Meet MOCA member, Avideh Saadatpajouh. Primarily a visual designer, Avideh is a multi-talented artist who creates work at the intersections of technology, architecture and design to connect people to spaces, products and services. Learn more about a recent and timely project, Prism of Time, and some influences that have made an impact on Avideh’s journey as an artist.
What made you join as a MOCA member?
The great thing about museums is that they present human psychologies, cultural changes and technological advancements. MOCA, with its mission to be culturally and socially useful, ignited my artistic thoughts and inspired me to create. It’s been less than a year since I became a MOCA member and I’m looking forward to seeing more contemporary international and national artworks and social engagements in its future.
How did you first become interested in design and architecture and what were some of your early influences?
I’m reminded of a quote from the book The Eyes of the Skin written by Juhani Pallasma, “Architecture domesticates limitless space and enables us to inhabit it”. Juhani’s work has inspired me immensely and motivated me to dig deeper in my work and learn more about architecture, design and sensorial experiences.
As public policy and politics shape the patterns of our social life and have direct input on the intent of architects and designers, I am motivated to investigate the role of citizens in urban planning. The study of architecture encouraged me to go on a journey of self-discovery and knowledge-seeking to learn more about human desires and interactions as they come into play with architecture and design.
Studying industrial design at OCADU, was more like a research study. The more I learned about things like mass production, manufacturing and global warming, the clearer it became that we don’t consume or use our tools consciously. I realized that instead of fitting into social norms, I would rather critique the core value of human needs and design methodologies by applying those questions to my art work. Art helps us explore, relate to one another, and make sense of our world. I use art as a medium to explore my worldview and rely heavily on human connections and interactivity to bring my artwork alive.
So much of your work is immersive and interactive, how do you see yourself shifting your practice now that it’s more challenging to produce and exhibit interactive installations in public spaces?
I explore the intersection of art, technology and the future of design in the digital age. I use emerging technologies to examine how these advancements influence and inspire all aspects of creating, presenting and being. The world is always changing, healing and improving itself as well as my practices and processes of creation.
Drawing from the collective knowledge of new multimedia, architecture, industrial design and creative code practices, currently I am exploring design in digital spaces, internet art practices and interactive digital installations.
Tell us about Prism of Time and what significance you think it might have during the current crisis?
What time is it? it’s 5:30 pm! This conversation around time has been with us since the invention of clock towers. We learned how to make mechanical timekeepers therefore our lifestyles were also affected by the mechanical era and its social movements.
I’m working on a timekeeper device that not only tells you the time but also could bring you to the current moment you’re in. At this transformative time of our existence, I feel a need for us to keep tracking time in such a way that synchronizes our bodies with these rapid changes and at the same time makes us feel more at home in our natural habitat. It is important that within our routine interactions and deadlines we pause and think about this very special moment. Take this momentum to bring our mind to where our body is. That is essentially the intention and motivation behind my work Prism of Time.
Where can we find more of your work in the digital space?
Most of my work experience can be found on my website. Since July 2017, I’ve been sharing my visual diary on instagram, which was solely my feelings and emotions about different life events. I’m also looking for new projects and believe in the power of collaboration and interdisciplinary form of creation.
Interactive installation, Pulse Fiction. Courtesy the artist.
Who are some artists in your field of work or outside that you’ve been following and admiring?
I can name some of my influences like Juhani Pallasma, Dunne and Raby, Zach Liberman and in the creative coding field I admire the organizations and initiatives that make it possible for artists to experiment with their ideas through computer programming. Organizations and initiatives like open source processing, creative code foundations, Girls Who Code, and many more.
Different arts disciplines have a tendency to be isolated from each other. In this new digital space that has brought down barriers in a way, are there particular spaces or communities you hope to be able to participate in more?
Earlier I spoke about the power of collaboration and co-creation. There is no better time than now for an artist to exchange their knowledge and skills with not only other artists but scientists, engineers and with their audiences more generally. This global pandemic has brought a new perspective to my life, as I am sure it has for so many. No matter where you live or how you identify, this pandemic has affected you in some capacity or another. And now with so many new technological advancements we are closer to each other more than ever and we can exchange and create meaningful artworks without worrying about the boundaries that previously existed.
The example of that is online festivals that are now exponentially growing. My recent collaboration was with a puppeteer in Iran, Soheila Bajelan. We decided to create an interactive online performance that was tied to viewership so we performed for as long as we had viewers. We wanted to make a statement through our work that without any audiences and observers we as artists do not exist.
Find out more about Avideh’s work here.
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