Commissioned Powerpoint for Global Art Forum 6 at Art Dubai 2012

PowerPoint is omnipresent. From bored boardrooms and continuing education seminars to military briefings at the Pentagon and in Kabul, with art fairs in between. Editor/art historian Victoria Camblin has curated a special series of PowerPoints, created collaboratively by contemporary artists, writers, creative entities and duos, that celebrate, critique and creatively exploit the medium's strange, story-telling familiarity.

Through the abstracted framework of a promotional slideshow, the product of "Jemsheed," a devotional love song by Ayshay (Fatima Al Qadiri), and "Multitouch", a series by visual artist Kari Altmann, is revealed. The nonsensical glyphs created by human response to touchscreen interfaces are presented as a new, hybrid, and alien language—unearthed from beneath the system of screens and images that technology uses to demonstrate and sell itself.

The repetition of the name Jemsheed in the song, like the repetition of hand movements onscreen, is an expression of devotional desire. The Powerpoint, made as a response to the music by Kari Altmann for Global Art Forum, posits this devotional yearning toward a larger system that aims for bodily control. The result of this new interaction creates a new language, whose glyphs appear more and more complex and exoskeletal. Like remnants from an unknown civilization, they suggest a relationship that is both distant and intimate, at once familiar and unrecognizable.


Original Commission by Victoria Camblin for Art Dubai Global Art Forum 6, 2012
Additional Versions and Support from Banner Repeater (London) 2013 and Siobhan Davies Dance Company (London) 2016