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Los Angeles Center for Digital Art
102 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Marjan Moghaddam

"Of Revolutions"

Curated by Holly Harrison, LACMA

May 9-June 1, 2013

Artist's Reception: May 9, 7-9pm
in conjunction with Downtown Art Walk


Rex Bruce


Marjan Moghaddam is a Brooklyn-based, award-winning and pioneering computer artist and animator who has exhibited her work extensively in international museums, galleries, festivals, curated exhibits of the Armory Show, Art Basel, and the prestigious Siggraph Art Gallery and Animation Festival. She is the recipient of several grants for her ground-breaking work and was one of the first 100 people to do Gif89a animation on the internet and is listed in the Pioneer Hall. She immigrated to the US in 1979 after the Islamic revolution in Iran. Her work employs cutting edge technologies, a distinct visual signature, a powerful emotive and expressionistic quality, and charged personal narratives. She simply states, “I aim to achieve the sublime in art with computer-based tools”.

Her most recent collection of prints and animations explores the theme of revolution as a personal and global uprising. Using the artist's own experiences of living through the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, mixed with the political chaos and upheaval of our world, she sets out to reveal multiple and simultaneous dimensions to the shifting power dynamics of our time. The high-fidelity, spectacular and expressionistic digital scenes are reminiscent of the work of the old masters, while using the New Aesthetics of digital media and innovative technologies. Inspired in part by the Red Book of Carl Jung, the panels appear like a Post Millennial, cinematic, illuminated manuscript, combining text and images as digital ontologies with miniature detail, in which the artist tells multiple stories from personal trauma, to global narratives and Occupy Wall Street ideologies. The same characters and scenes also appear as mesmerizing, beautiful and powerful animations in 1080 HD, using dazzling special effects set to various experimental electronic music scores by different composers.

The figures are abstracted renditions of contemporary video game style characters that the artist models employing a "gestural" 3d sculptural technique that relies on generative computation. She then poses them using motion capture of dance and martial arts, re-enacting epic and cinematic moments of transformation in personal and global political narratives. The environments blend computer-generated and traditional abstract paint, photos, Hollywood style special effects, graffiti, guerilla art, natural patterns, and data-driven textures modified to resemble graphic elements in a digital design space. Both the figures and their environments are additionally audio-triggered with sound and improvised music as a "shamanic" element that the artist brings into her work through technological synesthesia. Some pieces explore the collapse of corporatism, others the environmental crisis and feminism. Embedded text and calligraphy depict stories and social media style posts, mixed with Wikipedia entries, political slogans, poetry, critical theory, and personal accounts in multiple languages, blending the shallow and the profane by mimicking our daily textual streams.

The resulting pieces are sublime and powerful works of art that represent the watershed nature of our times, through the pages of the artist's life. Pieces from this collection have already received awards and been exhibited in several group exhibits, and are privately held in multiple collections.


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