Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Martyrs | a video installation



Yesterday morning I gave my students the chance to make their first installation ever... so I went to class asked each girl to give me the first word that pops into her mind... then we started finding relations between the words and getting a concept for our installation... got the camera... shot the videos... some was doing the editing and some were setting up the space... finding a music and then stitching everything together...
and it was done... for audience two girls went outside and start gathering random students... and in less than two hours we managed to do a video installation...
Now what do you think of that? =)

UPDATE:
For those who like the 1.99$ stamped clearly on their burger wraps...
The above installation addresses issues of routine, monotone, systematized life,solitude and boredom. The title is a metaphorical notion of how we "sacrifice" ourselves to the modern standard of living while thinking we are doing a favor to others or humanity in general... how we kill our time for what we think is worth it...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Zuppa Romana



I first heard this song for a jingle on Fatafeat TV... It's cool...
If I would expect anyone to sing about food... they gotta be the Italians...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

a memory of a body part

For their second project I asked my students of "Digital Art and Installation Art" to make a video art piece around the theme of "a memory of a body part"...
Here are their work...


Untitled by Dina Ridwan


Partially blind by Hanada Khataybeh


Disturbance by Aml Serhan


Layers by Laura Nofal


I can't listen by Dana Qabbani


:: Indispensable by Dina Khayyat

:: Blessings by Heba Abdallat

:: Eyes Language by Hiba Akkash

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Another 5 in Gaza!

Five die in Gaza City explosion...

OMG... those are not abstract numbers... those are HUMAN SOULS...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Feeling blue...

I'm having one of those afternoons where I feel stuck inside my head but in a blue mood...
This afternoon I went for a coffee with a couple of American girls visiting Jordan on some cultural exchange program... I had a really good time... and very insightful too...
And now as I was reflecting upon the meeting... I remembered one of the girls was telling us a story happened with her family... and it is unbelievable how her story is similar to many stories we hear in our society... and it made me think about how similar we all are...
Half a way around the globe and yet we still share so much... same events... same needs... same life...
I can't understand what went wrong in the world... why do we have all these wars? these fights? why some people spend millions in one day while millions are suffering from hunger every day...?

Why can't we fully understand that all the humans from east to west share the same [one] earth... and dwell under the same [one] sky...
All of us believe or disbelieve in the same [one] God whatever name we call Him...

We live in the so called age of information while I see more and more ignorance around me...
Why some people are manipulating religions... using fear... spreading ignorance... in the name of freedom, democracy and liberality...?

Why are we ruining earth? why there had to be a global warming issue? why the brats are driving 4x4 just to impress their peers taking up more fuel... and more space in the streets... causing more pollution and more traffic jams...

Why are we being second-handers... why do we dress, act, believe, live, marry, hang out, and think in the way that everyone excepts us too...? Just to please them... to be part of a group... to belong to a tribe of any sort or any name...?

Why I'm supposed to be fit or unfit in any place just because I wear the veil...? Why we choose to block one sort of knowledge just because it doesn't conform with our intellectual standards?

I look around me... wars... devastation... hypocrisies... abuse... and ignorance...

The sun is just setting outside my window... and a lovely summer breeze is caressing my face... yet I feel I should cry... cry for earth and humanity and what we got ourselves into...

When will people be free to realize is about time we be humans once again?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Design your own room

Currently I'm giving a course at the Children Museum Jordan. This course is for kids aged 8-12 and it is about how they can design their own bedrooms... so far I'm having so much fun... dealing with children is very enriching because they have a mind that never fails to amaze you...
I'll be sharing their work results as the course ends...




Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Fountainhead

So finally I have read [The Fountainhead] a novel that I knew many people praising... Once I started reading it I couldn't stop till I finished it...
The novel is written by Ayn Rand... in the novel Rand chose Architecture as a form of self-expression...

I can't understand why during my 5 years studying architecture none of my professors recommended the book... It is such a good book and deals with architecture in a new critical way... allowing us to interpret the history of architecture and the modern practices of it in a new way...

Many of the main characters are involved in Architecture whether they are architects like the main character Howard Roark or they are critics of architecture like Ellsworth Toohey...
The novel talks about selfishness, egotism and altruism through another perspective which shakes some of the bases of how societies are led to approve or condemn actions that are defined as virtues or sins by other people for whatever agenda...
As you are reading there will be many sections which you forget you are reading a novel but you concentrate on the ideas presented... again gaining more insights about architecture and society.
I liked the way Rand has used architecture as a medium to convey her own philosophies...
The novel is definitely a must-read... especially for architects and architecture students...
The novel had been made into a movie in the 1940s but I'm always disappointed when a novel is turned into a movie... so I recommend the novel... having said that I found this video of Howard Roark's speech toward the end of the movie... is worth seeing...

The novel also tackles some of the ideas related to Capitalism and though I'm myself an anti-capitalism to the core... I have to say that I had a new understanding of Capitalism that made me reflect more about some of own ideas related to man, freedom and wealth...
Also the concept of self, self-sacrifice, selfishness made me think about the concept of the self in my own Islamic beliefs which I'll talk about some other time...

It is a mind opening when we understand the hidden driving forces that shape, create and re-create some of our basic cultural and societal patterns...

The Fountainhead one of my best novels of all times...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Second-handers

[[ "Yes! And isn't that the root of every despicable action? not selfishness, but precisely the absence of a self. Look at them. The man who cheats and lies, but preserves a respectable front. He knows himself to be dishonest, but others think he's honest and he derives his self-respect from that, second-hand. The man who takes credit for an achievement which is not his own. He knows himself to be mediocre, but he's great in the eyes of others. The frustrated wretch who professes love for the inferior and clings to those less endowed, in order to establish his own superiority by comparison. The man whose sole aim is to make money. Now I don't see anything evil in a desire to make money. But money is only a means to some end. If a man wants it for a personal purpose - to invest in his industry, to create, to study, to travel, to enjoy luxury - he's completely moral. but the men who place money first go much beyond that. Personal luxury is a limited endeavor. What they want is ostentation: to show, to stun, to entertain, to impress others. They're second-handers. Look at our so-called cultural endeavors. A lecturer who spouts some borrowed rehash of nothing at all that means nothing at all to him - and the people who listen don't give a damn, but sit there in order to tell their friends that they have attended a lecture by a famous name. All second-handers." ]]
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Digital Portraits

This Morning I gave my students an exercise where they have to digitally paint a portrait for one of the following...
1. Saint of War

Work by Dina Khayyat

Work by Laura Nofal

2. Fighter of Peace

Work by Hiba Akkash

Work by Dina Ridwan


3. Prisoner of Freedom

Work by Myself...

Work by Hiba Abdallat

8 Natural Wonders

Can you guess this one is where?
Well... to my surprise is in YEMEN!
The image caption says " Socotra Archipelago, Yemen features an astounding array of biodiversity, both on land and in the water. Credit: © IUCN - Khaldoun Al Omari"

Anyways it was announced new 8 natural wonders in the world... the full list and more is here...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Narratives* | 15

15

She tries to clean it...
Over and over again...
But always the dust goes up and then down after creating a shallow cloud...
The dust doesn't leave the space...

She has forgotten to open a window...
To let the dust out...
The Sun... The Light and fresh air in...


* The Narratives: stories, events, and scenes that happen[ed] inside and around my head…

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Digital re-Painting

Today I gave my students an exercise where they were asked to digitally manipulate or recreate a famous painting so as to negate, contradict, emphasize or glorify one of the meanings related to the painting... it was done in one and half hour...


By: Hanada Khatyibeh and Hiba Abdallat
Based on American Gothic


By: Dina Khayyat and Hiba Akkash
Based on Birth of Venus and Nam June Paik's TV sculptures


By: Dina Ridwan and Laura Nofal
Recreation of Arnolfini Portrait



By: Myself
Based on The Lovers and random pop stars images

Friday, July 04, 2008

Offensive pro- Hijab ad


translation " You can't stop them... but you can protect yourself... He who has created you... know what's best for you"

I find this ad offensive in so many ways... some are too obvious to be mentioned...

I don't approve of the the way people who claim to be pro-hijab set their propaganda... it implies that women are inferior to men... that women are too precious and should be kept safe and away...
I do wear the hijab and I'm very convinced of it... I appreciate those who have the courage to put it... but the way I understand hijab is a way to enhance interaction between men and women rather than prevent it...
If women are supposed to stay at home... away from all the men... then why do they need the hijab? But if they go out... work... study... live a normal life... then there is no way but to deal with men.... after all at the early beginning one man and one woman inhabited the earth...

I don't like to think of myself as a lollipop nor men who are around me as flies... and I don't wear the veil to please the man and help him not sin... I do it for myself... for the way I perceive myself as a true woman...

I wish if all the preachers who do it so poorly would spare me and all the people out there any more of their ignorance....