Born in the USA, I'm an artist and educator currently living in Lahore, Pakistan.
My interdisciplinary art practice, which involves a range of mediums including photography, video, sculpture, and photography, is informed by my interest in digital archives, identity politics, and networked cultures.
Camouflage is a collaborative photographic drawing project between Matt Kushan and Unum Babar that investigate the visually curious and fortified display of security in Lahore, Pakistan. The front side of a house was photographed, split down the center (each artist taking a side), then embellished with photo-transfers, digital paint, drawing, etc. This site-specific work was created for the entrance of the Ambassador’s Residence in the Diplomatic Enclave, Islamabad, Pakistan. The work was hung with the background of the Diplomatic Enclave in mind, making the surrounding landscape, lined with tall concrete walls, barbed wire, and fortresses alike, visually participate in the work.
Rooted پیوستہ (Paivasta)
Rooted پیوستہ (Paivasta) is an international project which brings together Glasgow based creative studio Pidgin Perfect and Lahore based artists Unum Babar and Matt Kushan, who all work diversely across materials and mediums within their practice, to work in collaboration as part of a wider twinning cities programme.
Rooted پیوستہ (Paivasta) consists of 8 permanent artworks for Bagh-e- Jinnah (Lawrence Gardens) in Lahore, Pakistan. The artworks reference, and have a resemblance to, the heritage of Bagh-e-Jinnah and the places and events that take place across the gardens. The central artwork is a significant marble ground piece located near the Quaid-e-Azam Library which takes the form of an Islamic star, directing people on seven routes across the park towards undiscovered spaces and stunning examples of Flora. The destination of each of the seven routes is marked by a marble seat, crafted and sited to encourage introspection, solitude, contemplation.
Rooted پیوستہ (Paivasta) is curated and commissioned by Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF) and British Council Pakistan with generous support from Parks & Horticulture Authority (PHA) Lahore.
Mapping My iPhone
To Be or Not To Be The Father
Maury is an American talk show that deals with issues such as infidelity, uncommon illnesses, makeovers, obese children, domestic violence, bullying, etc. One of the most popular topics on Maury is infidelity, which is most commonly proven or disproven by a DNA paternity test. The stage is set with a mother, her child, and the possible fathers.
On The Web Browser
News Reel is a program I wrote that harvests current news stories and creates an animation of words. Certain words trigger stylistic changes that linger during adjacent words.
Check out the project site
The series Symphony is a group of videos that were made by piecing together multiple videos found on the internet. Each piece is driven by a song. These songs were constructed by sifting through vast amounts of self-broadcasted performances, which were uploaded to websites such as YouTube and Vimeo, then re-edited into a grid. Throughout the 4000 videos viewed, I downloaded 1300 and used about 300.
Looking and Being Looked At
I get nervous the first time I see you and you see me. You are pixels on a screen just like I am to you. At the click of a button you can flee this situation, lost in a matter of seconds, on to the next person. But, you are still there, waiting patiently for a response. I type “hello.” You smile and write “hi how r u?” My heart races. You are no longer just an image on the screen. It feels like you’re in the room with me, breathing. But really you’re not; you’re half way across the globe. Your presence cannot be denied nor can it be real. We look at each other for awhile and even look at ourselves looking. We make small talk, “where r u?”, “how old r u?”. We can’t take our eyes off of each other except to look down when we vigorously type back and forth. Eventually I ask if I can take your picture. You seem puzzled and somehow intrigued. You respond with questions: “y r u doin this?”, “what do you need me to do?”. You are unsure, but somehow I gain your trust and we begin collaborating, seeing together, making photographs and videos with one another. Just a few minutes ago we were strangers, and now we are a team. You share something important with me. I ask you to move the camera and position things within in the frame, so I can see them better. Together we create a story about looking and being looked at.
I've been meeting strangers on Chatroulette.com, a website with a video chat-room platform that allows people to randomly connect with one another. Upon reciprocal interest (not being “next-ed”) my subjects allow me to photograph them and their space. Out of nearly 3,000 encounters, I was only able to gain the trust of 20 people. Looking and Being Looked At began Fall 2011 and is a work in progress.
While spending countless hours on chat-roulette I began to think about the broadcast and self-image on the Internet. In the present, these two concepts are synonymous with one another. They play an important role to how we think about and perceive ourselves. These encounters with my subjects would last around 30 minutes to 2 hours. I would get to know them, then I would take photographs with them, guiding their every move.
Pats Fan is a series of 16 images that reveals a day I spent tailgating at a patriots game with strangers. These photographs question how photography represents identity and the role it plays in documenting one’s experience. While I was not friends with the people in the photographs, every moment a picture was taken we grouped together and held a smile. These images exist solely USB memory sticks which were left plugged in computers across the greater Boston area.