Thoughtworks Arts


Ellen Pearlman and Rashin Fahandej Selected for ZERO1 2020 Incubator

Posted by the Thoughtworks Arts Team
Monday, 14 October 2019

We’re thrilled to announce that both Ellen Pearlman and Rashin Fahandej have been selected for the highly competitive ZERO1 American Arts Incubator 2020 program in collaboration with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

A graphic showing six winners of American Arts Incubator Lead Artists 2020 awards
American Arts Incubator Lead Artists 2020

Of the six artists selected, Ellen will be working in Ukraine, and Rashin will be working in Austria.

American Arts Incubator (AAI) is an exchange program created for new media and digital artists to collaborate with communities abroad, and to develop community-driven public art projects that address a multitude of challenges at the local level.

Rashin Fahandej

Rashin Fahandej is a Thoughtworks Arts resident who developed her project A Father’s Lullaby using volumetric filmmaking technology in 2019.

Young people smiling and working with Rashin using cameras in a park
Rashin working on project IN-SIGHT with Boston’s youth

What motivates my artistic practice is my life investment in social justice. I interrogate oppressive systems to give voice to marginalized narratives and personal stories, and to propagate poetic expressions of local and global perspectives. My approach to artmaking is deeply informed by my passion for social justice and my personal experience as a woman and a member of persecuted Baha’i minority in Iran, as an immigrant in Boston, and as an educator. I consider my art a voice for the margins communicated through the poetry of visuals.

My practice builds upon what I call “Art as Ecosystem,” a network of collaborations with multiplicity of narratives that investigate social systems and occupy public sites as a critical discourse.
— Rashin Fahandej

Ellen Pearlman

Dr. Ellen Pearlman is a new media artist, critic, curator and Director of Thoughtworks Arts. She created Noor: A Brain Opera, the world’s first immersive interactive brain opera in a 360 degree theater.

Ellen Pearlman working on a computer alongside a dancer for the Noor performance
Ellen Pearlman directing Noor

My arts practice is motivated by issues of biometrics, Artificial Intelligence, surveillance, cognition, and notions of the quantified self. As the line between the human animal and digital interfaces narrows and merges individuality and privacy will be monitored, used, and abused by those in positions of power. I create immersive, interactive operas using sonic environments, manipulated videos, librettos , movement and biometric EEG brainwave monitoring to tell compelling stories.

Besides my creative oeuvre, I publish extensively and lecturer globally to inform and educate the public concerning the potential violations of human rights these technologies are capable of inflicting.
— Ellen Pearlman

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