Just getting started… final day of this life-altering yearlong experiment.
"what is architecture"
2nd last day… still asking this question which I was asking 364 days ago…
final sound piece with clips from the film frankenstein. i've been really enjoying the sound days this year - really allowed me to not think and create completely differently compared to other things which i normally create… i'm hoping to work on a handful of them this year and edit further with some help.
The end is near and sometimes it’s already there,
we slice and sprinkle on,
and fight till we know what is meant to be,
but the seeds are there to grow,
whether you like it or not, they’re there,
a year in the making of something made,
not knowing and craving the bits which tickle the mind,
kicking, pushing and coasting till the next journey,
not too far - not too known - just as uncertain,
what good is a plan if the seed grows as it does,
the best parts are ……
chance, not the rapper,
forever grateful -
onto the future.
Final blog post of this year-long trans-disciplinary experiment of exploring different mediums everyday. This is output 362, with only 3 more days left I chose to explore another “writing without thinking” piece to tap further into the unconscious. It’s been a wonderful eye-opening experience and looking forward to reflecting on the year.
“Wa - - r” 💧🤍
52nd weekly mural sketch/painting of the year as part of the daily experiments which is approaching the end of the first year… a few of these made it to the streets & I’m hoping to get much more out there in 2020 … I’ve really enjoyed thursdays this past year,
Squabble scenario #1
been a rough beginning to 2020 with everything happening in Iran and the family… i'm pretty damn exhausted, mentally and physically… but trying to keep my head up and to remember to continue to lean into uncertainty no matter what…
"ye rooze khoob miad / a good day will come"
Rough times for my people (blog post)
forgot to post last night
just flew back to toronto… super tired - many things on my mind.
"a good year…maybe"
"things are not always what they seem"
still got war on my mind #nowarwithiran
Difficult to think of other things to write at the moment 💔
“wa(te)r comes and goes“ thinking about the current tensions between Iran and US - (forgot to post this last night)
💛 “protect your heart” featuring one of five loved tattoos @qualasiki blessed me with in the summer based on a personal #persianrug narrative, this rooster was the first and symbolizes protection. 🙏🏽 thank you Ale ❤️ .
another iteration of the sculpture from day 324 - really finding reasons to build up on this… you can call this one a sort of a family portrait once again.
last sculpture of 2019
continuing on this series which I hadn't worked on since day 127… this time incorporating my whole family… parents and sisters… it was a rough year for my family and internal feuds seem to be getting worst with my siblings… so that's been on my mind as we're going into the new year…
this is based on the blue mosque or "bruised mosque" in tabriz iran which was almost destroyed by an earthquake in 1780 … making the parallel with my family hoping that even bruised things are worth trying hard to maintain.
"komak" feat. googoosh
last sound piece of the year - 50th one so far. also made a little video for it since i was in the flow!
Last blog post of 2019,
I wish I had written something more interesting,
Than this nonsensical mess,
But a bit of cleansing, a bit of pointless creation,
Is sometimes more useful than a planned masterpiece,
At least that’s what i feel like right now,
The brain is numb,
It’s filled with joy and useless thoughts,
Some of which are planned to be for the coming year,
2020 sounds like the future but it’s only steps away,
The ding on the clock means time to let go,
And take it all in…… a step at a time.
Don’t need resolutions and ideas of wanting more,
Reflecting, creating, thinking, dreaming, and experimenting
What else can you ask for?
a quick one, not much time today… #muralsketch
“Follow your heart” another fat finger sketch animation
made a couple of sculptures for my nephews for xmas based on my output from day 324
continuing the sevruguin rug portrait series - this one a portrait of "western man"
brainstorming through some ideas for a new collaboration concept store/art installation
"yalda" featuring sampled vocals by Homayoun Shajarian singing Rumi's poetry…
a homage to shab-e-yalda (winter solstice) a persian tradition or gathering with loved ones, eating pomegranates and fruits, and reading poetry.
again, just listening to a bit of jaaring sounds,
waiting to organize oneself and to come down,
i don’t think it’s an issue when you’re accepted,
organizing is just another form of chaos,
typing away this friday night while thinking of pomegranates,
the days of winter are yet to come,
i’m ready like i never have been before,
it’s going to be beautiful,
palm trees, gold and rugs,
there will be questions without answers,
that’s what makes it special.
another piece exploring writing without thinking
Continuing the fat finger sketch animations
"a delicate balance"
out in ottawa for a couple of days… staying in a cabin-like space.
takin' it easy today - break… - a quick one.
This is the part that you just can’t see,
going through a maze of wonder,
thinking and breathing barriers of sound,
the solid soil which binds the neck and the eyes,
i don’t really know but
this is the part you just can’t hear,
you tuck under and breath,
close your eyes and wait for the rest to follow,
this is real life - are you listening?
thinking about how much our fear of ruining our reputation limits what we do… i was having a conversation about it with parents today… in the persian culture "aberoo", or reputation is a biiiiigggggg deal… and i find it quite sad.
continuing the rug portrait series - 3rd one… first one i've found of a woman… strangely labeled "western woman in studio posed with chador and hookah"
one of those days…
ok ok ok
blah… I’m just gonna spill it,
sometimes the brain and the hand don’t want to communicate,
what can I do? just to sit around and think of photos and stuff,
when an earbud isn’t your bud no more,
you’re left with nothing but an ache,
that’s how I feel,
typing without thinking #automaticwriting
got a massive headache…
A love story of sorts
“Mamitas” … long day
"sardar zafar bakhtiari"
continuing the Antoine Sevruguin rug portrait series - this one no. 2 including this photo from 1908
thinking about architecture, the city and the many complexities of the commodification of housing.
The original Bladerunner was set in Los Angeles November 2019… so used some clippings from the film to wrap up nov 2019 in real life…
"one eye open, one eye closed"
Not much time today, experimented with an app on my iphone… kinda wanna experiment more with it
quick one… another super long (18 hr) day
beginning a new series within the Antoin Sevruguin photocollage series… I want to focus on the portraits/photographs I find of 18th and 19th century Iran with rugs… this being the first of the series -
the original photo is of Muzaffar Al-din Shah -
been reading a masters thesis about borders and migration for an upcoming thesis review.
sampled Hal9000 for this one.
I have literally tried to write about a few topics in specific for this post ranging from “vacant lots, to our spatial understanding of the digital space… to guided distractions … “ but my brain seems to want to just jump from one to another…… so I’m going to allow it to do what it wants since the topics I have been exploring are more appropriate for longer papers and I don’t have the capacity for them right now.
Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and go easy on your own self-inflicted set of rules to allow the brain to go through the self-cleansing process.
So all I got is the photo below, which could be interpreted as the current state of my brain…
"fly 'em high"
mural sketch… quick one… been a long day.
another one featuring the work of gordon matta-clark.
"azadi" meaning "freedom"
thinking about iran at the moment… based on the "freedom tower" in tehran which was geometrically designed with 4 circles and 2 intersecting bending lines as profiles.
“hair from one's moustache”
Continuing the collage series including old photographs of Iran by #antoinsevruguin - here a photo Nader al-din shah who ruled Iran under Qatar dynasty for 50 years in the 1800s having his moustache groomed and dyed.
Back in the day in Iran, having a moustache represented trust… and there was an expression which said to give a "hair from one’s moustache," is a form of declaration on word of honor.
a quick one tonight… i think still have thoughts of the climate crisis in my mind as i was putting a proposal together last friday.
featuring an interview with Leonard Cohen on CBC in 1966 where he discusses the meaningless nature of confining disciplines… he says "the borders have faded between a lot of endevours… if someone offered me a building to design now I'd take it up… anything going I'd like to try…"
In order to change,
first we need to feel….
we need to have a sense of empathy before we can genuinely act on something.
quick one today… tired.
a second one including gordon matta-clark's work… and himself this time, the original work is titled "conical intersect" from 1975 in Paris…
working through some ideas for a proposal.
i think the last of the series (3) of automatic drawings/collages including chaplin and some load diagrams… this one tensegrity.
researching for a project proposal, discovered an article by CNN naming the "10 climate change villains" - here are most of them…
apologies to miss badu for butchering a beautiful song…
(forgot to upload last night)
……. . . . . in progress
feat. Gordon Matta-Clark's "splitting house" photo - an inspiring figure to me… sound piece from last saturday.
monday2D / collage day
another quick one … follow-up of the piece from last week.
- crunch time, exams begin tomorrow
a quick one today - reflective of current mood as studying for back-to-back exams on monday and tuesday… !
It’s been an amazing year of making. I can’t wait to reflect on everything that’s happened in the past 11 months of back-to-back projects which I have truly enjoyed working on. The busyness hasn’t allowed for much time to reflect and to write about them since the speed at which the making or “the creation” is happening is hard to keep up with. I am not quite sure whether I like that or not, but I certainly am aware of it.
Discussing the work, as we did tonight during a talk for projectGUNK, is a way to further develop the concepts and thoughts about a particular project, as it is still in development. The learning process is never ending and the projects themselves don’t seem to be ever complete either…. but i really take the conversations seriously and use them to understand not only the projects, but also my process in order to define my next steps in this wild journey.
Thank you all for being a part of this journey and helping me make sense of all that I am doing, whether it is directly through critique or questioning or indirectly through comments or just being present.
Reflecting and writing more soon……
"happens to the heart"
began drawing to take a break from studying while listening to leonard cohen's new track of the same name…
"Van Eyck was here"…another addition to the series exploring art history favorites in spinning action… this one featuring the complex work of netherlandish painter Jan Van Eyck of the "Arnolfini Protrait"… featuring a self-portrait in a convex mirror in the back of the scene…
tuesdaysculptures - continuing the rigid foam series… still super tired and recovering…
"p = F/A"
"high life on mt sinai"
still at the hospital… and forgot my mouse… i hate using rhino without a mouse…
been a wild month of continuous curveballs.
don’t really have much to say other than the need to keep on swingin’.
*typing from the hospital…
rough day - long day
another one of the arthistory series - this one of featuring "The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things" by Hieronymus Bosch
further exploring melting rigid foam… it's good in situations when i need to produce something quickly with texture… reminds me of a professor back in the day when i was doing grad school in germany said… "man, you like ugly things"… so calling this one… "uglitecture"
a quick one… really tired… at max brain capacity. worked off a photo of my hand holding some hangers from project gunk… messed around and decided to incorporate a photo of "girls weaving a rug" by Antoin Sevruguin … which are a series of collages I have done based on his photographs of iran in the 19th century
based on a graph showing typical duraction and intensity of work on a construction site by discipline (mechanical, electrical, structural and architectural)…
using study pointers as prompts.
30 minute exercise
drowning in books… sampled book pages turning and layered in more texture.
what a wonderful scent,
i’m a sailor,
i must ask you to leave,
how was my scene?
do you hear music?
rags. A dog
what are you doing?
stay away from me
I wasn’t thinking about that.
Gives you joy?
words & sentences from Alexander Sokurov’s 2002 film called “Russian Ark”. 7 minutes, every 30 seconds.
another super long day
"21 hr day"
looooong busy day…
a follow-up to day 261's sculpture "arch your nemesis"
a piece of piano my sister taught me when i was about 7 or 8 years old. sampled the voice of Parisa, an old persian folk-singer singing Chahargah.
tough day for the family -
It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and studied… probably not since my undergrad days in the mid-2000s.
With the busy summer of active projects behind me now, I’ve got 3 weeks of more dedicated time to study for the exams so I’m implementing the “pomodoro technique” to help me focus.
For those who aren’t aware, the pomodoro technique “is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.” I first heard about it was through a good friend (internetvin) and I think it will be quite useful for me these days. The name comes from the tomato timers which are used for cooking…… but now-a-days there are apps which do it for you, I’m using one called “Focus Keeper”.
Basically it’s 25 minutes of focused work, with 5 minutes in between, repeated 4 times until you take a longer 25 minute break. I’m hoping to cycle through 3-4 rounds per day in order to get as much in this brain as possible.
Let’s see what happens…. ✊🏼
“- - - just breath”
worked with what I had here at the studio… previously whitewashed gunk frame… markers, spray paint, label maker - - - -
a quick one - 30 mins total - need to get back to studying.
“arch your nemesis”
almost fully recovered from nuit… 💤
Been GUNKing all day, all night, all week.
Gunked Out…. 😴
“6 minutes for 6A”
another very very long day, consumed 💯 by projectGUNK for nuit Blanche Toronto
a very very long day…
🐓 “reflecting” 🧱
Featuring a recording of a lecture by #jorgeluisborges speaking about poetry and the lack of revelations… sounds very different on headphones 🎧a bunch of layers of deep bass in there not possible to hear on phone. 🤷🏻♂️
We’re a week away from exhibiting projectGUNK at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche on Oct 5th from 7pm to 7am located on Bay Street, North of Queen - in between old and new City Halls.
Matthew Davis and I have been thinking about, scheming, designing and collecting for this project since the first week of January. It’s been a wonderful collaboration and a lot of work!
We have been collecting items from Toronto’s 25 wards and will be finalizing our assemblages / sculptures over the next week. The collection process is a very important aspect of the project and we have spent over 40 hours driving around the city and covered about 350 kms over the past few months.
We hope to see you there next Saturday… if not, the work will be exhibited at Collision Gallery at Bay & Wellington for an extended period (more details to follow).
Thank you all for your support.
“piggy bank, oink oink” 🐷 💰
started with a scribble…
We just completed the second and final week of our design build course at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Architecture. It been such an amazing experience and I am so content with what we were able to achieve. Such an incredibly intelligent group of students who worked so hard to not only think critically, but to also design and build a piece of architecture to take up space in the city. There will be much more on this project coming up soon and there are so many people to thank - it really was a group effort and months of research and friendship with Andrew Winchur and the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust, and course coordination with Jay Pooley. Below are a selection of process photos in the last 2 weeks, more complete photos, drawings, gifs, videos + + + + coming soon.
Thanks again to all involved and those who stepped up when we really needed it, we can accomplish so much together.
Yesterday was the final review for the 4th year undergraduate seminar/studio class I had developed for the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Architecture called “Guided Distractions: Abstraction & Experimentation in Architecture”. It was a long and wonderful 6 hours of engaging conversations revolving around 11 group projects in response to gentrification in Parkdale. One of the many ambitions of the course was to question our architectural processes when we are trying to address such complex socio-economic issues within our cities and to encourage experimentation, failure, and an interdisciplinary approach to design. We explored film, poetry, sculpture, drawing, painting and immersive installations.
I will be reflecting on the experience over the next few months in order to understand what processes worked in terms of pedagogy as well as design approaches in this context. The research and learning doesn’t end here, this is simply another step towards developing a language which can help me and hopefully others when addressing the often contradictory themes of the experimental and the social.
I am thankful to have had 44 engaged students as well as many guests, critics and thinkers who offered their valuable time and thoughts throughout the semester. The aim was to bring in as many different voices as I had access to in order to exposes the nuances of such conversations and the many stories and narratives which are involved. I learned a lot, thank you all.
Special thanks to our guests throughout the semester:
• Ben Gallagher (educator, poet, essayist & PhD candidate at OISE)
• Ana Teresa Portillo (community activist with Parkdale People’s Economy)
• Tania Thompson (curator, film & art producer, Redefinery Studio & Sunday Drive Art)
• Jaimie Howard (M.Arch grad, artist)
• Vin Verma aka @internetvin (experimenter, artist, investor)
• Miles Gertler (educator, artist, architect and co-director of Common Accounts)
• David Lieberman (alchemist, artist, architect, educator amongst other things)
• Tak Pham (art and architectural critic & curator)
• Mat Abramsky (urban planner, entrepreneur, investor)
• Andrew Winchur (writer, activist, artist, Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust)
• Adrian Phiffer (architect, educator)
• Jeannie Kim (architect, educator and director of undergraduate studies at UofT)
I can’t thank everyone above enough, making this list just gave me goosebumps as the vast amount of knowledge and different perspectives here is what I had aimed for and will continue to strive for.
And of course thanks to all the students who pushed themselves beyond their comfort zones.
More on my findings with this research and the future of “Guided Distractions” soon.
For now, this is the assemblage of 2 minute films the students were assigned at mid-term in order to familiarize themselves with the neighbourhood and their group members.