Pigment prints of my photos are cut up and shaped into sculptural objects, snapshots of my family formed into hybrid beasts. Almanacs imagines the moments of daily life as material to be mined for unexpected synchronicities, larger shapes of meaning that emerge from the particularities of the play of light upon a wall or the coinciding of two unrelated moments. Patterns appear, predictive models emerge, as in the case of weather forecasts and tide tables in a traditional almanac.
This project began with research into the disapeared Lower Manhattan neighborhood of ‘Little Syria’, the al Mahjar literary movement that blossomed there, and over the years involved historic preservation efforts, documentation and maintenance of an historical archive, a participatory parade in conjunction with the 2015 Armory Show, and a two-year residency at the Queens Museum (2014-2016) during which ephemera from the archive were situated into an evolving sculptural installation in conversation with the utopiam architectural visions and urban renewal operations of Robert Moses.
A cycle of short mixed-media animations loosely transcribing The Book of Khalid (1911) by my relative Ameen Rihani. The video was produced in stereoscopic 3D, the tension between the two optical channels relating to the dual protagonists of this forgotten proto-Orientalist novel.
This series of works arose from the study of Little Syria , and is to some extent a culmination of the Little Syria Archive and related preservation work.
In 2006, I found myself squatting in Allen Ginsberg’s derelict East Village Apartment. The next two years of cohabitation occasioned a series of animations, collaborations with other artists, and ultimately a re-creation of the 1959 Robert Frank / Alfred Leslie film, “Pull My Daisy”. This recreation incorporates the tension between individual authorship, collaboration, and improvisation that defined the original production, and our original footage has evolved into an ongoing series of improvisational quasi-narrative performance/screenings between myself and musician Baby Copperhead.