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WORDS KILL: OPERATION WINDOWS

acvic_ word kill21.06.2011 - 25-09.2011
A project by Vartan Avakian, Raffy and Doulian and Maral Mikirditsian, with the collaboration of Raed Yassin (videos).

This is the first project showcased in the programme Sreens and Windows, selected from the open call.

Words Kill: Operation Windows consists of an intervention in the glass frontage of ACVIC, connecting a physical intervention to a virtual intervention live on the web.

The physical part is a skin overlapping the glass, showing a set of geometrical shapes simulating the panels which, in traditional Arabic architecture, stand as a filter between the street and the window that gives access to the interior of a house. This wooden panel, named Mashrabiya, in this case acts as a filter, but is also a QR code which can be interpreted using smartphones. Each of the five codes gives access to one of five videos which, in a language between irony and fiction, tells of the harsh reality of immigration from different Arab countries to European countries.

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WORDS KILL: OPERATION WINDOWS

It's like magic. Technology employs mystification, by hiding its mechanism and effacing its processes.

Words Kill is a physical and technological rumination on the hidden and unhidden aspects of communication.

Traditional Arabic window screens known as Mashrabiya serve as filters controlling the light that penetrates the interior of a place and, more importantly, the privacy of the household. QR Codes, an elaborate version of the traditional barcode, reveal the coded information once scanned by mobile phones. Undecoded and static, these codes become decorative and intriguing, aesthetic visual surfaces for immediate intake, just like the mashrabiyas, their mesmerizing decorative patterns concealing their functionality.

The mashrabiya with its QR Codes becomes an ambiguous textual frame of informational reference, wherein a code screen is transformed into a mediating interface between that what is hidden and that what can be seen. A window to myriad worlds.

Pronóstico de Inmigración, videos by Raed Yassin, part of the project Words Kill: Operation Windows. The videos represent fictive stories about immigration from North African to South European countries. The countries that are referred to in the videos are: Libia, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

CV

Vartan Avakian is a Beirut-based visual artist. His work is inter-disciplinary employing video, installation, photography and pop media. He studied Communication Arts at Lebanese American University and worked professionally in media production and scenic design. He is currently pursuing graduate studies in Architecture and Urban Culture at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. Avakian is a founding member of the art collective Atfal Ahdath.

Raffy Doulian is a Beirut-based architect. He holds a degree in Architecture from the American University of Beirut. Professionally, he has worked on projects in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Spain. He also collaborates with artists and theater directors in the development of visual works and set designs for performances. 

Maral Mikirditsian BA in Communication Studies from the Lebanese American University and a Master degree in Design and Public Space from ELISAVA. She has collaborated with the Cultural Space Metropolis (Beirut, Lebanon), the Associació Marató de l’Espectacle, the Ciutats que Dansen network and Escena Poblenou Festival (Barcelona). Recently winner of the curatorial projects competition launched by Can Felipa with the project Des de l’Interstici. Initiator of the project beirut.Cat that has organized activities in collaboration with the Festival Bouesia and Priorat Centre d’Art. Since 2008, she is the coordinator of Idensitat.

Raed Yassin and works in Beirut and Amsterdam. Yassin is a video, sound and visual artist, who also works as a part-time curator and as a musician (double bass, tapes, turntables and electronics). He graduated from the Theatre Department at the Lebanese University in Beirut. With a strong conceptual focus, he works with image, music and text. His work is based on themes related to the media, the city, Arabic cinema, pop culture, pornography, disasters and archives. His work has been shown across Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and Japan.

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