Abu Dhabi Art Launches Art + Technology Residency

Abu Dhabi Art Launches Art + Technology Residency

Bridging the gap between the creative process and technological advances, the project allows UAE students to work with acclaimed international artists to create their own artworks and to contribute to works shown by the artists at Abu Dhabi Art from 8 – 11 November

Abu Dhabi, UAE, XX October 2017: As part of Abu Dhabi Art’s innovative year-long programme of initiatives designed to engage the wider community, the annual art fair has launched a new creative residency in partnership with Khalifa University. Engineering and science students have been invited to work with renowned international contemporary artists, including Feng Mengbo, Magdi Mostafa and Random International, to create artworks during an artist residency at the university. The artists will also be showing works reflecting on these student workshops at Abu Dhabi Art’s ninth edition, taking place at Manarat Al Saadiyat from 8th – 11th November.

The first series of workshops were held from 22nd – 26th October with contemporary artists Feng Mengbo and Magdi Mostafa. Known for his use of new media, Chinese artist Feng worked with students to create artworks that combine real-time electronic music and visual images using oscilloscope or laser generator projection. The workshop gave the students insight into the artist’s methodology which creates the sensation of meditation through an electronic art form.

Speaking at the conclusion of his workshops, Feng commented: “It has been a great pleasure to work with the students in Khalifa University. This is my fourth visit to Abu Dhabi and I am always impressed by the UAE’s focus on education and art, which I believe is very important to the young generation. The students all came from very different educational backgrounds but were all open and willing to explore new media. It is my dream that in the future we are able to look back through history and know that we worked together to increase understanding and peace, making the world a better place to live together.”

Egyptian artist Magdi Mostafa works primarily with site-specific, research-driven sound projects, multimedia installations, and experimental music. Exploring the conceptual relationships between sound and space, Mostafa’s work often focuses on the relationship between an individual and their surroundings through sound, using nostalgic outmoded technologies. In his workshops with the students at Khalifa University, Mostafa guided participants to build a hand-made circuit to discover and explore analogue sound production to develop a group sound piece for exhibition at Abu Dhabi Art.

Commenting ahead of his Art + Technology workshops, Mostafa said: “Until the end of 2010, my work dealt with the visual and aural culture of the Cairo neighbourhood where I live and belong. In my sound installations and public interventions, I would negotiate the complex hybridity of modern Cairo — a tapestry of Islamic, Ottoman, and colonial history woven together with the effects of globalisation. I explored these issues through the lenses of acoustic identity, urban soundscapes, and outmoded technologies. Since 2011, my practice has been radically reoriented into nascent areas of research, departing from geographic and historical specificity and instead focusing on the conceptual, spiritual and physical notions of experimental 3D sound.

I am increasingly interested in notions of ambiguous, unclear, difficult-to-decipher “third forms of action”, that are neither normative nor contradictory, positive nor negative; a type of behaviour that sociologists, political scientists and psychologists can’t determine the motivation for. I seek to capture the sounds of this behaviour in space and insert them in an ambiguous parenthesis in a current “historical” moment that has been too sharply defined by the parameters of either-or, obey or dissent, acquiesce or revolt.”

The final workshop will take place next week, led by Random International. Random International is a collaborative studio for experimental practice within contemporary art. Their artworks focus on active participation and they are best known for their large-scale environmental piece, Rain Room, which has been exhibited at the Barbican in London, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Yuz Museum, Shanghai and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Their workshop will offer students the opportunity to create their own artwork using innovative technology. The artists will also talk through the process used for one of their artworks, Future Self , at the workshop.

Tickets to Abu Dhabi Art are AED 50 for adults. Complimentary access will be available for students and visitors below 18 years of age.

To purchase tickets, to register for programme events and to view the full programme, visit abudhabiart.ae.

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About The Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi

The Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction that enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The Department manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The Department of Culture and Tourism supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key role played by the Department is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.

About Abu Dhabi Art

Abu Dhabi Art expands beyond the notion of a traditional art fair, in placing strong emphasis on a diverse public engagement programme, including art installations and exhibitions, talks and events that take place in different locations throughout the year. The culmination of this year-long programme is the Abu Dhabi Art event in November, which provides an important sales platform for participating galleries whilst also offering these galleries an opportunity to showcase ambitious installations and site specific works by their artists to an audience of over 20,000 visitors.