Interview: 10 questions
1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
I was born in Iran and relocated with my family to the United States at the start of the Iranian Islamic Revolution. I received my MFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Electronic Time-Based Media. Based on the concepts that I’m exploring, I use various mediums in the making of my artwork resulting in films, videos, photography, installations, performances etc.
2. When, how and why started you filming?
If my concepts lend themselves to being a film or video, I use that medium. I often have very strong visuals along with the ideas that I want to convey through the works.
3. What kind of subjects have your films?
I make experimental narratives and therefore the subject matter varies greatly from people to abstract color fields.
4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
Not really, I make experimental narratives and change the format based on the ideas I’m trying to convey.
5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
Based on the concepts, I decide on the aesthetics and then I choose the equipment I’ll use, whether 16mm or 8mm film or mobile phone or HD video.
6. The field of “art and moving images” (one may call it videoart or also differently) is is manifesting itself as an important position in contemporary art. Tell me more about your personal position and how you see the future of this field ( your personal future and the future of “art and moving images”)
I agree that video art has a strong presence in the contemporary art world with a short but rich history. As a professor of video art for the past 10 years, it’s clear that the field is growing and with the access of video technology most people that want to, can create “moving images.” However, more is not better and I strongly believe that media/visual literacy is essential for the creation of critical artworks.
7. How do you finance your films?
I moved from film to video mostly due to cost. I finance my artwork through grants and out of pocket.
8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
Both, it all depends on the topic, how the project is developed and its scope.
For me the quality of collaborations is entirely based on the people I work with, therefore the experiences can be similarly fulfilling and successful as working solo. Based on the subject matter I make decisions whether I prefer to work solo or collaboratively.
9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
I find interest in many high and low cultural objects and experiences and I’m influenced by organic and inorganic systems.
10. What are your plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
As an artist it’s incredible to be able to create work – I plan to continue to make artwork and my dream is to showcase my work in larger venues where it is accessible to more (diverse) audiences.