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David Birkin + Mariam Ghani, Our System Failure billboard in Nashville, TN (photo by Clifford Picket + Alyssa Meadows)
David Birkin + Mariam Ghani, Our System Failure billboard for For Freedoms campaign in Nashville, TN (photo: Clifford Picket + Alyssa Meadows)


*The US premiere of my feature film What We Left Unfinished will be at SFFILM in April – screening at the Children’s Creativity Museum on April 11th, the Pacific Film Archive on April 14th, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on April 16th. I’ll be there for all three screenings, along with EP Alysa Nahmias and editor Ian Olds for the 11th and 14th, respectively.

*An excerpt from my new mid-length film Dis-Ease, commissioned for the international Wellcome project Contagious Cities, is in Germ City: Microbes & the Metropolis at the Museum of the City of New York through April 2019. The film was produced through a joint residency at the NYPL and the Graduate Center, CUNY; see below for related public programs.

*The Seen Unseen will have its West Coast premiere at Other Cinema in San Francisco on April 20th at 8:30 pm as part of Scritti Politti: Sousveillance, also featuring David Cox, Trevor Paglen and Kathleen Quillian.

*April 25th at Bar Laika, NYC, an informal screening of some short films.

*Our System Failure, my public art collaboration with David Birkin, was featured along with the older billboard project You say we are but dust … in the For Freedoms Fifty State Initiative, through December (in Des Moines, Nashville, Rochester, and St. Louis).

*The new three-channel video When the Spirits Moved Them, They Moved premiered at Ryan Lee Gallery in NYC, Jan-Feb 2019.

*My feature film What We Left Unfinished had its world premiere at the 69th Berlinale, February 2019, alongside screenings of three newly restored classic Afghan films.


April 3rd at 6:30 pm at the New York Public Library, Schwarzman Building, with microbiologist Jayne Raper, epidemiologist Rodrick Wallace, and ecologist Deborah Wallace, and April 5th at 6:30 pm at the Segal Theater, Graduate Center, CUNY, two events unfolding the research behind my new film Dis-Ease.


The Brooklyn Arts Council is honoring me at their annual benefit, Alive with Art, on Thursday May 2nd at 26 Bridge, 6:30-9:30 pm. Tickets here.


*An interview about and glimpse into the research process for the film Dis-Ease, for the Wellcome Collection in September 2018

*The Garden of Forked Tongues, originally commissioned by the Queens Museum of Art in conjunction with Nonstop Metropolis: The Remix. A collaboration with the Endangered Language Alliance, Effi Ibok and Josh Begley.

*Rhizome recently preserved the 2004 web project How Do You See the Disappeared? A Warm Database as part of Net Art Anthology; Chitra and I had a conversation with Michael Connor about it and I was also on a New Museum panel about net art, dispersion and disappearance after 9/11 with Eva & Franco Mattes, David Joselit, and Aria Dean in November 2017.

*A conversation about art, activism, and how to win by losing with Vince Warren, director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, moderated by curator Amara Antilla, in August 2017

*A brief interview about public vs. private narratives and another about artists as change-makers for the Pew Center in April 2017

*October 2016 talk with Tricia Paik and Erin Ellen Kelly at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, during the show Mariam Ghani & Erin Ellen Kelly: Water, Land, City

*February 2016 talk about What we left unfinished and artists in times of war, as part of Critical Writing Ensembles at the Dhaka Art Summit

*Words on Terror, a 2016 poetry reading for the launch of Solmaz Sharif’s Look at the Asian American Writer’s Workshop, on the AAWW podcast

*I’m also (occasionally) on Twitter and Instagram.


*Roundup of press coverage of What They Left Unfinished at the Berlinale (February 2019)

*When the Spirits Moved Them, They Moved in The New York Times (January 2019)

*Five artists you need to know, in Elle India (June 2018)

*I responded to Frieze’s survey on the importance of art as a form of protest (March 2017)

*Some reactions to What Now: The Artist-Writer as Activist-Critic panel (December 2016)

*The City & The City in Art in America (November 2016), The Village Voice (October 2016), and Modern Art Notes (May 2015)

*The Garden of Forked Tongues in Fast Company (August 2016) and the Hyperallergic podcast (May 2016)

*Interview for the Guggenheim MAP about A Brief History of Collapses (May 2016)

*Interview with Sophia Guy-White about What we left unfinished for InRussia (December 2016)

*Interview with Owen Duffy in Artspace (September 2016)


*”Shahrazade in the Archives: A Testimony from Fragments” in Critical Writing Ensembles (Mousse, 2017).

*Portfolio in Frieze, September 2016.

*”Notes from a boycott” in Manifesta Journal 18, November 2014; reprinted in Shangri-La: Imagined Cities, 2014; and expanded in collaboration with Haig Aivazian for The Gulf: High Culture, Hard Labor (OR Books, 2015) and Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency and Cultural Production (OR Books, 2017). Bonus video: book launch panel at the Vera List Center.

*”Field notes for ‘What we left unfinished'” in Ibraaz Platform 006, December 2013; reprinted in Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East (IB Tauris, 2015).

*”The Islands of Evasion: Notes on the Politics and Poetics of International Art English.” Triple Canopy, June 2013. Reprinted in Social Medium: Artists Writing 2000-2015 (Paper Monument, 2016) and International Art English (Triple Canopy, 2018).

*Afghanistan: A Lexicon available as a print and e-book from Hatje Cantz, excerpted on the NYRblog September 2012.

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