Contributor / Performer / Masterclass Leader / Speaker
Islam Shabana is an interdisciplinary artist and a digital media designer who works at the intersection of technology within the human’s mental faculties, mythology, and Islamic philosophy. Exploring concepts like system-social dynamics, religious performative rituals, occult practices, poetry, simulation, science fiction, and future speculations. Examining how different technologies are interweaving these concepts producing/reproducing entangling structures between myth, fiction, and physical realities. Within such complex intersectional realms, the digital medium is emphasizing the shift in cognitive processes, oscillating the human experience and imagination between reality and hyperreality, human and non-human, physical and mental spaces.
He holds a BA in Visual Arts from the American University in Cairo, and an MA in Digital Media Design from the University of the Arts, Bremen. Shabana’s Master thesis was a theoretical manifesto titled “The Digital Image As A Transcendental Medium: A Manifesto on relating the digital image to the mental image through the field (Barzakh) of imagination in Ibn Arabi’s philosophy”. His Master’s project was developing a platform that generates and manipulates audio/visual content using the EEG readings of the brain.
In 2013 Shabana founded Alchem Studio, a studio that works in the intersection of art, design, and technology. Alchem Studio until now is a pioneering entity in the scene of Audio/Visual arts and Interactive Design. The studio develops its own breakthrough technology of building multi-sensors systems and solutions, to produce advanced large-scale interactive installations.
In 2016, Shabana co-founded Mapping Possibilities, a platform and a festival focusing on Audio/Visual performance practices in Egypt. Mapping Possibilities connects visual artists and media designers to music producers and sound artists to collaborate on Audio/Visual projects. The platform focuses on giving new emerging practitioners the opportunity to show advanced technological experimentations on visual and sound production. Throughout 5 years of organizing one night events with more than 20+ A/V performances shown in different cultural spaces, as well as Cinema Zawya as a major partner. Later to program a festival in 2019 with a wider range of activities such as educational workshops and panel discussions exploring the fields and the technologies of image and sound.
Shabana’s work has been featured in several group exhibitions shown in the Townhouse gallery in Cairo, The Mosaic Room in London, Iwalewahaus in Bayreuth, Halle 14 in Leipzig, Berlin Art Week 2014, Cairotronica; the Cairo Electronic and New Media Arts Symposium. Audio/Visual performances featured in Boiler Room, RNCM – Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. HAU Theatre, CTM festival 2018 in Berlin.
Contribution to Tasmeem