2012-2015: Digital Works

2012-2015: Digital Works

Digital, 2012-2015


Absent Rhyme, 2015, video-audio, 2 minutes and 12 seconds
Pantea Karimi and Phil Spitler

Absent Rhyme has been exhibited in Root Division in San Francisco and in the Euphrat Museum of Art in Cupertino and received a review and interview in Mercury News in Nov. 2015.

Absent Rhyme is composed of quatrain poems in Tat language and an audio piece that showcases, with some degree of accuracy, what the language may sound like. Poetry plays a pivotal role in the culture and language of the region, therefore highlighting the quatrain poem as representational of aesthetics of the Tat language brings to attention the fate of this vanishing tongue from broader Iranian culture.

Tat or Tati is a North-Western Iranian dialect that uses Persian script. The language also has a sub-branch called Judeo-Tat spoken by Jews of Caucasus. Tat is classified as “severely endangered” by UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger.

Euphrat Museum

Absent Rhyme, 2015, video-audio projection and blackboard mural, 2 minutes and 12 seconds,

Installation view at Euphrat Museum of Art, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA

Pantea Karimi and Phil Spitler

Euphrat Installation

Absent Rhyme, mural installation, Euphrat Museum of Art, Cupertino, CA

Root Dision

Absent Rhyme,2015, video-audio, 2 minutes and 12 seconds,  installation view, Root Division, San Francisco, CA

Pantea Karimi and Phil Spitler

Taking the Revolution Inside, 2014, video-audio, 1 minute and 52 seconds

Taking the Revolution Inside has been exhibited in Theory of Survival: Fabrications in Southern Exposure in San Francisco.

Taking the Revolution Inside captures snapshots of my childhood during the Iranian revolution of 1979 and its aftermath. Scenes from my daily life are set against the iconic images of the revolution. These animated composites address how I did or did not take the revolution “inside.” At times the revolution defeated me: the ideological messages of the state-run TV programs, ideas of religious school teachers, and war propaganda penetrated the depth of my thoughts; other-times the revolution was defeated by me and my very many ways of resisting the meta-narratives: my obsession with little “unlawful” things that surfaced in our lives through the black market (such as posters of ABBA, videotapes, and music cassettes of Michael Jackson and Madonna). Still, there were times when neither of us defeated the other. As we both matured, we learned to cohabit. Taking the Revolution Inside is a personal account of a historic event. It is a way of voicing the simple (but often ignored) fact that the revolution was as much a public phenomenon as it was a mundane, daily routine.


Taking the Revolution Inside, 2014, installation view, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA

Middle of Nowhere Locating a Retained Memory

Middle of Nowhere: Locating a Retained Memory, 2013, recorded narrative, 5 minutes

Middle of Nowhere: Locating a Retained Memory has been exhibited in The Chasm Arena, Yerba Buena Art Center in San Francisco and in War and Healing in Euphrat Museum of Art in Cupertino.

My dad was a chief army civil engineer during the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-1988. After a few months of serving on the front-lines, he was injured while he was fixing a canal wall. Middle of Nowhere: Locating a Retained Memory features my voice reading two of my dad’s translated letters, he wrote to my mother from the front-lines and later from the hospital. The letters include his experience of war and the moment he was injured.


Middle of Nowhere: Locating a Retained Memory, 2013, installation view, Yerba Buena Art Center, San Francisco, CA

The Hubbub of Human Magma, 2012, video-audio, 99 seconds

Image and video: Pantea Karimi
Soundtrack: Daniel Konhauser

The Hubbub of Human Magma has been exhibited in a group exhibition in The Future Imagined: What’s Next?, 2012 ZERO1 Biennial in San Francisco, and in the War and Healing exhibition in Euphrat Museum of Art in Cupertino.

The Hubbub of Human Magma features my juxtaposed, digitized watercolor paintings (The Logic of Human Magma series) with iconic images and symbols. In 99 seconds, The Hubbub of Human Magma chronicles the supremacy of ordinary people in the face of insurmountable power of establishments. The video is accompanied by a composed audio piece of hubbub in various languages showcasing the dawn of Peoples Spring. The unfolding drama is less about ideological cohesion and more a narrative of common mankind. The Hubbub of Human Magma compresses the present to ask the question of “What is Next?”


The Hubbub of Human Magma; 4 still images from the video



7hrs 7min 100 °F 35°N 51°E, 2013, 4 digital photo collage

7hrs 7min 100 °F 35°N 51°E has been exhibited in a group show in The Other, the Mediterranean Biennale of Contemporary Art of Oran in Algeria.

7hrs 7min 100 °F 35°N 51°E portrays my experience on June 4, 2013, on the way to a resort town in Northern Iran. We were stuck in a halt for 7 hours and 7 minutes in 100 degrees, 33 miles outside Tehran.



Transition (i, ii and iii), 2013, 3 digital photo-collage

The Transition has been exhibited in a group show in Exploring Urban Identities in De-Industrialized Cities in the New Bedford Museum of Art in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Transition (i, ii and iii) depict past, present and future of a city with industrial function and historic presence. The layered images of Wamsutta Mills and Mill Inventory residential buildings and the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s ships and whale skeleton structures are presented in a landscape format as a metaphor for an ongoing narrative.