photography or a disruption in the photographic program. Barthes has said, “...from an aesthetic point of view the denoted image can appear as a kind of Edenic state of the image; cleared utopianically of its connotations, the image would become radically objective, or, in the last analysis, innocent.” It is this ‘innocent’ image that I wish to capture through the 3rdi.

Technically, the 3rdi is an automatic photographic apparatus that is comprised of three different components: a small digital camera permanently surgically mounted to the back of my head with a USB connection, a lightweight laptop which I carry on my body connected to the camera with a USB cable, and a 3G wireless connection to access the internet. The website acts as storage and display for the images captured by the camera. The functioning of the apparatus, in theory, is as follows: The camera, through no intervention of the artist, captures an image automatically once a minute and send this image through the USB connection to the receiver (the computer) on my body. The receiver then sends this image through the 3G network to the website, where the images are archived and made available to the public.

The 3rdi makes a technological apparatus part of my body and distributes the recorded content openly within space using the internet. The arbitrary imagery captured by the device will retain fractured records and distribute a narrative to be completed by the viewer as their corporeal space is also compromised by the presentation. Benjamin has described the storyteller as one “who could let the wick of his life be consumed completely by the gentle flame of his story.” (Illuminations) In this way I become locked to the story as its teller, passing the interpretive mode to an audience with little context so it may be transformed for their subjective interactions and subsequent expressions. Using this narrative triangle, the work will comment on ways in which imagery is used for the telling and retelling of stories, whether they belong to us or we make them ours.

Installation Description

In addition to the 3rdi device and its online presence, a physical installation opened December 15 in Doha, Qatar as part of the Told/Untold/Retold exhibition inaugurating the new Arab Museum of Modern Art. Hence the 3rdi is in total: a device, a website, and a larger installation that mimics the online platform from which the images are intended to be viewed. The installation will act as a concentrated display that asks the viewer to experience the images in both time space.

The physical installation consists of three distinct rooms. The first, a smaller room, acts as an entrance to the main installation space and provides a separation from the gallery at large. This room prepares the viewer by providing information via wall text that describes the philosophy and background of the 3rdi project. The text is displayed on the wall to the right of the installation entrance. On the left is a medium-sized LCD display with a loop of a documentary on the 3rdi. The exit from this room is open and directly opposite it is a large wall partition that masks the exit from the second room, the main installation space. On this wall is a life-sized photo of the artist facing away from the camera with the 3rdi attached to his head. The partition leads the viewer to either the left or right to gain entrance to the main installation space.

The main installation space is much larger than the first room. After walking around the partition the viewer is confronted by a large bank of small LCD screens, displaying the 3rdi images, stretching from the floor and curving to the ceiling. When a viewer gazes at a certain image, this image stays stable while the other images shift to form a virtual halo around the viewer. Opposite the LCD bank is a large mirrored surface that serves to double the images and broaden the space. The floor too is composed of a mirrored surface further doubling the images from the LCD displays and again broadening the space. The space itself is painted black. Interaction within this portion of the space is subject to both the number of bodies occupying the room and their movement within the space; the number and rate of images is affected by the number of people present. More people means faster movement of the images; with fewer viewers the images slow down. Movement through the space also triggers a flickering and whitening of the images. As a viewer moves from the entrance to the exit of the space, the images nearest them flicker and turn to white. The images in this mode of interaction are elusive to the viewer.

An exit leads to a third room, where the viewer can sit and observe the images as they stream in live from the 3rdi device. This space is a viewing room and a reprieve from the previous installation space. Viewers here will be able to converse and discuss the images as they are transmitted. It is intended to be a sharp contrast to the overwhelming experience of the installation space, allowing the viewer to digest the prior experience while integrating the new information constantly coming in from the 3rdi. This portion of the installation has an exit into the gallery at large, ending the 3rdi space, and allowing the viewer to pursue the 3rdi on their own.

On a whole the installation is intended to provide a broad viewing experience, similar to that of the internet, for the 3rdi apparatus. The extension of the 3rdi into physical space explores issues of perception, image recognition, surveillance, internet viewing, and information saturation.

Posted by Foaad on 08/21 at 12:07 PM
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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Tiger In Anzali Fest.

Children’s Painting Festival (4 to 14 years)

Application for
Adventure of the tiger in Anzali
Children’s Painting Festival (4 to 14 years)
To paint the real adventure of a Caspian tiger’s entrance to Anzali city in 1861

Fifty years after the decadence of Caspian tiger in Iran

August 2011 - Iran, Bandar-e Anzali

The Real Adventure, from a newspaper in 1861: One hundred and fifty years ago , a tiger came to Anzali. Then attacked a horse in a village near the Anzali. Then ran away and came to the town by means of the beach way. Guardians at the top of the Anzali’s garret, saw the tiger and declared the people. People caused it to escape the tiger swam to the other side of the river which was in the middle of the town, and went into a gunman’s house. The gunman instead of killing it, told the people. People came and caused it to escape again. The tiger jumped into the Anzali’s lagoon, swam and swam and went into the jungles around the city and disappeared.

Applicants may scan their paintings (300 dpi) and send their files with applicant profile until August 16th via E-mail.
Size of paper: A3 (297 × 420 mm)

Applicant Profile:
First Name: Family Name: Father’s Name:
Gender: Age:
Post Address: Tel: Email Address:

adventure of the tiger in Anzali Festival
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
P.O.Box: 43145-1755 Bandar-e Anzali, Guilan, Iran.
Tel:        0098-9356632827  

Posted by Foaad on 08/04 at 07:06 PM
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Talca Interrupted

TALCA INTERRUPTED’ is a one-hour documentary about three lost souls searching for the meaning of ‘home’

‘TALCA INTERRUPTED’ is a one-hour documentary about three lost souls searching for the meaning of ‘home’ in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Chile. In the city of Talca, 6500 homes were damaged or destroyed by the quake and a year and a half later, only 12 have been rebuilt through government subsidies.
‘Talca Interrupted’ uncovers the human face in the wreckage of these alarming statistics. This is not a film about politics…the politics merely set the stage for a dreamlike meditation on survival.  Three characters with conflicting social pressures are bound together by the transformations of one devastating event in the neighborhood of ‘Seminario.’ We see Pedro – an owner of a destroyed liquor store, re-born as a community leader carrying the burdens of his neighbors whilst constantly revisiting his past life through abandoned sites of destruction.
Ester moved to Talca from the country to work in a factory that is now in ruin. Trapped in her present, she works as a toilet cleaner, living in a temporary shack surrounded by the crumbling brick walls of the destroyed life she is fighting to recover. Architect, Jose Luis is determined to destroy his half demolished childhood home in order to build a prosperous future for himself and his community. In traversing a timeline of this post-disaster city through their past, present and future memories, ‘Talca Interrupted’ explores how we calibrate our identity in pivotal times of crisis. The film portrays the harsh reality of these three characters through highly stylized verite filmmaking merged with an exploration of their past memories and dream states using re-enactment scenes and archival footage and photographs obtained from the residents.
There is an extremely time-critical aspect to the project. One of the main characters of the film, Jose Luis is demolishing his childhood home at the beginning of September, which is a central part of the entire film. We need to get coverage in his home for the re-enactment scenes & other interviews before this happens as well as shooting the actual demolition. As previously discussed in the films trailer and description, the film explores the lives of three residents and their inner conflicts to find the meaning of ‘home’ in the aftermath of

I am a documentary filmmaker and architecture graduate from Melbourne, Australia. My previous films “Vehicles of Memory” and “Under the Bridge” have screened at the Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival. When studying architecture I participated in international workshops in Cardiff and Beirut where I set out to make short films about other people’s post-traumatic experiences, only to question my own personal identity. Similar to other Iranian migrants, growing up in Australia and having little contact with Iran, my idea of home is something very transient and trapped in between these two worlds. Thus, I have always been very passionate in exploring the concept of identity and what the meaning of ‘home’ is across different cultures in varying circumstances.  I want to know how people recalibrate themselves and if this is indeed possible post disaster. For Chileans, home is everything: it’s family, solidity, culture and traditions.  Now that it’s gone, where does that leave them? Who are they without a home? With these questions in mind, the film follows their fight to find it again…
On the 27th February 2010, when I heard about the devastating earthquake that struck Chile, I realised that it wasn’t just a disaster of material things but a disaster of the identity of people. This displacement is something I deeply relate to. Located 200km from the epicentre of the 8.8 Richter scale quake, the city of Talca became an unrecognizable landscape of debris, and as a result 20,000 jobs were lost. The historic town centre was destroyed. But more importantly the soul of the people was broken. The resident, the neighbourhood and the city experienced loss of identity.
I am working with a small production team including Chilean filmmaker Dani Ibaceta who will act as the assistant director, award-winning Chilean Composer Jorge Aliaga, Art Director Mara Grinbergs and Production Designer Mandi Bialek-Wester. In March 2011, we obtained initial photography, interviews and on ground research. With our target goal of $8,000 we will continue the film over a period of four weeks (28 days) in September 2011 to cover the time-critical footage of the residents. We will spend these four weeks on re-enactment scenes and following the activities of Jose Luis and the demolishment of his childhood home, Pedro’s activities within community reconstruction and Ester’s fight to rebuild her home. With this footage we will put together a new demo reel to apply for more funding to complete the production of the film.
The money raised in this campaign will cover the costs of return travel from Australia to Chile for the filmmaker, accommodation, daily expenses and art department costs for the team (Director, Assistant Director, Art Director, Production Designer) in Talca. Our budget is as follows:
- 1 Return Ticket with from Melbourne (AU) to Santiago (CH) = $2,400
- Accommodation in Talca (4 people) at $15 per night (28 nights) = $1,680

- Daily expenses (4 people) at $30 per person/per day (28 days) = $3,360

- Art Department (props, lighting equipment, materials) for 8 re-enactment scenes: $560

= $8,000

Over the duration of the film’s development, photographs, journal entries, interviews and footage will be uploaded for your viewing onto our website Upon the completion of the film, it will be viewable online and prepared for DVD distribution. There are rewards for every donation including DVD’s of the completed film, publications, film credits, t-shirts, artworks and illustrations. Please support the film and share with your networks to help raise awareness of post-disaster cities in your world today!
Through a unique exploration of reality and memory in “Talca Interrupted”, my aim is to assist and advance the reconstruction efforts of struggling communities in the region. The February 27th 2010 earthquake in Chile occurred only 6 weeks after the devastating Haiti earthquake and was subsequently forgotten by the world. It is clear these struggling residents in Chile need to be heard and their stories have not been covered in Chilean or international media. With your help, we can provide these residents with an international voice to create global awareness of post-earthquake living standards in Chile. If this campaign is unsuccessful, the Chilean story will continue to go unheard. The greater theme I want to impact is identity. What are the factors that make up our identity in times of crisis? How do our memories and dreams dictate the choices we make? What is the meaning of ‘home’ in the aftermath of a disaster? This is not just a story about Chileans but about our collective struggle to find a place to call home and the obstacles we must overcome in order to do so.

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Posted by Foaad on 08/04 at 06:19 AM
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