About

making, teaching, researching

My work is provoked by confusion between disciplines. For many years, I have been troubled by the miscommunication and silos of information, in particular between the fields of art, design, technology and the humanities. The challenges we face require collaboration between engineers who can make things work, artists who can push the limits of the possible, and analysts who can relentlessly critique the complex systems we operate in. I often taken on the role of a go-between, a catalyst working in the interstices between disciplines, people and institutions. Between material and conceptual realms. Between technology that is born and that which is made. Between past and future alternatives.

Originally trained in Anthropology and Philosophy, I have spent the past 10 years working in the field of photography, digital media and media arts education, as well as cultivating a collaborative studio practice of cross-media projects such as interactive installations, digital crafts, animation, game design, creative writing and facilitating workshops. My practice revolves around fostering forms of resistance and pressure points to act in the face of social inequalities and impending ecological disasters.

Currently, I am exploring building temporary pedagogical spaces and tactical interventions in public discourse participatory sculptures.

shailoh@studiobabel.nl

+31 (0)630161205

Derde Kostverlorenkade 35 / 1054  TS Amsterdam

Photography in the expanded field

We are entering an age that calls for undisciplining photography: constantly repositioning within the wider context of visual cultures, while inviting collaboration with researchers, scientists, and storytellers from other disciplines. Embracing the accessibility of the medium, the potential of change, and the power of thinking with images. I therefore espouse an expanded and provisional view of photography, looking at a wide spectrum of emergent practices, including 3D renders, NFTs, archival practices, computer-generated and manipulated images, composites, hybrid media installations, performance, participatory practices, and nonhuman images made by and for machines. In my professional practice, I keep tabs on emergent technologies and popular culture, so I always have a keen sense of what’s happening now, and what’s coming next. To understand the future, we also need to remember the past, cultivating a historical awareness beyond the fetish of newness. And to look across cultures and borders, as a constant reminder that we inhabit a pluriverse.

Such a wide angle on photography is pertinent, as Ariella Azoulay points out, as the invention of photography is deeply entangled with an imperial mode of vision. Photography can transform people into objects, and objects into commodities with a click of the shutter. Such an approach so easily disconnects a viewer from being present in the world. It takes practice to remind ourselves that our environment is not there to be seen and captured; there may be someone also looking back at us. Unlearning imperialism and decolonizing photography can start with acknowledging our complicity. Photos can unwittingly embody and perpetuate a superficial colonial gaze, reproducing hierarchies, removing images from their context, and prioritizing visuality over other modes of sensing. This ongoing work leads us to a sustained attention to dialogue, exclusionary mechanisms, unconscious bias, embodied connections, and visual literacy. If we see photography not only as producing images to contemplate from afar, but as a reciprocal relationship, an event, and as an invitation to be present with all our senses, there is a passage to emancipatory and transformative practices that can engage with the burning questions of our time in meaningful ways.

Some current projects include:

Material Practices Working Group (Critical Making consortium)

The Patent Liberation Front
mining forgotten inventions

Kaba Kopya
documenting the pedagogical spaces of peace academics in Turkey

Salwa Foundation
building an informal arts education community for people who are new in the Netherlands

***website currently under construction***