This summer, we’re going to change the world together while having a damn good time in my studio on Governors Island, provided through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Residency. I’m an Iranian-American artist, rapper, and politician, and I’m creating a video art series about how to run for office for YouTube, producing a rap album, further developing You Never Know (a political campaign speech/rap performance that showed at the Whitney Museum) to take on tour, and creating a series of drawings/collages/paintings/soft sculptures for an upcoming solo exhibition at Project for Empty Space about personal and cultural transformation.
I’m expanding the boundaries of artmaking beyond the gallery/institution. We as artists have much more power than we think to universally shift culture in a positive direction. I’ve taken that idea into the political realm and am running for City Council in Brooklyn to demystify the complex structures of government and expose ways we can change the system from the inside out while enjoying ourselves. Our main project will be creating a how-to-run-for-office video art/YouTube series for anyone to use to run in their area, and we will be dropping videos weekly (some of which I’ll be rapping in with crazy animation—entertainment is key!).
If you ever wanted to learn to be a YouTube star, join me. I am seeking mentees and collaborators that know how to shoot video on DSLR cameras, and edit on Adobe Premiere Pro. Ideally, you would also have some experience or are willing to learn to:
- Animate video
- Edit sound files
- Create graphics for use in videos/online/promotion (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)
- Organize and collect info in Google Docs (sheets and docs)
- Photograph (mainly for documentation)
- Give honest feedback
- Have adventures