The Tasmeem Hybrid-Making Workshops are interdisciplinary, collaborative, charette-style Workshops designed to produce viable end products by the conclusion of the workshop.
Over 5 days, groups of 15 team members will collaborate to synergistically create innovative end products. These products, or 'makings', may be in the form of academic papers, fashion shows, videos, full scale semi-permanent structures, performances or almost any other form determined by the workshop leaders and/or participants. Thinking outside the box is encouraged. Blending disparate ideas, methodologies and materials to produce exciting new products is at the heart of these Hybrid Makings Workshops.
Location: VCUQatar building, Education City, Doha
Date: Sunday 10 to Thursday 14 March
Time: 9am to 4pm (with a break from 12pm to 1pm)
Registration for the workshops has now closed.
Hope Ginsburg, Carol Derby, Deidre Hoguet, Corby Elford, Richard Lombard
For this Tasmeem 2013: Hybrid Making workshop, the team will work with locally sourced fiber to create a tangible outcome (with the final form to be agreed upon by workshop constituents). A soft interior, a piece of furniture, an architectural accessory, a filtering prototype, or some other object will emerge from the process of exploration, material experimentation, sustainability analysis, conversation, and collaboration in the workshop. We will exhibit this object and develop a presentation addressing the object’s lifecycle impacts in raw materials, production practices, useful life, and end-of-life disposal.
Felt Case Study #1 is put forth in the spirit of an open system, one that recapitulates the very process around which it is organized, the making of felt by hand. To make felt, a malleable, versatile fabric that requires neither knit nor woven substrate, individual animal fibers randomly interconnect, form relationships, and lock permanently into place with the elemental ingredients of moisture, agitation, and an acidic or alkaline catalyst.
Taking felted material as a starting point, the technique will be placed in a dynamic with the principles of human and environmental sustain¬ability, specifically as they pertain to locally sourced materials and the Qatar region. A collaboration among Hope Ginsburg, Assistant Professor in the Art Foundation and Painting & Printmaking departments at VCUarts; Carol Derby, VP of Research & Development at Designtex; and Deidre Hoguet, Manager of Environmental Strategy at Designtex will shape this conversation as they join colleagues Richard Lombard and Corby Elford to work together on the Doha campus with participants.
By assembling a collaborative team that crosses the Doha and Richmond campuses of VCU with the knowledge and production capabilities of a surface materials company linked to a global manufacturing network, this workshop may have implications for future research; potential market¬ability; and unique, ongoing dialogue between academia and industry. The collaborators enter Hybrid Making with an eye toward future collaboration and ongoing partnership.
Marco Bruno, Simone Carena, Tony Oates
The aim of the workshop is studying and documenting the way people use Public Space for Private Benefits in Qatar, and mapping, using drawings and videos, the most interesting examples.
The five days experience during Tasmeem will contribute to the development of a workshop format, called Borrowed Planet, comprising urban research / awareness sharing stimulation / creative transformation, which could be used as an education program and an urban strategy design tool in different fast growing metropolis around the globe.
For the past 2.5 years we have been working on a research workshop called Borrowed City. Borrowed City is an investigation on shared space in contemporary high-density metropolis: it can be defined as the way private citizens use public space for their own personal benefit. We spend a considerable amount of our lives in spaces that belong to the entire community: streets, parks, squares, rivers, and oceans. All these spaces are public and we, the citizens, use them to perform different activities and functions, from the simplest act of just being there to more elaborate activities such as commerce or leisure.
Depending on how much time we spend on the same spot (one hour/day/week/month), how often we go there (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly) and how intensively we do it (regularly, randomly), we will initiate a complex interaction with the community that gravitates around the same area.
No matter how we decide to use public space, once we start interacting, our presence has to be constantly negotiated with the rest of the community. The negotiation will change according to the local culture, and it will involve different actors: local government, residents, building owners, and passers by. In some cases, the negotiation remains within the law, and in some cases it goes around the law, and defines its own levels of tolerance. In some cases the community develops it’s own set of rules, “overruling” the laws of the local government. Most of these “negotiated” activities are illegal, but at the same time they are the result of a mutual agreement among citizens.
The workshop will build upon an Explorative Urban Safari. We will move around the city in search of the most interesting cases of ‘borrowed spaces’, examining and chronicling what we see through the conceptual lens of ‘borrowed city’. In the second phase, participants will brainstorm to develop both potential educational programs and practical urban applications.
The workshop is an opportunity to debate the nature of public space in fast growing Qatari society. We are hoping to involve in the discussion Government Institutions managing public space, Art Foundations interested in stimulating public workshops, developers, local design practices, community leaders and lots of curious people.
This workshop presents a five-day collaborative workshop that will explore the voices in Qatar today. Workshop attendees will participate in a Voice Pictures & Voice Poems exploration through visual image, creative writing and the spoken word. Participants can be people from all walks of life. Students, faculty, staff, businessmen, and community women are all invited to attend.
How can we invite people into useful self-awareness instead of restrictive self-consciousness? How can we re-claim the unrestrained freedom, the wild colors of our natural voices? In this workshop, we will explore one incredibly useful pathway: Kristin Linklater’s Voice Pictures & Voice Poems.
So often we encounter students, teachers, and people from all levels of academia, or people from all walks of life, who have learned to repress, restrict or re-shape their voices in response to our world. As human beings we internalize messages from society and those close to us, developing “good voices” that we believe are non-threatening; masculine, feminine, strong, calm, perky—the list is endless. It is only by discovering, revealing and re-claiming all the colors of our natural voice—our true self—can we begin to be a “voice for good” in our world, our art, our personal lives and our classrooms.
Participants will learn how the voice works, and when or how the voice doesn’t work. They will explore their own voice histories and how their lives have shaped their voices and their self-image of their voices. Each participant is guided through imagery to picture his/her voice as it is today, what he/she would like his/her voice to be, and what is stopping him/her from having the voice he/she desires. The participants then draw these pictures with materials that are provided by the instructor. Participants are guided through imagery to look back on the people, places, or events that helped to shape them into what they are today. The final exhibit and presentation will be a live presentation of the participants speaking their poems.
I personally have experienced profound shifts in my personal development using this exploration. I have used it in my teaching, and have found it to be a transformative experience, one that invites people from all walks of life to explore self-image as manifest through the voice. Using this exploration, I have seen light bulbs go off, have observed people develop renewed focus, and I have witnessed people claiming new ownership of their voice development.
Brooke Chornyak, Matt Spahr
“Fusion food” preparation will serve as the basis for exploring both collaborative situations and the evolution of the recipes used. Participants will discover new products based on local access to the souk and fresh fish market. In addition to creating new and possibly delicious cuisine, workshop participants, through shared individual knowledge and the willingness to explore unfamiliar material, will generate new insight into applying the collaborative process to the hybrid environments of art and design.
Fusion cuisine, the act of combining various culinary traditions, normally results from an influx of migrants into a community who consciously and/or unconsciously adopt the new culture’s culinary traditions. Qatar’s historic relationship to trade routes and nomadic populations, as well as the current massive transplant populations, make it an ideal place to examine both new and historic forms of fusion food. Because Tasmeem 2013 will bring a broad range of individuals into an already migrant-rich population conference members will be able to act as a micro migrant influx.
We will pair approximately 12 participants who possess a moderate knowledge of, and passion for, food and take them shopping for ingredients in the local souk and fresh fish market. Each pair will use familiar recipes to experiment with by incorporating the new ingredients, refining their methods and improving the fusion process as needed until they have created a new recipe that suits their palate.
The essential need to define methods to improve the process and quality of the dish (design) requires not only a resulting “recipe” but also, in our case, a method map or historical model in order to better understand the evolution of the recipe itself. Thus, replicating the fusion process through culinary experimentation can become a model for, and parallel process to, the hybrid environments of art and design.
Dina Bangdel, Jochen Sokoly, Radha Dalal, Huma Mulji, David Aelsworth, Rashid Rana, Yousef A. Hamiad, Ashmina Ranjit, Michael Schreffler
With the inclusion of a diverse group of practitioners, both visual artists and researchers, the aim is to enrich our understanding of how works of arts have, historically and in the contemporary contexts, been hybrid objects in the making—as a meta-narrative framework of our inquiry. The collaboration of art historians and artists from Qatar and South Asia (Pakistan and Nepal) will investigate historical and contemporary practices in locating how works of art serve and have served as signifiers of hybridity, either conceptually or through the materiality of the object.
Considered one of the most influential scholars in postcolonial and cultural studies, Homi K. Bhabha in his seminal texts such as Nation and Narration (1990) and Location of Culture (1994) introduced the concepts of hybridity, liminality, Third Space, and mimicry. As a Pakistani diaspora artist and recipient of the MacArthur Award, Shazia Sikander has created art that transforms traditional miniature painting into a contemporary visual language through the hybridization of form, style, and content. Within these contexts, the theoretical frameworks of hybridity and hybrid making manifest in a very specific context of postmodernism and postcolonial approaches.
This workshop explores the definitions of hybridity and hybrid-making in multiple contexts, from its literal meaning of mixing and this creating something new, to the specificity of cultural studies and postmodernism. In the first phase of the workshop participants will examine ways in which hybridity is located in the materiality of an object. The second component of the workshop will explore contemporary issues of hybridity within the post-colonial and global concepts, as artists negotiate with the notion of a “Third Space,”—the “inbetweenness” of locating the self and the other. According to Homi Bhabha, “It is in this Third Space that we will find those words with which we can speak of ourselves and others.”
We have selected five South Asian and Qatari artists, whose works explore hybridity and hybrid-making through very diverse expressions. Hybridity of new media can be seen common theme in these works, through transformation, re-use, re-appropriation, or subversion. We explore the notion of hybridity not only in the conceptual parameters of post-colonial theory, but explore hybridity from the point of view of a new production—the literally mixing of two or more diverse elements to create something new.
Reni Gower, Jorge Benitez, Jochen Sokoly, Khaled Saoud
By addressing the fundamental geometry embedded in two-dimensional art, this workshop acknowledges hybrid connections between Europe, the Mediterranean basin, and the Middle East. In the past, aljamia played a significant role in preserving Islam and the Arabic language in the West. By understanding the visual arts as a transliteration of one form of thinking to another, this workshop will revisit the ongoing impact of Islamic art, science, and philosophy throughout the world today.
Since ancient times, geometric perfection (circle, square, and triangle) has been thought to convey sacred and universal truths by reflecting the fractal interconnections of the natural world. One finds these similarities across cultures embedded in many diverse ethnic patterns. Incorporating these patterns into works of art promotes access through recognition and this commonality creates a connection. Geometric ornamentation may have reached a pinnacle in the Islamic world, where it has been assimilated into all aspects of everyday life. The workshop participants will examine an extended cross-cultural integration of the arts into life.
This interdisciplinary collaboration will produce papers presented at the conference by Benitez, Sokoly, and Saoud, as well as an exhibition of large papercuts by Gower and perspectival drawings by Benitez. Sokoly will introduce an art historical perspective. Benitez will examine recent scholarly research that sheds light on the links between medieval Islamic science and the development of European perspective. Saoud will describe the properties of Islamic quasicrystalline tiling in the creation of complex periodic patterns. A published anthology of writings and images is planned.
Sokoly and Saoud are colleagues at VCUQatar, while Gower and Benitez are colleagues at VCURichmond. This diverse group spans the visual and language arts to physics and math. Sokoly is an Islamic scholar who works closely with both regional and international contemporary artists and designers to address issues of culture, identity and artistic practice. Saoud is a physicist whose research focuses on nanoparticles and nanotechnology.
Gower and Benitez are both painters. Gower’s paper cut installations use sacred geometry to blend subtle imperfection with structured repetition. Benitez uses linear perspective as a metaphor for Western Civilization.
Their shared artistic and intellectual interests speak to the larger hybrid relationship that the West shares with the Middle East, and especially with the Golden Age of Islamic Civilization.
Kimberly Guthrie, Hawa Stwodah, Sandy Wilkins
This workshop targets researchers and practitioners of eco design, sustainable design, and fashion design and invites them to rethink how daily garments negatively impact the planet’s sustainability. The intent is to: (a) gently initiate the conversation of making eco fashion more mainstream, and (b) create local awareness of environmentally friendly fabrics and sustainability in Qatar.
How much can a simple, everyday apparel item help to conserve natural resources? By choosing to wear innovative alternatives to traditional apparel, women can speak volumes with what they wear and be the catalyst for thinking about their small, yet personal and significant impact on the planet’s sustainability. The average person in the UK contributes 30kg of textile waste to landfills a year. What is that number for a person in Qatar?
The abaya, shayla, and jalabiya are woven garments most often produced using polyester. Other fabrications include polyester blends, cottons, and silks. Poly¬¬¬ester is made from petrochemicals, which are a non-renewable resource, not easily degradable, that results in a fabric that is not breathable. Making polyester uses large amounts of water for cooling, along with lubricants, which can become a source of contamination. Like most other synthetic textiles, polyester has low absorbency, making it uncomfortable in warm weather.
The abaya, shayla, and jalabiya are most often made from woven fabrics. Participants will create these apparel items out of low-impact knit fabrics and combinations of those knits with low-impact woven materials. Another important outcome of the workshop is to determine how to create and spread a broader awareness of sustainability, and to better understand a product’s life cycle through fashion design. How do we craft the most effective message, and how is that message best communicated and shared?
Dying methods for cotton, silk, and polyester contribute pollutants and effluents into rivers and streams, negatively impacting eco systems. By rethinking the fabrications of these garments and considering the use of environmentally low impact fabrics, manufacturers and designers can help conserve millions of gallons of water, help to minimize the amount of pesticides and fertilizers used on crops, and reduce the need for non-biodegradable petroleum-based fabric.
Valerie Jeremijenko, Patrick West, Jondi Keane
Our collaborative team proposes to use the idea of suturing—of materials, spaces, words, objects and environments to memories, dreams, associations, sensations and impulses—in order to arrive at the synapse or juncture of new formations. These new formations will be inspired by the souvenirs or found objects sourced in diverse international places (Qatar and the Volcanic Plains of Western Victoria, Australia), from deserts, cities, towns, crossroads, volcanic landscapes and water sites. We aim to activate “made in Qatar” as international sensorium.
Places are woven into the fabric of other places through the inward and outward flows of the senses in travellers in the dispositions and practices of their “foreign-travelling” and “home-again” bodies. We bring souvenirs home to retain something of what our senses created in a foreign place so souvenirs may exist anywhere along a spectrum between saintly relics and kitsch. Historically, souvenirs have also included stolen or forcibly obtained items (like ancestral skulls), or objects made at seminal dates and places (like pieces of the fallen Berlin Wall).
Drawing upon the many cultural and creative connotations of the term “souvenir”, we intend to create a series of 3D written-upon products (hybrid-composite objects of “dimensionalised” writing), chosen for their connections to persons and place, in order to investigate how international places can be made, un-made or re-made through the complex activities of the bodily senses. Through academic and exegetical writing, we will also reflect upon these “makings” in the context of “made in Qatar”. The workshop is intended to focus active production, either by individuals informed by the ideas and processes of the workshop or by collaborative groups within the workshop. Each workshop will conclude with one or more collaboratively produced “makings” for dissemination during the Tasmeem conference. To make our work truly international in dissemination, we also propose to transmit simultaneously, via video link, into the arts hub at Deakin University’s main Melbourne campus, the Phoenix Gallery, as a further experiment in the travelling senses.
Different places create different presentations of the senses, from which hybrid composites may emerge. Travellers are prompted by fresh capacities of their sensory being wherever they disembark, which may surprise other persons with practices of the senses souvenired, re-membered or imprinted from elsewhere. Like words, souvenirs suture times and places: “made in Qatar” comes alive as a sensorium woven from international modes of place-making.
Yin Zheng, Melanie Richards, Diane Mikhael, Stella Colaleo, James Wiznerowic
The aim of this workshop is to present a vibrant cross-disciplinary workshop that brings together the creative crafts of a team of musician, choreographer, fashion and multimedia designer from both VCU School of the Arts and VCU Doha Campus.
A symbolic component for Islamic culture, the female garment “abaya” engenders unique fashion. The human form concealed under the drape of the “abaya” is a powerful image and has the potential for stunning choreography. The illusions of clothing in motion animated by the actions of the body have limitless possibilities for creating exquisite visual poetry. The music of Qatar is based on ethnic elements of Bedouin culture that has inherent rhythm and melodic curve that naturally echo female kinetic movements. The tonal flexibility of this traditional music allows for elaborate borrowing from western classical music, as well as oriental and jazz improvisation styles.
Participants will explore the poetic possibilities for choreography, workshoped images and music composition while also integrating the cultural elements of the traditional abaya and the mystery of motion concealed rather than revealed. There will be discussion and investigation related to each discipline and in-depth explorations of the effective integration of these forms in the culminating performance piece. There will be a workshop discovery process where participants will dialogue about sonic and visual arcs, looking at unifying expressive qualities of sound, movement and image. The performance will yield a fluidly moving, multi-dimensional experience, hybridization of many specific elements into a universal visual “Illusion”.
The centerpiece of the performance will be improvisatory dialogues between sound, movement, and visual elements portraying a mercurial texture in which the silhouette of garment and human shape becomes illusion. final outcome of the workshop will be delivered in the form of a performance intersecting both visual and auditory elements that will create a metaphor for the mysterious and enchanting culture of Qatar.
The formalistic concepts will flow from microcosm to macrocosm and from monochromatic to saturated color. James Wiznerowicz (music professor, VCU) will provide the compositional structure for the music.
From the intimate play of tiny hand gestures, sonic qualities that are rooted in Bedouin and Arabic cultures and media images of parabolic sand dunes or domed architecture, there will be a formative and intense weaving of creative possibilities that combine to build toward a performance that transcends narrative and specific references. The choreography will search to connect and evolve in a constant interaction with the ever-shifting music and image. Sensory elements will fluidly move from the silhouettes into sound and image and back again.
Diane Derr, Peter Baldes, Robert M. Kaputof
This workshop targets artists and designers interested in the expansive field of the moving image, and the integration of time-based media and interactivity. Participants will learn and practice: basics of video production and shooting panoramic video on location; basics of editing in Apple’s Final Cut Pro, including sequencing, voice-overs, audio mixing, compression, etc.; system design; data distribution methods for multiple devices; and live, collaborative interaction techniques.
Integrating the themes of “Hybrid-Making” and “Made in Doha,” this workshop links traditional video production with performative and collaborative interactive practices. The workshop will be divided into five components: video shooting, video editing, database configuration, system design (performance rules), and an interactive exhibition installation.
Workshop participants will shoot a series of panoramic videos in Qatar using three GoPro cameras (portable, relatively inexpensive cameras often used by snowboarders, etc.) and a DSLR with a tilt-shift lens. We will spend one day focusing on shooting and production with a DSLR. We will focus on production and on the types of DSLR cameras: full frame sensor versus the crop sensor, lenses, sound in production and microphones, shooting time-lapse, working with the intervalometer, filters, and the different hardware that one can purchase for these types of cameras. Since participants will be shooting panoramas with the GoPro cameras, we will discuss and demonstrate the GoPro, after which participants will be shooting, either separately or working together. Everyone will have an opportunity to shoot his or her own material.
This footage will then be edited, compressed, and categorized for database distribution to iPad devices. Participants will then “perform” the footage by pushing these videos to a workshopor. By designing a system of rules for how, what, and when each participant pushes their imagery, we will perform and critique different experiences of the same media. Participants will also have the opportunity to shoot and workshop live imagery as the system continues to evolve within the exhibition space.
Participants will learn the basics of non-linear video editing by importing and modifying their own video footage. They will also learn basic concepts of video compression, as well as device-specific settings, for iPhone, iPad, YouTube, and Vimeo. Participants will experiment with “push” and screen-sharing technologies. Video compression’s error tolerance will be discussed as a metaphor for further discussion about the need for error tolerance in our collaborative performance. Questions to be addressed include: Is dead space allowed? How much? When? Do we embrace the glitch of our system or fight against it? Recursion? Further work time with video editing and push tech.
Muqeem Khan, Anne Sobel
Participants will investigate and learn about the fundamentals of film as a medium, and will experience hybridization in three ways: as combinations of the Distinctive and the Indistinguishable, the Two-Dimensional and the Tangible, and the Ordinary and the Extraordinary. Participants will realize that creativity does not necessarily require vast resources or flawless artistic skill.
We experience our surrounding with our senses. These senses are the most powerful human abilities through which we receive a great deal of information. Furthermore, we gather these chunks of information and then use them to organize our behaviors for ourselves and for others. Consequently, every tangible and intangible aspect of our development is the by-product of our sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.
In this workshop, participants will separate into five groups. Each group will focus on one assigned sense (sight, sound, touch, smell, or taste). During the five days, each group will research its assigned sense by exploring and filming it within the city of Doha. On a daily basis, the participants will collect “found objects” that in some way reflect their assigned sense, and daily, after filming, each group will assemble and edit the footage of that day’s filming.
The goal for each group is to create a 60-120-second-film, with an accompanying installation created from the “found objects,” that embodies the assigned sense. On the final day of the workshop, the five groups will re-assemble with their films of their respective senses to combine them into one, approximately five-minute-film, that paints a complete picture of the five senses the participants experienced in Doha.
During this journey, participants will be encouraged to investigate the fundamentals of the film as a medium including sound, color, rhythm, depth, and texture. By combining films made by five distinct filmmaking groups, we will highlight the unique vision, ideas, and methods of each. The short, combined film will be displayed with the collection of “found objects” that participants discovered during their journey through Doha. By encouraging the union of available simple and common resources with imaginative thinking, the workshop will provide a platform to acknowledge that creativity is not dependent on vast available resources and flawless artistic skills.