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Contemporary Crosscurrents, Dubai's first urban digital art show

Dubai Marina Mall is hosting the Middle East’s first urban digital art show, “Contemporary Crosscurrents: Portraits and Electronic Arts”, March 16 to April 16, 2011, produced by Streaming Museum. The exhibition is on view at the Atrium Gallery and building facade facing Sheik Zayed Road.



Contemporary Crosscurrents: Portraits and Electronic Arts a collaboration of curators and artists from Dubai – The Third Line, Zayed University, American University Dubai and Tashkeel; Streaming Museum, New York; and Art Center Nabi, Seoul, Korea

Contemporary Crosscurrents signifies the fertile exchange between cultures that has taken place throughout history, and moreover, the role that technology is playing as it increasingly enables the potential of this exchange and broad and profound changes to global society.




Janet Bellotto (CA/Dubai) “Nile Blue” 2011 Maitha Bin Demithan (Dubai) “Portraits and Scanography” 2008-11 John F. Simon, Jr. (US) “HD Traffic” 2009 Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Dubai) from “Self Portrait” series 2008-9, “C” series 2007, Courtesy, The Third Line, Dubai Pouran Jinchi (US/IR) from “Poetry Series” 2007, “Headgear” series 2005-7, Courtesy, The Third Line, Dubai Keryoon Han (KR) “From Right To Left” 2009 Cima Azzam (PA/Dubai) from “It Really Ties the Room Together” series 2008 Mona Ayyash (PA/Dubai) from “Mirror Men” series 2009 Sarah Lahti (US/Dubai) “Within and Without” (remix) 2007 Claire Jervert (US) “Add to Cart” 2011 Michelle Peric (AR/Dubai) from “People of Dubai” series 2009 Asya Reznikov (US/RU) “Mapping: 23 Minutes, 23 Tongues” 2004 (remix) Mark Amerika (US) “Immobilité” 2009 Scott Draves (US) “Dreams in High Fidelity” 2009 Meera Huraiz (Dubai) from “Untitled” series 2010 Eduardo Kac (BR) “Lagoglyphs” 2009 Roberto Lopardo (US/Dubai) from 24-hour performance, “Mapping Dubai” 2009 Raji Al-Sharif (SA) from “The Nobel Qura’an Through My Eyes” series 2008 Hind Bin Demithan (Dubai) “Dinyatna Affiche (our world is a poster)” 2010 Muna Faisal Abdulla Al Gurg (Dubai) “In a Perfect World” series 2009 (details) Lateefa Bint Maktoum (Dubai) “Ever-changing Landscape” 2007


Janet Bellotto (CA/Dubai) “Nile Blue” 2011 An artist, writer and curator from Toronto and Co-Chairman of the Department of Art & Design in Dubai at Zayed University. Her practice encompasses sculpture, installation, photography, video and performance. Exhibiting both locally and internationally, recent work was exhibited in the 12th Cairo Biennale, she was featured in the book “Made in Canada, the Italian Way: the Next Generation”€, and her solo exhibition “A Cozy Lie” just opened in Toronto.

Maitha Bin Demithan (Dubai) “Portraits and Scanography” 2008-11 A young Emirati artist who works with photography – or, scanography – the use of a flat bed scanner to reproduce two-dimensional images/documents from an original. Demithan scans figures in parts and then reconstructs the images digitally.  In 2009 Demithan’s first scanography series of self-portraits titled Documentation, was exhibited at Tashkeel.  She then exhibited at the Brisbane Biennial, Art Dubai, and is currently showing at the Bastikiya Gallery XVA.

John F. Simon, Jr. (US) “HD Traffic” 2009 Best known for his software and screen-based artworks, he uses the unique properties of digital media to create time-based paintings whose compositions never repeat. Mr. Simon’s work is found in prominent collections, such as MoMA, the Solomon Guggenheim Music, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “HD Traffic” is a digital artwork that can react dynamically to real-time information streams taken from the Internet, and reflect the pulse of human movement that is embodied in the flow of traffic and other data. HD Traffic combines Piet Mondrian’s rectilinear compositional style, with particular inspiration coming from Broadway Boogie Woogie and Simon’s love of jazz improvisation with the emergent dynamics of object oriented programming. From simple rules Simon is able to coax cubes to form realistic traffic patterns, stopping and starting at intersections, passing each other and avoiding collisions, and even ending up in a giant traffic jam. His software endlessly varies the visual elements of the scene such as the number of vehicles, the street sizes, traffic lights, car speeds, background colors and many more. Like traffic on a city street, the basic patterns are the same but the details never repeat.

Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Dubai) from “Self Portrait” series 2008-9, “C” series 2007, Courtesy, The Third Line, Dubai A Palestinian born in Kuwait,  the artist’s work deals with how his identity is shaped in a context of inaccessibility and loss. Al-Ghoussein reconstructs allegories for the obstacles, barricades and walls erected in the Occupied Territories, and many of his photographs show the artist dwarfed by a vast desert landscape, stuck in front of remnants of walls in the middle of an open space.

Pouran Jinchi (US/IR) from “Poetry Series” 2007, “Headgear” series 2005-7, Courtesy, The Third Line, Dubai “Headgear” by this Iranian-born, New York based artist, is a series of delicately crafted paintings of patterned and branded fabrics such as Chanel, Christian Dior and Gucci, with traditional calligraphy and Islamic geometric design that forms the artist’s own unique line of post modern headgear. Jinchi’s “Poetry Series” suggests a mixture of calligraphy and abstract expressionism.

Keryoon Han (KR) “From Right To Left” 2009, Curator, Dooeun Choi, Art Center Nabi, Seoul, Korea “The good art that I have learned does not pursue superficial beauty, but is attempted to derive discourses on what one intends to say through it, and one senses its true value when it is interpreted in the context of contemporary art and conforms with the slogans of avant-garde art.  This is what I have persuaded myself to believe in.  There is no doubt about the fact that this is the good art.  I still believe so.  However, I may have forces myself too much.  There emerges the desire for deviation….It is external beauty seductive enough to make one fell like falling into its irresistible sweetness and risk swallowing poison for it, in spite of the impropriety of its contents… I hope I can really do that.”  Han received a B.F.A in painting from the Seoul National University.  He works in installation and media including video which plays with the relationship between model, artist and viewer, using digital techniques to alter classic perspectives.

Cima Azzam (PA/Dubai) from “It Really Ties the Room Together” series 2008 An emerging Palestinian artist living and working in Dubai.  Her work moves across sculpture-based installation, to video, photography, and the drawn image.  She tackles issues of femininity, beauty, gender roles, and identity in her artwork.  She has exhibited numerous times across the UAE, and her work has been screened internationally.  She is active in the local arts scene in Dubai, having shown in Basically Human at The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai, as well as other galleries in Dubai.

Mona Ayyash (PA/Dubai) from “Mirror Men” series 2009 A young artist working in photography and video.  She is a graduate of the American University in Dubai.  As a young Palestinian in Dubai, she documents the world around her in intelligent compositions and photocollages, looking at people from all walks of life, as they live and work around her.  She elicits unforgettable smiles and portraits of people of all nationalities, and incorporates this work into her imagery, which invites the viewer to see themselves in the work. Sarah Lahti (US/Dubai) “Within and Without” (remix) 2007 An artist with a multi-disciplinary practice that encompasses painting, video, and multimedia installation work.  Her work has been exhibited around the world.  She is an American resident of the UAE.  Some of her work is meant to confront the viewer, to ask the viewer on what level they themselves identify with the artwork.  Her work addresses relationships, expressionism, nature, and culture.  She exhibits actively, having a recent solo show at The Jam Jar Art Gallery in Dubai.  She is very interested in new media: how it can be used in experimental and personal ways, in a fine art context.  She has recently begun a charitable organization in Mozambique.

Claire Jervert (US) “Add to Cart” 2011 A visual artist and curator based in NYC, whose work examines the interrelationship between media, communications and technology. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and internationally. “Add to Cart” deals with the methods and techniques of advertising and selling in contemporary consumer culture. The screen displays the icon of a shopping cart as it appears on the “add to cart” button used on retail sites throughout the Internet. The icon undergoes a panoply of stock effects used in electronic billboard advertising –bright, shifting colors; pulsating lights; jittery, hyperkinetic animation effects.  The forms of commerce appear, but entirely emptied of content.

Michelle Peric (AR/Dubai) from “People of Dubai” series 2009 A Dubai resident, and young artist.  She works in photography, video, as well as painting and drawing.  She has exhibited locally, as well as abroad.  Her work discusses identity, both cultural identity, and feminine identity.  Her photographic series of urban people out of their environment, and seemingly floating in unusual spaces, speaks to the juxtaposition of old and new that is so startling in the city of Dubai.  She manages to capture the speed of contemporary life in a unique and visually stunning fashion.  Old and new, modern and traditional, come together in this series, painting a striking picture of the diversity and richness of modern urban life.  Ms. Peric’s figurative artwork speaks to the human condition in a seemingly simple and powerful way.

Asya Reznikov (US/RU) “Mapping: 23 Minutes, 23 Tongues” 2004 (remix) Her combined media work explores how culture, tradition, language, foreignness and sense of home shape and define our identity and how immigration, emigration and travel can either alter or illuminate that identity. Reznikov was raised within two cultures, Russian and America. This informs her investigation of otherness and self from the standpoint of a foreigner and of a traveler. Reznikov’s art is an intersection of video, performance, sculpture and installation. She shoots video both on location (in different parts of the world) and on sets that she builds in the studio. Her performances become looped videos that are built into or projected onto objects. Also in her pallet of processes are photography, drawing and painting. Her work challenges viewers to question their own cultural identity and sense of place and to investigate how and to what degree they are a product of their emotional, physical and cultural “baggage”.

Asya Reznikov was born in the Soviet Union, was raised primarily in the United States and has lived and worked in France, England, Holland, Italy, Germany, and India. She is conversant in five languages.  She has exhibited around the world and been awarded numerous international residencies and prizes. Her work is represented in museum and private collections. Nancy Hoffman Gallery, NYC:  Asya Reznikov was born in Russia and came to the United States to live in a small apartment in Boston with her parents and grandparents when she was five years old. No one in the family spoke English at that time, and the artist immersed in the language of her newfound home and country, became the first to learn English. Not only was she the first to learn English, she also became the translator for the family and the link to her new culture, a heavy load to bear for a young child.  She was drawing, painting and cutting things out for as long as she can remember, with her early career (1993-2000) studying and working with glass. Reznikov had a distinguished career in glass, winning awards for her glass sculptures, and teaching glass-casting. In 2006 the artist began working with photography, video and installation pieces.  Since the inception of her photographic and video art making, the themes of travel, language, immigration, emigration, otherness, identity in different cultures as foreigner and traveler, have been her focus. She says:

”Much of my interest in languages and cultures has to do with my personal cultural upbringing. Coming to the United States as a political refugee when I was a child has made me particularly aware of my cultural identity. Being raised in one culture at home, but surrounded by another culture outside created a sensitivity to languages, culture and identity.”

Mark Amerika (US) “Immobilité: Trail(er) Mix” 2009 Is one of five short-form video remixes of Immobilité, a full length feature film shot with a mobile phone video camera, that are extensions of the dreamlike source material that keeps circulating throughout the various iterations of the project. Composer and performer Chad Mossholder and editor Rick Silva collaborated with Amerika. In his version of art-life, we are all born to remix. “What are dreams and active memories if not personally rendered remixes of multi-media source material?”

One of the leading pioneers of early Internet art, Mark Amerika’s art and writing has influenced a new generation of artists using digital processes to create emerging forms of art that intersect at the boundary of visual art, live performance, and experimental literature. He is internationally renown as a “remix artist” who not only reconfigures existing cultural content into new forms of art, but also mashes up the mainstream media forms and genres that most commercial artists work in. For example, his body of remix artworks includes published cult novels, pioneering works of Internet art, large scale video projections in public spaces, live VJ performance, and most recently, a series of feature-length “films” shot with different image capturing devices in various locations throughout the world.

The fragmented mobile phone images are captured and edited in an amateurish or DIY [do-it-yourself] fashion similar to the evolving forms of video distributed in social media environments such as YouTube. By creating this low-tech version of filmic narrative where the aesthetic style is influenced by the rich history of more sophisticated forms of European auteur cinema, Amerika both asks and answers the question “What is the future of cinema?” while simultaneously challenging the status and viability of contemporary artworks in an increasingly networked field of distribution.

Scott Draves (US) “Dreams in High Fidelity” 2009 A software artist best known as the creator of the Electric Sheep (1999), a continually evolving abstract animation with 350,000 active monthly participants. He created the original Flame algorithm in 1991 and the Bomb interactive visual-musical instrument in 1995. Draves’ software artworks are released as open source and have been used for two decades by many other artists and designers in their own work. “Dreams in High Fidelity”, a moving painting that runs infinitely, is installed in the lobby of Google’s headquarters, and has been acquired by corporate and residential collections nationally. Draves’ award-winning work is permanently hosted on, and has appeared in Wired and Discover magazines, as an official skin for Google Chrome, as the graphic identity for Siggraph 2008, at the Prix Ars Electronica 1993, the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, and on the main dance-floor at the Sonar festival in Barcelona. Draves is an engineer in the mapping division at Google Inc. In 1990 he received a BS in Mathematics from Brown University and in 1997 a PhD from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University for a thesis on metaprogramming for media processing.

Meera Huraiz (Dubai) from “Untitled” series 2010 A young artist who has shown her works throughout the UAE and in Venice, Italy.  She completed a BA at the College of Arts and Sciences, Zayed University in 2010. Eduardo Kac (BR) “Lagoglyphs” 2009 A contemporary artist and writer internationally recognized for his interactive net installations and his bio-art. In the 1990s he created the new categories of Biotelematics (art in which a biological process is intrinsically connected to digital networks) and Transgenic Art (new art form based on the use of genetic engineering techniques to create unique living beings). “Lagoglyphs” (2009) is part of a series of artworks in different media which reference and expand upon his controversial genetically altered “Alba” the GFP Bunny (2000). The real-time animations, continuously flowing and reconfiguring themselves, place emphasis on the generative mutability of writing and the encoded nature of life.

Roberto Lopardo (US/Dubai) from 24-hour performance, “Mapping Dubai” 2009 An American photographer living in Dubai.  He is the former Chair of the Visual Communication Department at American University in Dubai.  He is a lens based artist.  His current exhibition in Cuadro Gallery, in the Dubai International Financial Center, features a large scale photographic installation.  This piece was shot over a 24 hour period, beginning at his home in Media City and ending at the new US Consulate on Dubai Creek. He took a picture every minute for a total of 1440 images.  Mr. Lopardo exhibits actively and his work has been shown throughout the world.

Raji Al-Sharif (SA) from ”The Nobel Qura’an Through My Eyes” series 2008 an emerging photographer and artist living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  He has exhibited his work both locally and internationally.  There is an element of performance to his work, that becomes a key component of some of his most memorable artwork.  His series The Noble Qu’ran Through My Eyes, features self portraits in the vast and open desert landscape in Dubai, as well as self portraits in seemingly endless urban cityscapes at night.  There is an elegant, composed emptiness to his work that is at once haunting and beautiful.

Hind Bin Demithan (Dubai) ”Dinyatna Affiche (our world is a poster)” 2010 an aspiring young Emirati artist, born and raised in Dubai.  She pursued art as a career since high school and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor Degree in Art and Design – Visual Arts, from Zayed University, Dubai.  Hind participated in the first U.A.E Pavilion in the Venice Biennale, 2009. She was also part of an official delegation, to represent young female artists from the U.A.E in various art venues such as Frieze Art Fair, London-UK 2009; ART Basel | Miami Beach, Basel-Switzerland 2008 and Miami Beach-USA 2009.  Recent works have been exhibited in Venice, Italy 2009; Dubai 2009 and Scotland.

Muna Faisal Abdulla Al Gurg (Dubai) ”In a Perfect World” series 2009 (details)

Lateefa Bint Maktoum (Dubai) ”Ever-changing Landscape” 2007 Founder and director of Tashkeel, a public studio providing specialist facilities for artists and designers living and working in the UAE. Lateefa graduated from Zayed University, Latifa College in 2007 with a Bachelors Degree in Visual Arts. She has been an exhibiting artist since 2004, beginning by creating public art works in addition to creating work for auction in aid of charitable organizations, including Médecins Sans Frontières. In 2006 Lateefa won first prize in the Ibdaa Media Student Awards in the digital photography category, and in 2010 was awarded the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts awards. Her first gallery show was Perceptions at the Third Line gallery in Dubai.

In 2007 Lateefa started curating exhibitions. Her first international exhibition was in 2008, when she contributed to a group show entitled No Such Place 2, curated by Canadian artist and curator Janet Bellotto, in New York.  She has also participated in the DNC Slideshow exhibition in Denver Colorado, showcasing her photography work. In 2008 she showed in the Community Darkrooms with “Educating Artists Online” showing in Syracuse New York. In 2009 she exhibited artwork alongside other Emirati artists at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi in Emirati Expressions curated by Anne Baldassari. In September 2009 Lateefa was one of a number of artists from the region selected to exhibit in Across the Gulf, curated by Dr. Irene Barberis, as part of the Arc Biennial, which took place in Brisbane, Australia as well as exhibiting in La Colomba restaurant in Venice Italy. In 2010 Lateefa exhibited a selection of her artworks in the Bastakiyah Art Fair, and showed in the group show at the Expo 2010 UAE pavilion in Shanghai Better City Better Life.  Lateefa’s artwork is included in private collections nationally and internationally. She has been the honorary patron of START since January 2008.


Zayed University and American University Dubai

The exhibition presents artworks by students from countries throughout the Middle East who study at the American University Dubai ( and Zayed University ( in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  The work is charged with their aspirations and the desires of the region to achieve a global platform for art and commerce.  There have been opportunities for exposure at international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennial, and in New York at the School of Visual Arts Gallery and Tenri Art Institute.

“These emerging artists deal with a broad range of issues that come with nation building from the fusion of Eastern and Western ideas and daily living and the relationship they have to their own heritage.” … Janet Bellotto, Co-chair, Department of Art and Design Zayed University, Dubai

“What was previously an underground art movement is now gaining acceptance”… Roberto Lopardo, Professor of Photography, former Chair, Visual Communications The American University of Dubai.



Dubai One TV’s Out & About



Dubai Marina Mall Hosts Middle East’s First Urban Digital Art Show, produced by Streaming Museum

Contemporary Crosscurrents: Portraits and Electronic Arts by established and emerging artists from Dubai – Middle East – the World March 16 to April 16

Dubai, UAE; March 11, 2011: Dubai Marina Mall, the definitive lifestyle, shopping and entertainment destination in New Dubai, has announced the launch of Contemporary Crosscurrents: Portraits and Electronic Arts, the Middle East’s first urban digital art show, in association with the Streaming Museum from New York and Dolphin Creative.

The exhibition, coinciding with Art Dubai, will be held from March 16 to April 16, 2011, and will showcase the work of local and international artists in an exciting new digital format. The 30-minute exhibition will be broadcast at hourly intervals during the mall’s opening hours, for three weeks, on the exterior digital screen near the entrance of Dubai Marina Mall. There is also a gallery set up inside the mall at the Dome Atrium, where the exhibition will be screened and information on the artists and the exhibition itself, will be available.

Nasser Rafi, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Malls Group, said: “The digital art show is a unique exhibition that highlights the creative flourish of local and international artists, integrating the elements of modern technology. Bringing such innovative attractions to the Dubai Marina Mall underscores our commitment to provide new experiences for our visitors – something the residents of the Marina appreciate.”

Contemporary Crosscurrents: Portraits and Electronic Arts is a state-of-the-art contemporary development in art for public spaces. The exhibition is produced by the Streaming Museum – a new hybrid museum for the 21st century that presents multi-media exhibitions in public spaces across seven continents. The Streaming Museum includes 27 urban screens and other interactive, digital public displays.

Participants in the digital art show include local artists from Zayed University and American University of Dubai; two artists represented by Dubai’s Third Line Gallery; and international  artists from North & South America, Asia and Europe. The curators are using the exhibition to stimulate interest for permanent urban screens to be established in key sites within the Middle East.

Artists: Janet Bellotto (CA/Dubai), Maitha Bin Demithan (Dubai), John F. Simon, Jr. (US), Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Dubai), Pouran Jinchi (US/IR), Keryoon Han (KR), Cima Azzam (PA/Dubai), Mona Ayyash (PA/Dubai), Sarah Lahti (US/Dubai), Claire Jervert (US), Michelle Peric (AR/Dubai) Asya Reznikov (US/RU) Mark Amerika (US), Scott Draves (US), Meera Huraiz (Dubai), Eduardo Kac (BR), Roberto Lopardo (US/Dubai), Raji Al-Sharif (SA) Hind Bin Demithan (Dubai), Muna Faisal Abdulla Al Gurg (Dubai), Leteefa Bint Maktoum (Dubai).

Dubai Marina Mall currently has over 120 retail outlets. The mall provides an exciting mix of tenants including a supermarket, fashion wear, accessories, jewellers, boutiques, book & toy shops and children entertainment, in addition to a food court and the 6-screen premium Reel Cinemas.

For more information, contact: Kelly Home / Meral Hassan ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Tel: (+971 4) 334 4550,

Stuart Every, Managing Director

+971 50 115 3828




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