Art Jameel’s digital art commission goes to Nadim Choufi

Art Jameel Commissions: Digital has been awarded to Nadim Choufi for a proposal that embraces the theme of smart cities and the time cycles that govern its foundations.

Launched earlier this year, Art Jameel Commissions: Digital invited artists to submit proposals through an online Open Call that attracted nearly 200 submissions. Responding to this year’s theme of ‘Time’, and thinking through how the concept of time has been challenged by technology and circumstance, the commission presented artists with an opportunity to rethink “digital art” and the ways in which it can question, investigate and form meaningful connections and experiences.

Nadim Choufi’s work typically examines the living significance of digital material. His winning project, titled The Sky Oscillates Between Eternity and Its Immediate Consequences, digitally renders environments of a space colony on Earth, where two narrators attempt to unbound the perpetually promised possibilities in imagining the future and creating a space of multiple presents to question the clock running the planet through their lived experiences.

Choufi’s ward is an artist’s fee of $7,500 plus a production budget for the project. He will also receive curatorial support, both during the production process and launch, plus technical mentorship and support in collaboration with MIT J-WEL (the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab, the MIT initiative funded by Community Jameel to promote excellence and transformation in education).

The finished work will enter into the Art Jameel Collection and will be accessible via Art Jameel’s websites for at least six months early next year.

Choufi, who lives in Beirut, works primarily with video, 3D animation, and sculpture. He has exhibited in Abu Dhabi’s Warehouse421, had an experimental short in the 2019 Sharjah Film Platform, and was one of the ten emerging artists selected for the Revealing section at the Beirut Art Fair in 2019 (that seems a long time ago now, given what’s been happening there).

The Art Jameel jury also gave honourable mentions to two further applicants: Nora Al Badri, a multidisciplinary and conceptual media artist based in Berlin, and the Beiruti duo Edwin Nasr and Bassem Saad.

Al Badri’s submission, titled Neuronal Ancestral Sculptures Series, expands on museum practices by generating synthetic Babylonian objects based on antiquities as a means of reclaiming the cultural datasets from Western museum collections.

Nasr and Saad’s Wound Contra Empire is an ongoing research project that examines the geopolitics of digital image-making by way of the US military-entertainment complex, the cosmotechnics of the so- called “axis of resistance,” and the reproducibility of ritual and trauma.

Art Jameel Commissions is an annual, multi-year programme with a different focus each year – the next one centres on painting and drawing, with an Open Call due sometime in 2021.


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