KEEP IN TOUCH WITH ME

© 2018 by ROYA EBTEHAJ

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Plastic Makes

Perfect

SPRING 2019

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Social media platforms have created their own capitalist and consumerist culture that is spreading trans-nationally as they utilize user data to predict their future behaviors. Every single move we take is captured by tech giants and recycled back to us in the form of advertisements.

Moreover, globalization is progressing at a rapid pace as algorithms become more advanced with the purpose of cultural manipulation. The result is non-western cultures that are being transformed into homogenous consumerist societies due to the influence of big tech.

 

I observe the catastrophic physical impact of this digital sphere in my society and its impact on the perception of beauty. Shaped by the forces of social media culture, many people develop an obsession with the perfect body, which leads them to extreme plastic surgeries and overconsumption of western cosmetic products. The result is a horrific dystopia made out of delusional fantasies and plastic.

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Green Hope, is a multimedia art installation based upon the memories of revolutionary protests in Iran which occurred after the 2009 presidential election. The Green Movement was the first vast public opposition of the Iranian people against the government. It resulted in numerous cases of deaths, arrests, exile and media censorship.

This body of work is a poetic effort to reflect on the edge between external destruction and internal creation. My life has been affected dramatically by the movement and its aftermath. I still carry unresolved issues regarding what I experienced throughout the Green Movement regardless of whether I am in Iran or anywhere else.

Green Hope

Fall 2018

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Softwar[e]

Softwar(e) looks poetically at the authoritarian control of information for people enduring geographical predetermination or exploitation by the opaque, algorithm-driven society. Built as a device of ubiquity, restricted access to information of the internet perpetuates inequality; an institutional perpetuation of hegemonic cultural misunderstanding. Through processes of purification and filtering, systems of control are imposed on the information that is made accessible. These interventions into the natural and localized organic growth of networks facilitating communication, define the confrontational edge between imperialization and dictatorship. Softwar(e) addresses the ways we engage and access information. It is a call to action for the development of alternative methods to circumvent the immense global influence and power.

Spring 2018

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Faken'et

Living in the digital age is as good as it is bad. Media is constantly evolving and improving. The latest news travels in a blink of an eye across continents. Conversely, many negative aspects exist in this context as well. For instance, the information can be deliberately or unintentionally distorted as quickly as it can be made available to us.

The goal in this project was to provide an experience in a secure, personal and independent network. In this cyberspace, there is no dictatorship and user or content monitoring. Faken’et includes six sections: the networking, four hosted webpages (Geeglo, Mesh News, Fakebook & Yentnbo) and the gallery installation.

Spring 2018

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Re-border

Spring 2017

After the immigration, I confronted censorship in an unexpected way as a person from the Middle East in America. I realized Immigration doesn’t necessarily mean I had made it to the promised liberal land. Because of my experience immigrating, borders as a metaphor of hidden censorship, has become my new obsession in my art practice. I asked participants to share their understanding of “International borders” to see what would be people’s response to this topic. I wanted to allow people to express their opinion but at the same time imagine themselves as an affected immigrant or visitor to see what would be the feeling of being restricted like this. I wanted to create a web-based artwork that makes the participant able to interact with my piece through a text box by typing their own idea about the topic of borders in a sentence.

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Three Corners & Twenty-Three Cracks

Three Corners & Twenty-Three Cracks is an exploration of presence within three distinct yet overlapping zones: the two-dimensional, the three-dimensional and the digital; a sharing and coexistence of multiple environments.

 

The human-like qualities of a broken picture frame brought together Mape Andrews, Roya Ebtehaj and Leily Khatibi, three MFA students from San Jose State University, to partner in creating an multimedia art piece; visualizing the power of community, strength, trauma and loss, fragility, generosity, life, hope, alchemy, magic and mystery.

Spring 2018

P5 - 1

P5-1 is a collection of multimedia art works visualizing the traumatic influence of the extreme polarization between the East and West, in my personal life. The exhibition is my personal reflection on this Persian proverb:

“The scissor blades meet and part without harming one another, yet they tear whatever stands in between”.

Fall 2015-2018

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Pink Lady

2006

Pink Lady, is a black and white series of Self-portraits which I created in 2006 and exhibited in Tehran. The project reflected my struggles to come to terms with my dual identity in Iranian society.

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A Glimpse Within

2008

A Glimpse Within is a photography series I did back in Tehran in 2009. I started to photograph more than 50 women's bags from different generations and observed the items they carry with themselves.