Art in a State of Mobility


Mason Gross Presents

Panel Discussion


Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 5–7 P.M.





Mirene Arsanios

Mariam Ghani

Daniela Kostova

Modereated by:

Sara Raza

See below for bios

The theme of the panel organized for Fall 2016 is a response to the contemporary situation and discussions around the masses of people moving around the globe. Whether to seek greater economic or social opportunity, global warming or through forced migration due to conflict or persecution, 244 million people migrated across borders in 2015.

In Reflections on Exile Edward Said writes, “Modern Western culture is in large part the work of exiles, émigrés, refugees. In the United States, academic, intellectual, and aesthetic thought is what it is today because of refugees from fascism, communism, and other regimes given to the oppression and expulsion of dissidents.”

Said’s reflections remain accurate in the age of global war today. He describes modern warfare, imperialism, and the quasi-theological ambitions of totalitarian rulers, all of which precisely refer to the current, tragic situation in the Middle East. Said expresses particular interest in the creative character of exile, in that much of life in exile is taken up with compensating for disorienting loss by creating a new world to rule. He observes, “It is not surprising that so many exile seem to be novelists, chess players, political activists and intellectuals.”

Said further relates his observation about the condition of exile to occupations that require a minimal investment in objects, but rather place a great premium on mobility and skill, thereby suggesting that exile is implicitly tied up with movement.

The discussion will be moderated by Sara Raza whose recent show “But A Storm Is Blowing from Paradise” is currently on view at the Guggenheim Museum thru Oct 5, 2016. We hope to bring together three artist with her whose practice address the contemporary notion of mobility on a global scale.

Recommended reading prior to the panel:

What is Freedom by Hannah Arendt

Reflections on Exile by Edward Said

Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt, a documentary film directed by Ada Ushpiz, …will be screened the week that follows in the spirit of this theme.

Thursday, November 3, 2016, 6:30–8:30 P.M.

Room 110




Pizza and Popcorn will be served. The screening will be followed by a discussion moderated by Ardele Lister, and joined by some members of the faculty.

Biographies of the Panelists and the Moderator

Sara Raza
is a curator, writer and educator. She is currently the Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa, based at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Sara has curated several international exhibitions and projects for biennials and festivals, including Collateral Events at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). Sara writes for numerous publications and is the longstanding desk editor for West and Central Asia of ArtAsiaPacific magazine. Formerly, she was the head of education at Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, Azerbaijan, founding head of curatorial programs at Alaan Art Space, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and curator of public programs at Tate Modern, London (2006–8). She earned her MA in Art History and Theory, and BA in English Literature and History of Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Awards include the United Kingdom Arts Council’s Emerging Curator’s Award at the South London Gallery (2004) and winner of the 11th ArtTable New Leadership Award (2016). Sara is an artist adviser for ISCP in New York and the author of Punk Orientalism: Central Asia’s Contemporary Art Revolution, set to be published in 2017 by Black Dog Publishing, London.

Mariam Ghani

is an artist, writer, filmmaker and teacher. Her research-based practice spans video, installation, photography, performance, and text. Her exhibitions and screenings include the Rotterdam, CPH:DOX and transmediale film festivals, the Sharjah and Liverpool Biennials, dOCUMENTA (13) in Kabul and Kassel, MoMA in New York, the National Gallery in DC, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the CCCB in Barcelona. Ghani has collaborated with artist Chitra Ganesh since 2004 on Index of the Disappeared, an experimental archive of post-9/11 detentions, deportations, renditions and redactions; with choreographer Erin Kelly since 2006 on the video series Performed Places; and with media archive collective since 2012 on the Afghan Films online archive. Ghani has been awarded NYFA and Soros Fellowships, grants from Creative Capital, Art Matters, NYSCA, and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, among others. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from NYU and an MFA from SVA. Ghani currently teaches in the Social Practice MFA program at Queens College and the Film Studies program at the Graduate Center, and is a Visiting Artist at the Schell Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.

Daniela Kostova
is an interdisciplinary artist who holds M.F.A. from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, NY and the National Art Academy in Sofia. Her work is focused on hybrid cultures and architecture, resulted from migrations and changing global socio-cultural conditions. It addresses issues of geography and cultural representation, the production and crossing of socio-cultural borders, and the uneasy process of translation and communication. Kostova has exhibited at venues such as Queens Museum of Art (NY), Institute for Contemporary Art (Sofia), Kunsthalle Wien (Austria), Antakya Biennale (Turkey), Centre d’art Contemporain (Geneva), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, (Torino) and Kunsthalle Fridericianum (Kassel), among the others. Her work is reviewed in New York Times, Brooklyn Rail, Flash Art International and Art in America. In addition, Kostova curated the BioArt Initiative–art & science project of the Arts Department and the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at RPI. She is also a co-founder of the Bulgarian Collaborative, interdisciplinary collective that includes artists, musicians, literati and architects. Kostova lives and works in NYC. She is the Director of Curatorial Projects at Radiator Gallery and a Board Member of CEC Artslink, New York.

Mirene Arsanios

is a writer who was born in Beirut, Lebanon. She co-founded the collective 98weeks Research Project in Beirut and is the founding editor of Makhzin, a bilingual literary magazine. Her work has appeared in The Animated Reader, The Outpost, and The Rumpus, among others. Arsanios was the recipient of the Enizagam fiction prize (2014), and Forum Fellows, Art Dubai, Dubai, U.A.E (2015). She was an artist-in-residence at the CCA, Warsaw, Poland (2015), and at the Villa Romana, Florence, Italy (2012). Arsanios received her MA from Goldsmiths College, London, and an MFA from the Milton Avery School of the Arts, Bard College. She lives in New York where she is currently a writer-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Ozge Samanci at Mason Gross


As an artist, Ozge often tells stories about an individual’s battle to stay true to herself against a larger entity such as a government, corporations, capitalism, society, patriarchy, and the inevitable passage of time. In her artwork, she pushes the boundaries of traditional and digital media in order to create new ways of making meaning.

The Soldier’s Tale (L’histoire du soldat)

The Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University celebrates its 40th anniversary year with a presentation of The Soldier’s Tale (L’histoire du soldat) 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 20, 2016, at Nicholas Music Center.

The fully staged production, a school-wide collaboration of the Dance, Digital Filmmaking, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts programs, includes a score composed by Igor Stravinsky and text by Swiss writer C.F. Ramuz.

The Soldier’s Tale is a “remash of a few Russian folktales that are put into one story of a soldier who sells the devil his violin, which in a sense represents his soul,” explains theater faculty member Christopher Cartmill, who voices the narrator. “And you can’t cheat the devil.”

An ensemble of seven musicians, led by Rutgers Symphony Orchestra conductor Kynan Johns, will perform Stravinsky’s score, which was created “in a moment of incredible adversity for both the world and the composer,” says Cartmill.

“World War I was going on and Stravinsky was at a pivotal point in his own career where his work was changing,” Cartmill says. “Instead of being stopped by it, he created something of lasting power. There’s something really extraordinary about that as we work to teach and to learn.”

“Stravinsky himself was so enthusiastic about this work and its dance idiom that he wanted to dance the role of the devil himself,” adds George B. Stauffer, dean of the Mason Gross School. “The director urged restraint.”

Artistic director and music faculty member Elena Chernova-Davis says the production’s use of video projections, created by faculty and students from the Visual Arts Department, establishes a fresh take on previous performances of the tale.

Postcard -  final - 1

“The projections use abstract animations to evoke the mood of each scene–flowing ripples of blue when the action takes place by a brook, chaotic swirls of yellow and purple to depict the hectic scene inside the castle,” explains Chernova-Davis. “These projections allow a freedom of expression to the dancers who are interacting with them that would not be possible using traditional physical sets.”

Stauffer says The Soldier’s Tale is the “perfect work” for the 40th anniversary celebration of the school, founded in 1976 as the arts conservatory of Rutgers University.

“Stravinsky and Ramuz conceived this piece for actors, musicians, and dancers, with a strong visual element,” says Stauffer. “The Mason Gross School’s production stays true to that interdisciplinary spirit.”

Following the performance on campus, The Soldier’s Tale will be presented February 21 at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City, with an opening showcase of short pieces performed by Rutgers’ Helix! New Music Ensemble.

The Soldier’s Tale will be presented 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 20, 2016, at Nicholas Music Center. Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors, and only $5 for students with valid ID. Nicholas Music Center is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. The production will also be presented 7:30 p.m. Sunday, February 21, 2016, at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. Tickets are $15 to $20 and are available here. For more information about any Mason Gross event, visit or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 848-932-7511.

7:30 p.m. Sunday, February 21, 2016. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
A fully staged performance of Igor Stravinsky’s 1918 classic. This collaboration between our theater, digital film, dance, visual arts, and music programs, featuring full narration by Christopher Cartmill, as well as dancers, and multimedia elements, is presented in honor of the Mason Gross School’s 40th anniversary.

Helix! New Music Ensemble, devoted to the presentation of classical styles of 20th-century music, with an emphasis on music composed since 1950, begins the program with short pieces by John Adams, Andrew Norman, Thomas Ades and the recently deceased Pierre Boulez. Conducted by Kynan Johns.
Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, New York City
Tickets ($15 to $20) are available here.

Digital Image Fundamentals Portfolio


Images of work produced for Digital Image Fundamentals.

Have a Macbook? Want to use an iMac as an external monitor?












If you have a macbook with a thunderbolt connection (newer then mid 2011), you can use a lab iMac as an external monitor.












To make it happen:

1. Attach a thunderbolt cable between the iMac and macbook in rooms 224 or room 229. Any of the larger 27” iMacs.

2. Simultaneously press the Command key along with the F2 key. You should now see your laptop screen extended to the iMac. Mirror display if desired.

3. When finished, simply disconnect cable.


Graduating? You will have your account until May 31 FYI

lyndaCampus for Visual Arts






lyndaCampus is a school-wide version of, an online training library of over 80,000 video-based tutorials on over 1400 software titles.

As a Visual Arts instructor, staff member or student, you have access to the full library including exercise files.



Project Space: Re-frak

Bang Chau
March 9,2014 – March 15, 2014
Project Space, Second Floor

Non-Tradtional Narratives

Flowers in a box: a poem from behind the wallpaper
ByAmy Schmierbach 1999

Wall Paper samples

He likes you

By Indigo Som 1996

Inspired by fortune cookies