My practice is highly interdisciplinary and research based. As a former cultural anthropologist, I use qualitative research methods to investigate U.S. cultural relationships to witnessing, group identity and contemporary morals in the era of digital surveillance and decentralized global conflict. However, unlike cultural anthropologists, I figure my experience centrally in my work, rooting these themes in a complex set of questions around security, home, gender, family, love, violence, power, and responsibility.
My work stems from my experience as a transgender-masculine Arab-American person raised in a Charismatic (Pentecostal) Catholic church in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As a child, I often felt confused about my simultaneous desire to belong and the distinct feeling that I was not of the community. I learned to perform a position in order to fit in with the group for fear I was being watched by a wrathful god. God was my first encounter with surveillance technologies. My experiences led me to examine the ways in which people on the margins aesthetically take on and perform the moral majority within their communities as a kind of “threat management” strategy. I explore the costs and benefits of these strategies in my practice through live performance, experimental documentary and installation.
I am also a published author, multi-time grant recipient, organizer, facilitator, and an arts consultant for institutions and universities. I am a current fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Documentary Lab and academic at Arizona State University’s Los Angeles campus for the film school’s Narrative and Emerging Media Program. I obtained my MFA from CalArts and am affiliated with the Guild of Future Architects. My work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Melbourne, Glasgow, and Athens, and in notable group exhibitions and performances at the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Los Angeles), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Materials & Applications (Los Angeles), Human Resources (Los Angeles), The Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart), The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Glasgow International 2018 (Glasgow), The Banff Center for the Arts and Creativity (Banff), Gertrude Contemporary (Melbourne), Space One (Seoul), the Bangkok Biennial MAHA Pavilion (Bangkok), LAXART (Los Angeles), Craft Contemporary (Los Angeles) and the Queer Biennial (Los Angeles).