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Announcement
October 4, 2014

CULTURUNNERS, a multidisciplinary gathering

School of Architecture + Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Artists participating in CULTURUNNERS. All images remain courtesy of the artists.

CULTURUNNERS at MIT is a multidisciplinary gathering of artists, designers, filmmakers, scientists, curators, and scholars whose practices inspire novel approaches towards cross-cultural exchanges specific to the United States and the Middle East. Together, they will collaboratively share, develop, and test creative communication technologies and narrative techniques. CULTURUNNERS is a core component of the Edge of Arabia’s US tour—in partnership with Art Jameel—and ACT’s Culture Fabric research on cultural empathy. Over the course of three years, an evolving group of artists, scientists, and thinkers will cross the country in the hope of investigating and experiencing commonalities interconnecting the narratives, economies, politics, cultures and landscapes between the United States and the Middle East, using custom-built artistic technologies to map, archive, and broadcast the experiences of the travelers over the course of their tour.

The CULTURUNNERS Majlis symposium on Sunday, October 5, features talks, screenings, and performances inspired by the Majlis—an Arabic term denoting a welcoming environment that embraces diverse types of social gatherings. During this multidisciplinary symposium, participants will share storytelling methods with the intention of developing an understanding of the relationships between cross-cultural interactions and burgeoning forms of technology.

The CULTURUNNERS event includes the following (overlapping noon–6pm)
– Storytelling marathon
– Interactive exhibition of technical, artistic, community-based projects
– Cinema of extra-ordinary life

To be followed by a reception and party with DJ La Loca Lila and a live band, Malportado Kids, 6–11pm in the E15 Lower Atrium of the Wiesner Building.

The week cultivates in a lecture at ACT’s prestigious Monday night lecture series on Monday, October 6. Findings will be presented from the CULTURUNNERS week of practical workshops dedicated to developing technologies for traveling artists in two categories: mobile & wearable technologies and online communications & archival platforms.

A full schedule of speakers and events is available here.


CULTURUNNERS events at MIT represent the beginning of an ongoing collaboration between Azra Akšamija, Class of 1922 Career Development Professor and Assistant Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and curators & artists of Edge of Arabia.

CULTURUNNERS will travel next to New York and Washington, DC, in 2015, before heading to the West coast in 2016.
Connect with Edge of Arabia on Facebook /Twitter /Instagram.

Join the conversation @EdgeOfArabia and with the hastags: #EOAUSA  #CULTURUNNERS

For more information about the partners—Edge of Arabia and Art Jameel—and the host—MIT Program in Art, Culture, Technology—please see the full release here.

 

CULTURUNNERS storytellers include:
Instigation, Abdullah Al-Mutairi (artist/member GCC collective); Desert Wind, Ali Asani (professor, Indo-Muslim and Islamic Studies, Harvard); Telfaz TV, Husam Al-Sayed and Ziad El Sayed (filmmakers); Suspicious Camera, Lara Baladi (artist); Fab-San’a, Dina El-Zanfaly (FabLab, architect); Dastangoi, Huma Gupta (Middle East scholar); Behind the Scenes, Carol Huh (curator, Freer and Sackler Galleries at Smithsonian Institution); Songs My Father Likes, Nisa Ari (architect); The Mother of Bathrooms, Daanish Masood (community organizer); Spatial-Making-Do, Ava Ansari (artist/curator) and Molly Kleiman (curator, Triple Canopy); Can An Aşık Work at Siemens, Peter McMurray (ethnomusicologist and composer); Transformation of Mecca, Ahmed Mater (artist); Exemptions and Emancipations, Orkan Telhan (artist); A Furry Tale, Regina Möller (artist); The Black Poem, Mariam Mossalli (designer); Mipsterz—Muslim Hipster, Layla Shaikley (Founder, TEDx Iraq); and Pink/Wash, Jackson Struthers Davidow (writer/theorist).

CULTURUNNERS presentations include: 
The Foreigner, Jon Rubin (Co-Founder, Conflict Kitchen); Yarn-Dez-Vous, Azra Akšamija (artist and associate professor at MIT’s ACT); The MachineTo Be Another, BeAnotherLab (Daanish Masood, Christian Cherene, Dani Franco, Marte Roel, and Philippe Bertrand); Open House, Matthew Mazzotta (artist/community organizer); Photo Booth, Adrianne Koteen (curator/photographer); Marshmallow & Baklava and Empathetic Headwear, MIT students; Rifting Studios (Matteo Enrico Lonardi, Alexandra Glorioso, Joao Philippe Inada; journalists); I ran Into Iran, Katayoun Vaziri and Brian Zegeer (artists); Machine Therapy, Kelly Dobson (Head of Design department, RISD); Italicizing Mona Liza, Amir Baradaran (artist); and Emancipati, Orkan Telhan (artist).

For more information, please contact
Katrina Weber Ashour, FITZ & CO, Assistant Director: T +1 212 627 1455 ext. 1653 / [email protected].

Art Jameel, Edge of Arabia, and the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) present CULTURUNNERS

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