Pieter Virtual Resident Artist Leyya Mona Tawil is the director of Arab.AMP – a platform for experimental live art and music by artists of the SWANA diaspora and our allied communities. Arab.AMP celebrates the plurality of SWANA voices operating in futurism, the Avant Garde and transgressive forms. Our AMP Gathering 2020 will be virtual this year, and features time-based digital work by Sholeh Asgary, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Mike Khoury, Doris Bittar, and the duo of Yasmine Diaz & Donia Jarrar.
On June 30th, we premiere an interactive webpage that allows the work of these artists to “gather on the page” – to exist in time with one another and also with the audience-viewer that must activate and design their experience of the work in real time. We hope that this experiment for coming together remotely will invoke some version of ‘all our voices at once’. We encourage you to live stream your interaction with the Gathering 2020 site and post variations as you wish. @arab.amp
Leyya Mona Tawil is an artist working with dance, sound and performance practices. Tawil is a Syrian Palestinian American, engaged in the world as such. She has a 23-year record of performance scores that have been presented throughout the US, Europe and the Arab world. She is the ISSUE Project Room Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow 2020, and was a 2018 Saari Fellow (Kone Foundation, Finland). Her work Lime Rickey International’s Future Faith, commissioned by Abrons Arts Center (NYC), was nominated for a 2019 Bessie Award in Music. Tawil’s work has received commissioning and development support from Target Margin Theater’s LAB 2019, Pieter Performance Space, Gibney Dance-in-Process Residency 2020 and Kenneth Rainin Foundation NEW Program.
Doris Bittar’s interdisciplinary projects examine the intersection of decorative motifs, cultural patterns, and geopolitical legacies. Bittar has received national and international awards, and her art is housed in public and private collections in the United States, Europe and the Arab World. Born in Baghdad of Lebanese and Palestinian parents, Bittar immigrated to New York as a child. Early immigrant experiences of struggle in the United States have shaped her art, writing and activism.
Mike Khoury (b. 1969) is an improvising violinist, researcher and economist. His primary work involves the application of quantitative methods from the social sciences to improvisation. Khoury has performed or recorded with Faruq Z. Bey, Dennis Gonzalez, Wolfgang Fuchs, Simply Saucer, and Alex Cline. He currently performs with The Redford Civic Symphony Orchestra, Inscribe, in duo with Leyya Tawil, in duo with Ben Hall and as a member of the group Devotional. Khoury is the author of a chapter in an anthology of the Arab Avant Garde and is the curator of the Entropy Stereo label and performance space. He currently records and produces artists from his Redford, MI studio and laboratory.
Sholeh Asgary is an Iranian born multidisciplinary sound artist, educator, and organizer who creates immersive multidisciplinary works, performances and workshops with a particular interest in liminal spaces experienced by the viewer. A current affiliate artist-in-residence at Headlands Center for the Arts, her recent exhibitions, performances and screenings include ARoS Art Museum in Aarhus, Denmark, Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York, Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, California, and Stanford University. Her curatorial initiatives as Director of Education and Public Programs at Incline Gallery, where she also founded The Project Room, received a 2014 Alternative Exposure Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation. Asgary received her MFA from Mills College and BA from San Francisco State University, and lectures extensively on photography in local colleges and universities.
Yasmine Nasser Diaz navigates overlapping tensions around religion, gender, and third-culture identity using personal archives, found imagery and various media on paper as well as installation. Born and raised in Chicago to parents who immigrated from the highlands of southern Yemen, her mixed media work often reflects personal histories of the opposing cultures she was raised within. She has exhibited and performed at spaces including the Brava Theater in San Francisco, the Albuquerque Museum of Art, Charlie James Gallery, and Station Beirut. Diaz is a 2019 California Community Foundation Visual Artist Fellow with works included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The University of California Los Angeles, and The Poetry Project Space in Berlin. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto / Faluda Islam (b. Damascus, 1990) is a visual artist, performer and curator. Bhutto’s work explores complex histories of colonialism that are exacerbated by contemporary international politics and in the process unpacks the intersections of queerness and Islam through a multi-media practice. He has shown in galleries, museums and theaters globally, as well as spoken extensively on the intersections of faith, radical thought and futurity at Columbia University, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, NYU, The California College of the Arts and Mills College. Bhutto is currently based in California where he received an MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2016.
This virtual program is made possible with support from the California Arts Council.