Ali Eslami

IR, 1991
  • resident
    • 2021 – 2023

Artist Statement

Ali Eslami's work originates in Virtual Reality, often manifesting as VR / Video Installations and performance lectures. These long-term research projects build up and grow over time through speculative thinking and world-building. by carefully observing the nature of reality, human condition, and constructs that are taken for granted. And tries to push it further to extreme or twisted thresholds. His early influences in art practice came from surrealism, developing alongside a recent fascination with speculative fiction such as the works of J.G Ballard and Theory fiction. His engineering background nurtured an obsession with cybernetics and continues to build his curiosity towards the shifting roles of form and function that create virtual worlds. These experiences produce realities that blur fictional and non-fictional narratives and hope to articulate possible futures while questioning the restaurants of space, time, and body. As a practice, this engineering of other worlds brings a lot of exciting methods and reflections to the embodied reality of life itself. In this sense, it has the potential to function as a feedback loop between the real and unreal.

In 2016, his VR project won the IDFA DocLab Award for “Best Immersive non-fiction” and in 2020 the Golden Calf for Best interactive at Nederlands Film Festival (Nerd_Funk). Side activities include Co-curator at STRP Festival and Program advisor at IDFA Doclab.

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