Recording Against Regimes

March 19th, 2013


Darb1718 Contemporary Art & Culture Center in Cairo, Egypt from 6th to 23rd of March 2013
Conference at Bayt El Sinnari March 9th, 2013

Recorded images that are created as a personal or collective expression against political regimes during significant political changes are the counter-weight for those generated by the official media. The recorded document remains when the revolution is over and can often be interpreted not only by its content but also by the type of device used. On the more sophisticated level, video art and experimental cinema are continually using new approaches and forms of presentation. The viewer, shaken from accustomed visual habits, experiences new forms of perception and becomes more critical.

The geo-political context, the tools and their accessibility to artists and to the large public, and the means of diffusion have obviously changed through time and space. Videos and films included in the exhibition are not considered so much as a genre but more as a means to investigate the changing role and influence of visual technology and the different ways the moving image and its perception can be expressions of resistance.

Project director: Agnieszka Dobrowolska.
Curator: Klio Krajewska

Poland: Jozef Robakowski, Piotr Bikont, Zygmunt Rytka, Jacek Niegoda
Germany: Antal Lux, Egon Bunne, Hartmut Jahn
Egypt: Heba Amin, Bassem Yousri, Omar Robert Hamilton

More information on the exhibition and the conference here:


Critical Information: 2012

January 29th, 2013

School of Visual Arts


School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents Critical Information, an interdisciplinary graduate student conference examining the contemporary dialogue between art, media, and society. Sponsored by the MFA Art Criticism and Writing Department at SVA, the Critical Information conference provides a critical forum for current scholarship exploring the juncture of media, theory, criticism, and the visual arts. Claire Bishop, Associate Professor in the PhD Program in Art History at CUNY Graduate Center, New York, delivered the keynote address.

Critical Information Conference Critical Information Conference
Panel: Revolution 101 / 2012 (from left to right: Naomi Lev (respondent), Itai Elizur, Joan Robledo-Palop, Gigi Otalvaro-Hormillosa, Heba Amin, Alan Gilbert (respondent, not pictured)

The conference’s international roster of participants, representing a wide cross-section of disciplines, presented papers and projects on the following six panels: Revolution 101 / 2012; Still, Mediated and Moving – The Image Today and its Effects on Time and Space; Animism Anew: New Media & the Speaking Object; Handmade in an Information Age; The Writing On The Wall: Street Art, Hacktivism and Subversive Inspiration; and Algorithmic Thought and Memory. More information on the panels and papers, as well as the full schedule of events can be found at

Download my full paper here: Voices from the Revolution: A Speak2Tweet Project

Letters from the Field

September 1st, 2012

Atelierhof Kreuzberg
August 2012 Berlin
Organized by Node Center for Curatorial Studies

Letters from the Field is a group exhibition and publication curated by the nine residents of the Node Center for Curatorial Studies 2012 summer program. Letters from the Field features work by twenty artists currently working in Berlin. The resident curators have invited artists to respond to six contemporary topics that address histories, futures, and fictions. The form of the artists’ responses range from written content to video, painting, sculpture and performance.

The participating artists are Heba Amin, Stephan Backes, Megan Cotts, Regina De Miguel, Kate Hers, Sharon Houkema, Klaas Hübner, Michiel Huijben, Stine Marie Jacobsen, Lindsay Lawson, Ruth Le Gear, François Martig, Alex Martinis Roe, Lynda Amer Meziane, Nicolas Puyjalon, Annika Rixen, Rebecca Smith, Aiko Tezuka, Ciarán Walsh, and Ylva Westerlund.

Letters from the Field is curated by Lee Foley, Catherine Gomersall, Gladys-Katherina Hernando, Sinejan Kılıç, Maeve Mulrennan, Iohanna Nicenboim, Marília Pasculli, Dunja Rmandić, and Tanya Toft.

more images from the exhibition courtesy of Laura Gianetti

Functioning as a conceptual framework to the exhibition, the publication contains artists’ contributions and essays by curators in a series of eight chapters. The book is presented in a malleable format that can be edited by the viewer, with a chapter left partially blank for additional responses.

Deutsche Welle interview

July 28th, 2012

Deutsche Welle, Arabic profiles three artists working in Berlin:
Irit Neidhardt, Barry Kulqala, and Heba Amin,,16123778,00.html

Deutsche Welle Interview

exUrbanScreens: (Is There) Light in Outer Space?

June 23rd, 2012

“Ahram Online speaks to the curators of exUrban Screens, which – as part of its exploration of international digital art and its effort to make the global local – featured revolutionary Egyptian works”

Sara Elkamel interviews the curators of exUrban Screens and discusses the concept behind the digital art festival and the works of Egyptian artists Ahmed Basiony and Heba Amin:

exUrban Screens 2012: (Is There) Light In Outer Space?
23 June – 7 July, 2012
Curatoriate: Vince Dziekan & Matthew Perkins


ACAB Collective (AUS), Brian Alfred (USA), Heba Amin (EGY), Ahmed Basiony (EGY), Boxcopy (AUS), Paul Catanese (USA), Sophie Clements (UK), Nicolas Feldmeyer (SWI), Ian de Gruchy (AUS), Sigalit Landau (ISR), Karl Lemieux (CAN), David Rosetzky (AUS), Darren Sylvester (AUS), John Warwicker (UK), Kit Wise (AUS)

Re:publica 2012

May 5th, 2012


I was fortunate enough to be a speaker at the 2012 Re:publica conference amidst so many truly inspiring people. I left the conference motivated by the amazing efforts put forth by this community of bloggers, Internet activists, and researchers. There was much to explore at a conference about the future of our society and all things digital. I hope to go again next year!

I gave a talk titled: “Voices from the Revolution: a Speak2Tweet Film”

photos courtesy of Justin Hickman

Here are some links to other talks that I attended and thought were particularly thought provoking:

Beth Kolko: Open Innovation and the contribution of non-experts
Jillian C. York: Threats to Free Expression in the Middle East and North Africa
Jacob Appelbaum, Dmytri Kleiner: Resisting the Surveillance State and its Network Effects
Olaf Boehnke, Marietje Schaake, Ehsan Norouzi, Dan Meredith: Digital Diplomacy: Reinventing Foreign Policy?

Rhizome: Artist Profile and “The Download”

March 18th, 2012

March 2012, Artist Profile: Heba Amin
Rhizome Interview, Yin Ho

The Download

“The Download is a new program through which Rhizome shares one work per month with our membership for free download. Part curatorial platform, part incentive to budding digital art collectors, the Download highlights great new works and encourages members to display them at home-on any screen, computer, or suitable device.”

A mystery of a painting at the center of controversy

February 20th, 2012

Ages ago, when I first finished my undergraduate studies, I had one of my first exhibitions in New York City in 2003. I presented two or three paintings in a small group show. One of my included works, “Bedouin: Self-Portrait” (2002), was eventually purchased by the University of St. Cloud in 2006. As one of my first ‘real’ paintings, it exudes the naivety of an artist just starting out; this particular painting, however, was significant to me in that it paved the way, conceptually, to much of the work I am currently doing.

In an unrelated (and sort of related) story, you might remember the media hype and controversy surrounding the Islamic cultural center to be built in the “vicinity” of ground zero in NY. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a well known spiritual leader behind the Islamic Center and the figure behind this controversy, is the husband of Daisy Khan, the executive director of ASMA (The American Society for Muslim Advancement). Again, ages ago, ASMA saw my work at this NY exhibition and requested an interview with me. Through this interview, which still lives on their website (oh how young and inexperienced I was), I have been invited to conferences held by ASMA and have been contacted by Sep Riahi, producer and writer of “Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World” a children’s book I was hired to illustrate (just an addendum to show how things connect).

Then, in 2010 a friend sent me a link and an enthusiastic message expressing he had recognized my work on CNN! CNN? I don’t remember doing anything with CNN. Turns out, my painting hung on the walls of Imam Feisal’s offices during an interview he did in 2010. How it got there, I have no idea. My only knowledge about that painting being in NYC was during my first show in 2002. It was purchased by the University of St. Cloud, Minnesota in 2006.

The story is here: (my debut at 1:58!)

Oh, how I love being indirectly implied in huge controversy without my knowledge!

ECLA State of the World Week: Censorship

February 15th, 2012

State of the World Week
ECLA’s STATE OF THE WORLD WEEK brings together students, faculty, alumni and invited guests for the exploration of an important, perhaps urgent, theme in current affairs. Lectures and seminars are given not just by academics, but by politicians, artists, social reformers, diplomats, lawyers, journalists and other people who spend their (professional) lives in close practical contact with the fundamental issues studied theoretically at ECLA. It is assumed that the voices of thoughtful experience will enrich theoretical discussions, and that theory may in turn inform practice.

6 – 10 February 2012

Despite the rise of ‘new media’ more difficult to control and restrict within borders, censorship as the practice of limiting, regulating or expunging information, images and opinion continues to be a feature of many political contexts. In addition to examining the familiar – current and historical — manifestations of censorship as a tool of repression, this year’s State of the World Week at ECLA considers the more subtle and unexpected ways in which censorship may operate in environments ostensibly open to freedom of expression, and in particular the role of technologies, cultural conflict, and institutional frameworks in determining what can be articulated and how. Our investigation leads us to consider the
meaning and reach of the term ‘censorship’ as a way of classifying practices of affecting access to written, spoken or visual forms of representation. Must it always denote a conscious and direct repressive intervention? Are there necessary forms of regulation for which it is not an appropriate term? Or should it be re-invoked to describe the effect of some of our most apparently ‘free’ exchanges and frameworks of communication? And finally, what is the relationship between censorship and the material — economic and social — mechanisms through which viewpoints and accounts of the world are transmitted?

Guest Speakers:
Roger Berkowitz, Martin Krasnik, Miklos Haraszti, Christiane Wilke, Karen Gover, Jutta Lietsch, Karsten Voigt, Eldad Beck, Evgeny Morozov, Heba Amin

It’s in the ‘Can’

February 10th, 2012

25 January – 25 February 2012
Open Space – Zentrum fur Kunstprojekte, Vienna, Austria

It’s in the ‘Can’,
art exhibition curated by Gulsen Bal

In articulation of the creative process and what formulates the creative strategies and the creative moment of thinking differently; the editorial team of e-flux journal #26 Ñ underlines a fundamental paradox by bringing the old question “What is art?” as it “must be left open.” And this engagement emerges with a big ending statement as “art at its best does not provide answers and solutions; it creates problems.”

At all events, this reading intends to show the problematic of the practical questions with political implications that is linked with the concept such as “becoming subjects.” To that extent, using Rancière’s term of “creating concepts”, yet following the connection between hegemony and micropolitics which accounts, in part, for his insistence on the articulation of the ‘regimes’ of art in terms of the productions of subjects, we can characterise this as a highly significant transformation in its manifold modalities.

However in the present context, it is equally important to understand “the hegemony and micropolitics are not mutually exclusive perspectives, but instead refer to one another.” This aspect touches on an almost paradoxical complication of this argument which a politics can emerge, both theoretically and practically. Also, from there, we need to return to the possibilities of ‘thinking the political’ in which what constitutes the political domain, to what and where is ‘the political subject.’

I would say these relational processes arise here to explore all modes of representation as well as all paths of production, in which the possible is engendered. This causes us to explore the uneasy relations and interdependencies of forces to propagate in the eventualities as it appears, to engage in rethinking of identifying a specific conjunction of the new outlines to whatever microscale possible. Where, then, do the ‘politics of art’ rest in this obvious paradox?

In this stance, the critical moments of a plurality of questions become countenance, where the question of the political opens up within the creative practice. This sets new kinds of creative connections while introducing an experimental dynamic in which the current relational powers to be problematised, in which “art becomes aware of the limits of its power, it is pushed toward a new political commitment by the weakening of politics itself.” This signals, for me, the possibility of a new type of politics centered in the question of what is in the ‘can’?

Participating Artists: Heba Amin, Yane Calovski, Sanja Ivekovic, Christine Schoerkhuber, Kamen Stoyanov