Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Samine Tabatabaei – A Graft to Remember, an Archive to Survey

Thursday, September 26, 2019

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

McKinney Conference Room, 111 Thayer Street

Registration required, register here

During a year-long project in 2010-11, Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal surgically grafted a camera to the back of his head that captured one image per minute and transmitted it to the website www.3rdi.me. The medical emergencies resultant from this graft have prompted a critical public discourse. Most debates are geared towards Bilal’s configuration of selfhood, embodiment and social relations within digitized networks. This presentation examines the 3rdi project at the cross-section of body datafication, wearable technologies and surveillance art in order to account for the ways that this project serves as an intervention within the representations of constructed diasporic Middle Eastern identity in the post-9/11 era, and how it portended the yet to come Travel Ban.

Samine Tabatabaei, Visiting Assistant Professor in Iranian Studies, is an art historian who studies modernisms and contemporary art of the Middle East and its diasporas at the intersection of media theory, the social life of art and contemporary technologies. Presently, she is working on a manuscript tentatively titled ‘Traction of Time’ based upon her doctoral dissertation, that by way of analysis of curatorial practices and production of exhibitions of contemporary Iranian art, proposes a theory that is coterminous with trans-local(e) modalities of exchange. At Brown, she will be teaching thematic courses on the history of media, contemporary technologies and creative life in Tehran.

Center for Middle East Studies