Double Tap

Online, we tend to see a gathering of common interest groups, as social media allows people to utilize tools such as the hashtag when presenting imagery, in turn creating labels and categorising posts. We can find relations between signs and among objects, subjects, and statements, as well as the social groups that favor them. In this culture of showing, borrowing, appropriating, transforming, amalgamating and saving, this ‘upload’ continues as collective online consciousness evolves.

Ironically, despite the sense of impermanence with this chronic upload of imagery, what is presented online can be accessible indefinitely. However, posted content hovers between permanence and transience when there is so much cataloged and recorded but we do not have the ability to search it as easily as we might hope. Our instant snapshots- our “memories”- seem to float somewhere, and through chance or through computer algorithms we may “find” something that we can then consume and churn out again, in our own way.

As we become more connected, we are no longer limited with regard to access or discovery, nor are we limited in what we wish to present to the public. In a sense, a new “freedom” has evolved where one can share or create a gallery of images and thoughts by ‘borrowing’ or ‘lending’ digital media/ephemera, and via an application or portal of choice. Through extension, these users are creating their own personal history: they are showcasing a collection that they have specifically curated, either by their various interests that have attracted their attention online, or by showcasing their own artwork.

Malja Opening pdf

 

Double- Tap #1

Double-Tap presents a variety of digital and more ‘traditional’ mediums in a unified exhibition, exploring how social media can act as a bridge between the two worlds of physical and digital art and in turn, expose new ways that global communities of artists are presenting their work. These Creatives are not limited in their use of medium; they may create digital work, but they also use and are familiar with other mediums such as drawing, painting, stenciling and appropriating images. And yet, they are part of the fast-paced Internet culture, with limitless galleries of inspiration and instantaneous access to material. In this way, a sense of interdependence to ones online community begins to occur, and commonalities surface irrespective of time, place or location. Shared thoughts, sentiments and themes arise, that regardless of border, nationality or culture, pose similar philosophical questions.

Participating Artists:

Yasmin Sharabi Bahrain/ Palestine/ USA

To the Seafront,Video Projection on Dhow Sail. 2015

Yasmin recently visited Lamu town, a small town on Lamu Island, which is part of the Lamu archipelago in Kenya. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Lamu Town is Kenya’s oldest continually inhabited town, one of the first Swahili settlements on the eastern coast of Africa and was once the centre of the slave trade. There are no cars on Lamu Island- people get from place to place by foot, donkey or dhow. Despite it being predominantly Muslim, the architecture, culture, dress, music and language are indicative of African, Arab, Persian, Indian, Asian and European influences that define the Swahili Culture of East Africa. However, tourism, which many people are dependent on, has suffered immensely over the past few years due to the political climate- most of which has been exaggerated by the media. And now, there is a great deal of discussion about the controversial decision by the Kenyan government to build a port with the Chinese- the largest port in East Africa. Referred to as LAPSSET (Lamu Southern Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor), the project includes highways and pipelines across the region, much of which will lead to Lamu. In addition, the archipelago is envisioned to host a large airport, oil pipeline, oil refinery, railway and resort city.

To Yasmin, the cultural similarities between Lamu and Bahrain were striking, despite massive differences in levels of infrastructure and development. The continued use the traditional dhow, basket weaving, carved wooden doors, call to prayer, subtle scent of jasmine in the air- all hauntingly beautiful- to her, was nostalgic, but a nostalgia based on second- hand accounts and memories experienced through old mediums of documentation in Bahrain: stories, imagery and relics from the past. Her daily walks through the narrow alleyways toward the seafront, with an awareness of what the ‘future’ will entail, was like experiencing the present ‘in limbo’.

To the Seafront projects a visual collage of Yasmin’s video footage and interspersed still shots of parts of the old town, onto an old dhow sail that she purchased from a local fisherman in Lamu. She showcases part of a collection of imagery and footage that was selected and documented on her Instagram account. Constantly posting imagery over the duration of her trip was her outlet and means of communication with her ‘world’ in Bahrain.

Born in Athens Greece in 1981, Yasmin is Bahraini/ Palestinian/ American. Raised in Bahrain, she completed her BA in Studio Art/Art History at Concordia University, Montreal, CA (2004) and then went on to complete her MA in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London, UK (2006). She was Assistant Manager of Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, DIFC, Dubai (2007-9) before moving back to Bahrain where she worked for the Bahrain Financial Harbour as Curator and Manager of the Waterline Gallery (2009-2014). She divides her time between her consultancy, curating and focusing on and developing her own work that typically explores the expression of dualities and cultural controversy. She currently lives and works in Bahrain.

 Instagram: @yas_sharabi

 

Jenine Sharabi Bahrain/ Palestine/ USA

Blondie Girl  Digital Animation on Monitor, 2014

Digital Print on Canvas,164 x 110cm, 2014

Blondie Girl is part of an ongoing series about modern day icons of worship in the Arabian Gulf. In this series of work, Jenine explores the correlation between cultural topics and the rapidly changing social issues in the region. In Blondie Girl, the stereotype of man’s ‘fascination’ with a woman’s physical attributes is conveyed with an air of theatricality; where each of the characters are actors on stage set for cultural stereotypes.

While these works are a personal reflection of her observations growing up in the Middle East, it is equally, if not more important to her, that they exist as conversation pieces. In this light, social media is a prime tool for her to share her works with the public and spark a discussion without geographical, social or cultural limitations. Jenine’s approach employs humour and satire to lightheartedly highlight the topic of discussion, but she also hopes to encourage her audience to feel free to express an honest reaction to the work whether positive, negative or utterly absurd. Once she has illustrated what she wants to express in a manner that clearly translates to her audience, she feels she has succeeded.

Jenine was born in Athens, Greece in 1985 to an American mother and Palestinian father. In 1989, her family relocated to Bahrain, where she was raised. In 2008 she attained a BA (hons) degree in Graphic Design from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London. Jenine currently lives and works in Bahrain. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Bahrain and abroad including In the Open, Shubbak Festival, London, UK (2013). Her work ‘PDA’ received international acclaim and has been purchased by prominent collectors worldwide.

 Instagram: @j9sharabistudios

 

Salman Al Najem, Bahrain

Prolongation Oil on Canvas, 130 x 155 cm, 2013

Burning Mask Film, 2013

Potential 11 Oil on Canvas, 150 x 140 cm, 2013

Step Inside Film, 2013

Greatly influenced by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Salman’s use of medium could possibly be described as childlike – since it is expressive, vivid and roughly hewn in execution. His subject matter teeters between an observation of his physical world and his own internal conversations and cultural underpinnings. Despite his work appearing rather comical at times, the characters are executed with vibrant urgency, often emanating a sense of frustration and seriousness.

Salman recently obtained a BA in Interior design from the London College of Communication. He is currently based between Bahrain and London.

 Instagram: @smnajem

 

 Hirad Sab, Iran

Before One Eats. Still Projection

Hirad’s work presents alternative realities and how we, as artists, mediate dual identities through the mediums of digital collage and storytelling.

“The only connection I have to the culture that I was born into is through the screen- it’s a sense of nostalgia. At the same time, it’s just a virtual representation.” Hirad recognizes that we are at the intersections of various ‘diasporic identity crises’: real vs. digital simulation; motherland vs. Promised Land. Sometimes we sense this crisis and sometimes we are subject to the numbness of ‘commodity fetishism.’ After living in the US for over 5 years, he recognizes that the ideas he has about his culture likely differ from reality. “I look something up on Google but then I wonder, what scope is this actually covering?”

Paraphrased from an interview with Hirad on http://www.browntourage.com/magazine/hijab-ft-hirad-sab/

It’s the distance between these realities that he explores – and the distance between truth and perception. Before one Eats, may initially appear as a random collage of material; with possible references to mass media, consumerism, pop-culture and politics. In fact, what Hirad does is use these elements as a foundation, but the process of creation is as important as the resulting work. “Before one Eats began with a simple image of the Coke bottle and fabric. I took a break and read some articles on Palestine and the new MAC OSX. So I decided to use those in the piece.” One could define this technique as contemporary digital abstract expressionism- a random selection of material gathered from the media at a particular moment in time and then collaged together. Hirad was not consciously trying to express or divest any political message even if the resulting work appears to us as so. In this way, the work is a reflection of his current environment as well as the politics of our time. A presentation of opposing realities (coincidence vs. planned, chance vs. intention), our perception creates the message and so nothing is truly coincidental as we, the creator, are also part of the political makeup.

Sab grew up in Iran but currently studies Computer Science at the University of Utah. Instagram: @hiradsab

 

Asia Fuse, Bahrain

Indifferences Between Like and Love, Charcoal Pencil Drawing on Paper Overlaid with Projected Imagery

”The marriage of reason and nightmare that has dominated the 20th century has given birth to an ever more ambiguous world. Across the communications landscape move the spectres of sinister technologies and the dreams that money can buy. Thermo-nuclear weapons systems and soft-drink commercials coexist in an over-lit realm ruled by advertising and pseudo-events, science and pornography. Over our lives preside the great twin leitmotifs of the 20th century – sex and paranoia…….Increasingly, our concepts of past, present and future are being forced to revise themselves. Just as the past, in social and psychological terms, became a casualty of Hiroshima and the nuclear age, so in its turn the future is ceasing to exist, devoured by the all-voracious present. We have annexed the future into the present, as merely one of those manifold alternatives open to us. Options multiply around us, and we live in an almost infantile world where any demand, any possibility, whether for life-styles, travel, sexual roles and identities, can be satisfied instantly.” – J. G. Ballard

“The present no longer exists.” By that, Asia Fuse implies that our experiences have become something we project on other things that we feel can capture them better: we watch the lives of other people instead of living our own; we browse the pictures of someone elses’ holiday/food/friends; we use our smart phones to interact with other people, even when we are all sitting in the same room.

Asia collected false memories, at times forgetting that they never belonged to her. The feeling that follows is usually a constant state of disappointment with what she defines as “her comparatively mediocre state of existence”. The more this collection of imagery grows the less valuable everything becomes. Things come and go and the fear of not being a part of it is overwhelming. Tragedies and celebrations are pushed to both extremes; her senses eventually numb from overstimulation.

“We have created our own little universe, where we can block out the haters and accept our followers. The pages I like define me better than I can define myself. Our ever-expanding egos are a result of feeling like we are [literally] the center of the universe. Which makes us feel like we need to be a part of everything and thus everything will be a part of us.  We are being more indecisive because we are in the era of customization (aka making you feel super special), we feel entitled to have exactly what we want.  Mass production is old news and limited editions make me feel good. The problem is I don’t know what I want anymore”. – Asia Fuse

Born in Bahrain in 1988, Asia Fuse studied at Bentley University, Waltham MA (2010). She then went on to complete her MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University (2015). She currently lives and works between Bahrain and London. She has taken part in numerous exhibitions- in London and Bahrain. Notable exhibitions include: The Independent Artist Fair (TIAF), London, UK (2014), Guilty Pleasures, Sweet’art Gallery, London, UK (2014), In the Open, Shubback Festival, London, UK (2013). Asia recently worked with artist Polly Morgan and London Taxidermist Kim Zoe Wagner, helping taxidermy a baby giraffe in Manama, Bahrain.

Instagram: @asiafuse

 

Omar Al Abdulhadi, Saudi Arabia

A Selection of Work from Different Series’ including Broken is Beautiful, Now it Begins, New Fascinations and The Sound of Feelings. Digital Artwork Looped and Projected (2014)

The majority of Omar’s work explores pop culture, childhood and teenage nostalgia, warfare, mysteries of the orient and the far east, America’s Golden Age (1950’s) meets the Digital Age, Arabian and Bedouin culture, Cyberpunk and a digital utopian future.

 His series, Broken Is Beautiful visualizes his experience with “Glitch Art” which aestheticizes digital or analogue errors as pixelated images seen in corrupted video-tapes or floppy disks. By doing so, he suggests nostalgia- but one that is ‘modern’ in it’s creative process as he employs up-to-date computer software and tablet applications. Now It Begins also uses tablet applications to glitch personal photos to be used as avatars for his Facebook profile. Omar has recently been using other Art & Photo editing/effects applications that many Instagram users also employ.

Through Glitch Art and his fascination with the Cyberpunk Culture he came across artworks related to a sub-culture of Cyberpunk known as Seapunk. The artwork of Seapunk employs mirror imaging with influences from the sea, sea creatures, and 90’s Internet nostalgia, as it’s main theme. From here, Omar was inspired to use nostalgic technology from his personal past and mirror imaging, presented in New Fascinations. The Sound of Feelings pays heed to the music genres that have influenced him such as Shoegaze, Post Punk, Psychedelic, Darkwave, 80’s and 90’s, Chopped and Screwed, Trillwave and Vaporwave.

Omar Al Abdulhadi was born in 1976 in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He graduated from Saudi Electricity Company Training Institute and obtained his diploma in Management and Administrative Skills in 2001. He immediately went on to work for a Saudi Electricity Company and then as a Materials Coordinator for the SEC Training Institute. In 2013 he resigned from his job and invested his savings in the Saudi Stock Market, perusing his desire to make a living buying and selling stock.

Instagram: @omaralabdulhadi

 

Mo Awwad, Jordan

Minimal Intellectual Spaces,Projection of Looped Still Images

Mo’s Instagram images are minimalistic snapshots of architectural forms: an expression of his vision of his surroundings through simplistic geometry and shape. Paying particular attention to composition and color, the totality of the images that he presents on his Instagram page focus on negative space. In some ways this typographical collection is a statement about contemporary culture of the Middle East and the way it is projected through the urban architecture.

Mohammed Awwad is an Artist and Graphic Designer and User Interface designer currently based in Amman, Jordan. He studied Fine Art at the Academy of Arts (Egypt) and is a self-taught photographer, focusing on street photography and urban architecture.

Instagram: @m_awwad @mo_art

 

 

Double Tap #2

This second version of Double Tap presents digital artwork of varying subject matter whereby the differing modes of representation mirror each artist’s unique utilization of Instagram. The Gulf is specifically successful in how it uses Instagram as a new portal, a new meeting place, as well as a new auditorium to disseminate knowledge and thought. Double Tap explores how social media acts as a bridge between the two worlds of the physical and the digital, in turn, exposing new ways that global communities of artists are presenting their work.

Participating Artists:

Hirad Sab, Iran

Forgive + Forget, Still Projection

Hirad’s work presents alternative realities and how we, as artists, mediate dual identities through the mediums of digital collage and storytelling.

“The only connection I have to the culture that I was born into is through the screen- it’s a sense of nostalgia. At the same time, it’s just a virtual representation.” Hirad recognizes that we are at the intersections of various ‘diasporic identity crises’: real vs. digital simulation; Motherland vs. Promised Land. Sometimes we sense this crisis and sometimes we are subject to the numbness of ‘commodity fetishism.’ After living in the US for over 5 years, he recognizes that the ideas he has about his culture likely differ from reality. “I look something up on Google but then I wonder, what scope is this actually covering?”

Paraphrased from an interview with Hirad on http://www.browntourage.com/magazine/hijab-ft-hirad-sab/

It’s the distance between these realities that he explores – and the distance between truth and perception. Like most of Hirad’s works, Forgive and Forget creates surreal totems that confront the viewer. However, the setting that is created is calm and the depiction of objects seems non-threatening. Hirad does not consciously try to express or divest any pointed political message even if the resulting work appears to us as so. His usual specific technique for creation is akin to a contemporary form of digital abstract expressionism- a random selection of material gathered from the media at a particular moment in time and then collaged together. In this way, the work is a reflection of his current environment as well as the politics of our time. A presentation of opposing realities (coincidence vs. planned, chance vs. intention), our perception creates the message and so nothing is truly coincidental as we, acting as co-creator, are also part of the political makeup.

Sab grew up in Iran but currently studies Computer Science at the University of Utah.

Instagram: @hiradsab

 

Mo Awwad, Jordan

Minimal Intellectual SpacesProjection of Looped Still Images

Mo’s Instagram images are minimalistic snapshots of architectural forms: an expression of his vision of his surroundings through simplistic geometry and shape. Paying particular attention to composition and color, the totality of the images that he presents on his Instagram page focus on negative space. In some ways this typographical collection is a statement about contemporary culture of the Middle East and the way it is projected through the urban architecture.

Mohammed Awwad is an Artistt, Graphic Designer and User Interface Designer currently based in Amman, Jordan. He studied Fine Art at the Academy of Arts (Egypt) and is a self-taught photographer, focusing on street photography and urban architecture.

Instagram: @m_awwad @mo_art

 

Ibi Ibrahim, Yemen

Paris PeriodDigital Looped Series

It was during his first Art Residency in Paris, at Cite Internationale des Arts, that Ibi decided to start and use an Instagram account. He recognized the platform allowed him to connect with his audience and fellow artists independent of his physical location. He expressed his daily encounters and findings through this 3-month residency and treated all of his “Paris Period” images in Black and White as a representation of the state of mind he was living at that moment. These images resemble a certain element of loneliness and vulnerability; feelings he encountered living inside a small studio in a strange city for the first time.

“For quite a while my work circulated on issues of sexuality and gender in Muslim conservative societies; and that was something I continued to work with on my Instagram profile. At the same time, I started following other interesting accounts, which facilitated my venturing into other bodies of work. Through this discovery I created an entirely different body of work that was subsequently exhibited in my first solo exhibition in Dubai titled, ‘Light, Leaves, and Yemeni Coffee,’ in January 2015 at JAMM Art gallery.

The interest I received from other followers motivated me to become serious about the images I shared and in return the accounts I followed. Instagram almost became another art destination in my daily agenda – it allowed me to learn about many interesting art-related events and exhibitions, not only in Paris, but globally.

I now continue my Instagram project, while being based in Berlin, with my new art residency at GlogauAIR. The photographs I upload are now in color, representing a new perspective of my reality: raw and unfiltered but with lots to say.” – Ibi Ibrahim, February 2015.

Instagram: @ibiibrahim

 

Khalid Aljabri, Bahrain

One Frame MovieDigital Looped Series

“For the past four years, I’ve been documenting Manama and the rest of Bahrain, in search for the things we have either forgotten or perhaps have chosen to ignore in Bahrain. I often photograph the graffiti and writing on walls because I believe that once you write or draw anything on a wall it becomes something of great value, as a marker of history, along with every spontaneous act from anyone that an be viewed by public. Whether the images I capture recommend sorrow or joy, wisdom or pure silliness, they are all stories worth sharing.”

Khalid’s photography series titled “One Frame Movie” (#OneFameMovie), is an ongoing project that he shows on his account. These subtle, contemplative and intruiguing images lend to cinema as they are specifically framed to evoke a story. Khalid attempts to show the beauty in the details of everyday life in Bahrain that might easily be overlooked.

Khalid Aljabri, was born in Bahrain on march 14th 1987. He started photographing in 2007 and is a self-taught success. He took part in the annual Ta2 Alshabab’s art initiative in 2010 as an organizer, and joined Ulafaa (an art collective based in Bahrain which holds various exhibitions and stages public interventions) in 2013. Khalid entered Instagram’s “Suggested List” in 2014 and featured on their official account with his work of Manama Souq. He now has almost 20,000 instagram followers.

Instagram: @k_aljabri

 

Faisal Abdulrahman, Bahrain

TumblrismsDigital Looped Series

Participating for the first time in a physical public exhibition, newcomer Faisal, a Bahraini Digital Artist, is taking his work out of social media platforms and onto the walls of Malja. He has been using Instagram primarily as a vehicle to deliver his work for about two years now. His minimal studio contains a computer and a number of smart devices which he creates his work via a number of apps and/or programs ranging from advanced (Adobe) to primitive (MS Paint); all depending on the desired mood, aesthetic and visual result he wishes to achieve.

Firmly believing in the power of “relatibility” as the foundation for his work, he claims to have reached “the right kind of audience” thus gaining a serious following on the app. His work consists of digital collages and photo manipulations all within the realms of appropriation, juxtaposition and post-modernism; always using his own feelings or contemplations of personal dilemmas as a starting point. His content is always Internet Culture heavy and fueled by life experiences, existentialism and mass cultural preoccupations such as drugs, sex, and alcohol. He is greatly interested in contemporary and modern art and is passionate about counter-cultural and underground scenes as well as electronic music. Faisal is preoccupied with trying to find the best contemporary representation for various subjects while focusing on relationships in the Middle East from a progressive-Arab’s point of view, yet his work can be deemed inappropriate or vulgar due to its brutal honesty and graphic nature at times – therefore limiting his chances of reaching a wider range of audience within the region.

The collection of work presented here is titled “Tumblrisms” due to it’s resemblance to the content of the blogging platform “Tumblr”; these artworks were made under the influence of Tumblr’s content and in an attempt to add an Arabic point of view to the so-called “Alt-Art-Community” all in the name of the locally-resented freedom of expression.

Instagram: @xenofile

 

Jenine Sharabi, Bahrain/ Palestine/ USA

Ahabek FroYoDigital Illustration and Animation

Ahbek FroYo is the pre-cursor artwork to the Jenine’s Blondie Girl that was shown in the first edition of Double-Tap. The series discusses modern day icons of worship in the Arabian Gulf. This work was inspired by an event when she was working in her studio and observed a trail of ants following a leader up a wall and onto a kitchen counter towards one single crumb that lay there. She recognized that, “it is animal instinct to follow by example” and so started developing works based on this behavior that is replicated in modern day society in the Gulf.

Through this series of work Jenine explores social and cultural topics in the region that exist due to a range of both global and local shifts. While these works are a personal reflection of her observations and experiences growing up in the Middle East they equally, if not more, importantly exist as conversation pieces.

“In this light, social media is a prime tool for me to share my works with the public and spark a discussion without geographical, social or cultural limitations. My approach utilizes humour and satire to dramatize and highlight the topic of discussion in a light hearted manner. I also hope to encourage my audience to feel free to present an honest reaction to the work whether positive, negative or utterly absurd! Posting my work is not about getting likes and flowery flattery, its about seeing whether I have illustrated what I want to say in a manner that translates with my audience; it is the conversation it ignites that is the confirmation I have done the right thing.” – Jenine Sharabi, 2015

Jenine was born in Athens, Greece in 1985 to an American mother and Palestinian father. In 1989, her family relocated to Bahrain, where she was raised. In 2008 she attained a BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London. Jenine currently lives and works in Bahrain. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Bahrain and abroad including In the Open, Shubbak Festival, London, UK (2013). Her work ‘PDA’ received international acclaim and has been purchased by prominent collectors worldwide.

 Instagram: @j9sharabistudios

 

Yasmin Sharabi, Bahrain/ Palestine/ USA

“The Holy Land is Everywhere”- Black ElkProjection mapped on Drawing. 2015

Yasmin has never felt as if she is ‘belongs’ to a specific nationality- her father, Palestinian, in lost his home in 1955 and her mother’s ancestors who were homesteaders in South Dakota, occupied what Native Americans considered their land, a few centuries ago. And yet, she feels deeply connected to both of these places- South Dakota and Palestine. She often wonders, what she would be defined as- the occupier or the occupied? But in essence, what this means, is that in her quest for nationhood, to her, nationality doesn’t exist as a physical place or based on land- but rather as a concept.

In her work, Yasmin explores her ‘nationality’, by juxtaposing photographs taken during her travels to her ‘homelands’- places heavily weighted with the politics of religion and the concept of land ownership – South Dakota and Palestine. Employing traces of borders and barriers, overlaid with projected imagery collected during these journeys, she in turn maps her own identity.

Born in Athens Greece in 1981, Yasmin is Bahraini/ Palestinian/ American. Raised in Bahrain, she completed her BA in Studio Art/Art History at Concordia University, Montreal, CA (2004) and then went on to complete her MA in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London, UK (2006). She was Assistant Manager of Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, DIFC, Dubai (2007-9) before moving back to Bahrain where she worked for the Bahrain Financial Harbour as Curator and Manager of the Waterline Gallery (2009-2014). She is co-founder of an art consultancy based in Bahrain- Stafford & Sharabi, offering various services including organizing and curating specialized events that help promote artists and creatives in the Gulf Region.

Yasmin divides her time between her consultancy, curating and focusing on and developing her own work that typically explores the expression of dualities and cultural controversy.

Instagram: @yas_sharabi

 

Double Tap #3: 

@uncannysfvalley

Double-Tap 3 presents the work of Casey Kauffman- a Los Angeles based artist. Casey started her Instagram account- @uncannysfvalley- in May 2014 and since then has over 3500 followers. Initially, our knowledge of her work was simply based on following her Instagram account and we inquired as to whether or not she would be willing to create digital collages based on Bahrain and the region. Her tools for inspiration were purely web-based and utilizing her Instagram account to research a country and region she had little prior knowledge of, she created a new series virtual collages of her impression of a culture that she has never experienced first-hand.

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Casey Kauffman is from the San Fernando Valley of L.A., a stark suburban sprawl in Los Angeles California. “It’s hot, full of light, filled with strip malls, middle class homes that all look the same, and families. I love it and I hate it but I cannot deny its influence on me. My mother is a pageant queen from the Valley. My father, who was a radical hippie protester in the 60’s, worked in advertising at Mattel, making Barbie commercials, while I was growing up. Their values and interests, and the perspectives of my three sisters, have given me a unique view of feminism and media.”

“About five years ago I got sucked into the visual world of tumblr. The artists and bloggers I discovered helped shape my sense of humor and aesthetics. I went on to form similar relationships with followers and artists that I discovered through my @uncannysfvalley account on instagram. The constant flow of new imagery and exchange with the viewer provides an infinite source of inspiration and feedback. This virtual context for interaction taking place outside the walls of a gallery is a recent development in art world. For example, without social media and this very exhibition wouldn’t have been possible and for me it’s cultural implications are the most prevalent influence on my practice.”

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I make all of these collages on my iphone 4. I use two different apps to create my work, cybrfm and eraser. I use eraser to cut images out of photos basically making my own digital stickers. Cybrfm is a netart app that allows you to create digital collages by layering images. I gather my source material from tumblr and google image search, using images that don’t ‘belong’ to me- even those from other artists. My work is not made up of images I create; they are arrangements of images that already exist- recycled and remixed to create new meanings.

 Cybrfm doesn’t allow me to save and edit my collages, which means that every time I work on one I have to finish it if I don’t want to lose the piece. It can take me anywhere from half an hour to five hours to finish a piece. I used to make traditional arduous charcoal and graphite drawings, which has led me to the instant gratification of digital art. I can produce tons of work quickly and for free. I can upload a piece immediately after I make it and receive feedback from the viewer.”

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“Creating this body of work has been a revealing experience. It is challenging for me to comment on the Middle East- being as disconnected as I am to the region- a girl from the suburbs of Los Angeles! Most, if not all, of my research for this show, has come through social media. Sifting through profiles and hashtags such as #bahrainart on instagram has allowed me to find artists directly in the region. Asking my artist friends about Middle Eastern art that they like on Facebook has given me a more general understanding of contemporary art that exists there.

 I have little interest in political discourse or what differentiates us. On the contrary, I’m interested in what unites us. The collages I’ve made for this exhibition reflect the very process by which Yasmin and Frances found me. I wanted to talk about the fact that two badass female curators from the Middle East discovered my work and felt a connection; this is the power of social media. Though perspectives are relative to ones own experience the thing that unites humanity is our desire to be loved and feel connected to other people. That’s the philosophy behind the collages I’ve made, and behind Double Tap itself.”

 

Double Tap #4

#malja_hereandnow

The fourth edition of Double Tap- Here and Now– presents imagery collected from artists via Instagram. The brief was simple: express your immediate reaction to the statement ‘Here and Now’. Artists of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities were invited to post images on Instagram of as many works as they wanted, in any medium they desired, simply ensuring that they included the hashtag: ‘malja_hereandnow’ and a brief description of their work. The resulting body of work communicates emotions, current sentiments, common ground, unity despite diversity and the immediacy of social media in connecting artists worldwide. Through this visual imagery moments of quiet contemplation, introspection and spiritual consideration are common themes. Shared thoughts and sentiments arise that regardless of borders, nationality or culture, pose similar philosophical questions.

 

 

Isaac Sullivan @echoholdings

While the drawing tagged kairos is meant to insinuate a varied, socially constituted sense of the present – and the drawing tagged deixis suggests a voyeuristic instant in which a diagram or constellation of various presences, charted over time, is viewed from overhead – the photographs tagged metonymy trace the here and now as negatively defined. These are excerpted from a running series of photographs depicting image-adorned utilitarian and architectural surfaces primarily in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. While metaphor is a trope of superimposition and integration, metonymy can be understood as a trope of discontinuity, replacement, and fragmentation. This series imagines the pictorial inscription of architectural surfaces as rudiments anticipating the potential, widespread public use of holographic projections and augmented reality devices. In this scenario, architectural surfaces would often transmit pictorial content arbitrary to their material realities; instead, these surfaces would frequently double as nodes in an informational network used to create desires, provide information, or present an idealized image of what that place might become.


Mikele Roselli-Cecconi @satta_photography_

 I was born in South Africa and I currently live in Florence, Italy.

I’m a photographer in the pursuit of universal truths. I like to concentrate on the content of the image rather than on the aesthetic thereby allowing the viewer to pause and question themselves.


 Ishaq Madan @imadan92

The Girl in Red

Inspired by Coldplay’s “Fix You”, she reminds one of the the soothing lyrics “lights will guide you home” and is an expression of a sense of security as the girl in red follows the light to wherever home is perceived, in the present moment. The concept of home does not necessarily mean something physical.

Unseen Forces

The paranormal has long intrigued the human mind, yet psychologists are quick to debunk such phenomenon as mere illusions conjured up by the brain. Men like Winston Churchill & Alan Turing both believed in the supernatural. The idea behind this image attempts to emulate the concept of unseen forces in our world toying with us like puppets as we go on about our daily lives.

Desert Solitude

The tree of life has blessed many souls over the many years it grew in solitude. Footprints fade away as the desert breathes; yet carvings of names remain, years of memories embedded in it’s bark, as it grows wiser in solitude.

Midnight City

In this moment of time as I glanced upon our tiny little island slumbering, tranquility flowed through me like a smooth river during a cool spring morning. As she rests after another bustling day, her snores still keep me awake. Snores that constitute of souls on their way to their nightshifts, the freedom blessed upon cats and dogs alike, and a baby suddenly awoken by a car horn.

 

 

Desiree Sauter @desire.mi

My work is interdisciplinary and based on digital media. I am interested in making invisibility visible and creating an awareness of the unseen. Feelings cannot only be expressed in the pictures or music / sound, but also in vibrations. The emotional frequency coming from our surrounding world in form of sound, light or emotions, are digital painted through my technique of video- sound-painting. I record video that is a response to the environmental noise, the music I listen to, the breath and the voice that invites the image to ‘shake’. These vibrations will be interwoven within the image and over a period of time, creates an imprint of it.

 

Sergio Miranda @sergiomirandaphoto

 It’s while traveling that I experience different ways of human interaction. 

One kiss, right cheek; two kisses, one for each; no kiss, handshake; look in the eyes; foreheads encounter, noses touch; head down, eyes flicker, shy greeting; it’s a pleasure.

In each place I’ve witnessed different ways of connecting, which I sometimes feel disconnected to.

Where I come from we hug. We hug the loved, the known, the friend, the blood. We also hug the friend of a friend. We sometimes even hug the unknown, while celebrating a winning match or a shared victory. Hugging brings warmth; outer warmth and inner warmth. 

I am in Russia in mid Autumn, with temperatures of 0º to 5º C. Here and now I want you to hug.

……………………………………………….

Sergio Miranda is a photographer, traveler and yogi from Patagonia Argentina. In his blog, “images.of.life”, he presents his projects and adventures around the world.

 

Mai Al Khalifa @abk_art

Visual Communication is a language that can be understood amongst nations. Shapes, colours, patterns, and animation can influence the human mind as deeply as – if not greater – than any spoken or written language. Over the course of my studies and research I found that the subliminal messages our eyes decode, evoke certain feelings and may as well promote certain behaviors. My work is mostly experimental and it is also a form of self expression. I think, visualize, communicate and observe people through my art.

 

 

 

Marija Gluscevic @mariya_i_ya

Art is an echo- the intangible drift that needs to bounce in order to become energy. So I am “shouting”. Art needs a person at both ends in so it can ‘bounce’. 

 I create art that I would ‘live’ in. I draw a mental image that then comes to life so that I can ‘enter’ it. In this sense all objects have the potential to come to life – as they are inherent of energy. ‘Static’ doesn’t mean there is absence of movement. My work aims to grab hold of the dynamic within each exposed image. I take raw image of an object and rework it. This allows me to portray it the way that I see it. My art is my diary, each image a postcard from my journey.   

 Curating photos for Instagram is the same as reading prose. I am the kind of person who will underline in a book, each sentence or a word that has moved me. I will also likely write a footnote in a corner of a book page. Sometimes, I will make a small drawing that reflects the thoughts or emotions that drove me to underline the text in a first place. I curate my photos for Instagram in the same way: “Underlined” photos, all with footnote hidden within the image as an object or color or any kind of sensation, shall find their place, regardless of whether or not they ‘fit’ in. We never limit ourselves to one book, story or genre. So I continually “underline” all kinds of “content” and that which I fail to capture that movement, I shelve like a book I’ve read once, but which was not memorable.

Marija Gluscevic was born 1975 in Belgrade where she finished International Public Law at The University of Law.

Before she moved to Bahrain in January 2013, she was a Risk Manager at an international telecommunications company and lawyer for the music festival Exit. She wrote poetry from the early age and won several awards for young poets. She is also a former dancer. For the last few years she began to explore her interest in photography, painting and installation.

 

Derek Sikes @derek_von_derek

Derek James is a documentary photographer from San Francisco, California.  Inspired by Robert Frank, Henry Wessler, and Lewis Baltz, Derek primarily works with monochromatic analogue film and a 1957 Leica M2 and occasionally shoots digitally under a strict “straight photography” code.  His work highlights facets of daily life often overlooked in the rush of our busy lives.  His work has been featured numerous times on @filmphotographic, an instagram collective currated by the Actor/Photographer Jason Lee.  Additionally he is a part of the Street Photography Now Community.

 

 David Tamargo @davidtamargo

 Selections from: No Longer Chasing, 2015

 Persons depicted in the photographs are merged with the physical landscape to reflect a connection with time, space and emotional relationships. The series is called “No Longer Chasing”; conceived with a desire to portray the concept that chasing enlightenment is like unlearning object permanence.

 

 Isa Swain @dickiejohnsonmcboob

“Be here now. Be now here.”

 

Noora Al Doseri @hlllawllla

Here and Now- time that is preserved, that is unmoving. Instagram can be a permanent pocket crucible for one’s unfiltered thoughts, a mausoleum of art in endless forms. Through my art, an ongoing narrative, I battle to transcend the parameters of a brief sojourn on earth, and find ethereal truth and beauty in the details. My photography; frequently taken in zoomed-in, confrontational distances, of faceless portraits of the mundane that undeservingly escapes perception and gratitude, of emotions once felt, of thoughts wrestled with, of mistakes made, and of lessons learned.

 

Joey @infjoey

I create mandalas on watercolour paper with ruler, pencil and compass/ protractor, and then draw over this with various inks. I aim to blend as many styles from around the globe into one, constantly learning new techniques and integrating them into my art. These mandalas are a form of meditation and therapy for me and I use this in combination with my yoga practice to help keep a still mind whilst remaining physically present. The majority of my mandalas are sacred geometry, the oldest patterns and shapes known to man. These are all creation patterns that are found in every living organism on planet earth!

#doubletap_malja

@doubletap_maljabahrain

@maljabahrain