Lara Baladi

Archiving revolution

Lara Baladi is an internationally recognized multi-disciplinary Egyptian-Lebanese artist. As a Fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab in the 2014-15 academic year, Baladi conducted research for a transmedia project, Vox Populi, Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age. As the Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at CAST, she will realize the multi-layered Vox Populi project, which she envisions as an interactive timeline of the Egyptian revolution and its aftermath in the form of an immersive installation. Baladi says the work is “a tribute to the 2011 Egyptian revolution and its impact on and resonance with the uprisings and sociopolitical movements that followed.”

In addition to working on the Vox Populi project at MIT in 2015-16, she also lectured in MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT).

Presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) and by the Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence Fund.

Artist Lara Baladi applies archives, investigations of myths and personal narratives to a range of media, including architectural and video installations. She has been a board member of the Arab Image Foundation since its creation in 1997. During the 2011 Egyptian uprising, Baladi co-founded two media initiatives, Radio Tahrir and Tahrir Cinema, which served as public platforms to build and share an archive on and for the revolution. This archive continues to inform much of Baladi’s work.

Baladi’s ephemeral construction and sound installation, Borg el Amal (Tower of Hope), won the first prize at the 2008-09 Cairo International Contemporary Art Biennale. For Ukraine’s 2012 first Contemporary Art Biennial, she collaborated with the Kiev Kamera Orchestra to play live the Donkey Symphony — Borg El Amal’s sound component. In 2006, Baladi founded and curated the artist residency Fenenin el Rehal (Nomadic Artists) in Egypt’s White Desert. Among other places, she has been an artist in residence at VASL (Karachi, Pakistan, 2010), Art Omi International Arts Center (Hudson, New York, 2014) and MacDowell Colony (New Hampshire, 2015). In 2003, she received a fellowship from the Japan Foundation to research anime.

Perspectives: Lara Baladi, featuring Oum el Dounia an immense tapestry of images and symbols representing her experience of Egypt as “mother of the world,” is on view at the Smithsonian until June 2016. In spring 2016, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston will present an exhibition of Baladi’s work. She is represented by the Grimaldi Gavin Gallery in London.

Daniel Koff, production manager for Vox Populi, is a designer with over 10 years of experience in digital media production and creative placemaking. Koff began working with Baladi in 2014 when he was at the Harvard Graduate School of Design pursuing a Master in Design Studies in Art, Design, and the Public Domain. In December 2014, Koff and Baladi partnered with the Harvard metaLAB for the production of “Notes from El Saniyya,” a participatory and immersive event around Baladi’s Vox Populi archives of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. His involvement with Baladi continued with the creation of the website tahrirarchives.com, and additional graphic design, 3D rendering and video editing related to Vox Populi.

More at the artist’s website: Lara Baladi.

 

Past Events

Technology / Affect / Space: a workshop exploring the politics and aesthetics of Affect Space
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 / 11:00am-1:00pm
ACT Cube, E15-001
A workshop exploring the nature of spaces such as Tahrir Square with Lara Baladi, media theorist Eric Kluitenberg, artist and Professor of Emergent Media Alessandra Renzi and media maker and Professor of Civic Media Sasha Costanza Chock (MIT/CMSW). Baladi presents work during the revolution and the timeline she has developed while at MIT.

Lara Baladi and Robert Ochshorn
Thursday, April 14, 2016
E15-054
Presentation of Robert Ochshorn‘s works, coder and artist, including his collaboration with Lara Baladi on Vox Populi production.

MIT 2016 Open House
Saturday, April 23, 2016 / 10:00am-3:00pm
Saxon Tennis Courts
Presentation of “Vox Populi, Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age”

“Art and Politics in Postcolonial Africa”
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Lecture at Princeton University

“Listening In: Sonic Interventions in the Middle East and North Africa”
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Presentation at Northwestern University

Invisible Monument
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 / 4:00-7:00pm
Dewey Square, Boston, MA

Transmediale “Five Years After” and “Tactile Media and the Archive”
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Berlin, Germany

 

Residency Schedule

Research and Project Development
September – November 2015

Vox Populi Workshop
October 23, 2015 / 12:00-4:00pm

Public Presentation
MIT 2016 Open House
Saturday, April 23, 2016 / 10:00am-3:00pm

Class Visits
December 9, 2015
Open Documentary Lab

March 31, 2016
CMS.360: Introduction to Civic Media
Presentation and workshop

April 8, 2016
WGS.220: Women and Gender in the Middle East and Africa
Presentation

Ibraaz: Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age, Archiving as an Act of Resistance

Hyperallergic: A Sprawling Tapestry’s Surreal Visions of Egypt

Transmediale: Anxious to Act

The Washington Post: Artist Lara Baladi helps unravel the mysteries of her 29-foot-long tapestry ‘Oum el Dounia,’ on view at Sackler

Smithsonian: Contemporary Art Installation at Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery Explores Images of Egypt

Muftah: Lara Baladi: On Tahrir, Memory, and Archiving the Revolution

Ibrazz: Beyond the Image: A Project by Lara Baladi with an introduction by Dorothea Schoene

Zenith Foundation: Lara Baladi: Domestic Excess and Recycling

Creative Time Reports: Lara Baladi

Guernica Magazine: Lara Baladi: Alone, Together

 

MIT Open Documentary Lab

More about the Residency

Selected Past Projects