I'm an artist and educator currently living in Lahore, Pakistan.

My interdisciplinary art practice, which involves mediums ranging from sculpture to new media, feeds off my curiosity of social media, the Internet, and how we engage with technology on a daily basis.

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Ongoing

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.

Recent Experiments

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

I've been making web-based applications/designs using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Each site explores a theme or concept through the language of web design.

view project site

2013

News Reel

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

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2012

Youtube Symphony

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.


Research

YouTube Not-Working?

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.

YouTube Not-Working?

2011

Webcam Portraits

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.

2010

Fan

A documentation of myself tailgating with strangers at a New England Patriots game. It is about forming a connection with a group of people and reaffirming that relationship through photography. These images exist only in digital form, on a USB thumb drive. The device is left, plugged into a computer, waiting to be found by the unsuspecting. Once discovered the participant can decide whether or not to peak into a world which I've constructed or simply return it to the lost and found. I'm interested in how photography can be used to deceive and misrepresent our understanding of relationships and social status. In the age of Facebook and digital point and shoots, everyone everywhere is going out taking photos of themselves with their friends to reaffirm and project their own social standing. This project encapsulates the idea of how events and situations are compulsory acts which most of us partake in to feel a part of a group. For one night I was part of this group, and these photograph's exist to prove it.

There are ten of these drives in circulation.