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Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation


Tentacular Festival | Mariam Ghani & Marisa Mazria


The metaphors we use to describe social phenomena shape the way we understand, interpret and respond to these forces, and are therefore necessarily political. Over the years, we’ve seen how these metaphors can be weaponized by governments, corporations, or advertisers, and in the age of social media and meme culture, this process is further accelerated and multiplied. In her forthcoming archival essay film, DIS-EASE, artist and filmmaker Mariam Ghani (AF/US) looks at metaphors of illness and contagion to reveal how more than a century of waging “war on disease” affects our medical treatment, health insurance, responses to epidemics, and planning for future pandemics. For Tentacular 2019, Ghani produced an excerpt of the feature-length film based on new research, commissioned by Matadero Madrid in partnership with Eyebeam. She is joined onstage by Eyebeam’s Editorial Director Marisa Mazria Katz, who oversees Eyebeam’s Center for the Future of Journalism, to discuss the role of artists in investigative research.

Mariam Ghani is an artist, writer, and filmmaker. Her work looks at places, spaces and moments where social, political and cultural structures take on visible forms, and spans video, sound, installation, photography, performance, text and data. She has exhibited and screened at the Guggenheim, MoMA, Met Breuer and Queens Museum in New York, and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the CCCB in Barcelona, the Rotterdam and CPH:DOX film festivals, the Sharjah and Liverpool Biennials, the Dhaka Art Summit, and Documenta 13 in Kabul and Kassel, among others. Ghani is known for projects that engage with places, ideas, issues and institutions over long periods of time, often as part of long-term collaborations. Ghani’s first feature-length film, the documentary What We Left Unfinished, premiered at the 2019 Berlinale and is currently on its festival run.

Marisa Mazria-Katz is a NY-based journalist/editor born and raised in Los Angeles. She has contributed to numerous publications and television channels on culture, politics and design, including: The New York Times, Time, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, The Guardian, The Economist, The New Republic, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and many others. In addition to her writing, Marisa is the Editorial Director for Eyebeam, a nonprofit studio for collaborative experiments with technology toward a more imaginative and just world. Marisa oversees the newly launched Eyebeam Center for the Future of Journalism.

Eyebeam provides both space and support for a community of diverse, justice-driven artists. Their annual residency program, highly engaged community of alumni, advanced tools and resources, shows and events help artists bring their work to life and out into the world. Eyebeam enables people to think creatively and critically about technology’s effect on society, with the mission of revealing new paths toward a more just future for all.