Morehshin Drawing by Melissa Aguilar
Image: Morehshin and Jinn by Melissa Aguilar

The Ghost and The Flesh | A lecture by Morehshin Allahyari | Thursday, December 5, 2019 | 7pm

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art | 1, 460 Portage Ave | Winnipeg MB | Canada

Plug In ICA and The Institute for the Humanities, University of Manitoba present The Ghost and The Flesh,  a lecture by Morehshin Allahyari as part of Labour of Love: On Digital Economies in the Arts, a series of lectures, screenings, and workshops.

Allahyari’s work and thinking are critically leading international conversations on digital colonialism. She is well-known for her 3-D printed works that reshape and reclaim lost Iranian and other Middle-Eastern artworks and artefacts destroyed by occupations and war. Her new body of work, She Who Sees the Unknown, takes up the notion of “re-figuring” as a feminist and decolonialist practice. Researching female monsters, jinn (anglicised as genies) and dark goddesses of Middle-Eastern origin, Allahyari devises narratives through practices of magic and poetic-speculative storytelling, re-appropriation of traditional mythologies, collaging, meshing, scanning, and archiving. For her presentation at Plug In, Allahyari will discuss the intense research and the invisible labour of digital and technological tools, focusing specifically on archiving, 3D modeling, digital fabrication, and re-figuring current digital narratives in relationship to her artwork.

Morehshin Allahyari (b. 1985 in Tehran, Iran) is a media artist, activist, educator, and curator. She has been part of numerous exhibitions, festivals, and workshops around the world including the Venice Biennale di Archittectura; the New Museum, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Pompidou Center, Paris; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal; Tate Modern, London; Queens Museum; Dallas Museum of Art; and Museum für Angewandte Kunst. She has been an artist in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts (2013); Carnegie Mellon University’s STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Pittsburgh (2015); Autodesk Pier9 Workshop, San Francisco (2015); the Vilém Flusser Residency Program for Artistic Research in association with Transmediale, Berlin (2016); Eyebeam Research Residency, New York (2016-2017); Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (2018); and Harvest Works, New York (2018). Allahyari’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Wired, Parkett Art Magazine, Frieze, and Hyperallergic. Her work has been covered by the BBC, NPR and Al Jazeera, among other news outlets. She is the recipient of the leading global thinkers of 2016 award by Foreign Policy magazine. Her 3D Additivist Manifesto video is in the collection of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and recently she has been awarded major commissions by Rhizome, New York; the New Museum; The Whitney Museum of American Art; the Liverpool Biennale, and FACT, London, to work on developing different components of her current project She Who Sees The Unknown.

Labour of Love, or LOL, takes the “public course” as a platform for engagement, this program highlights the various ways in which the digital is interrogated, explored, celebrated, pushed to its limit, reworked, re-invented by artists, scholars, curators, writers and others. The course encompasses a full array of events, delving into such topics as coding, circuit bending, VR, 360 video, gaming, scanning, and 3D printing. Divided into two streams, a lecture and screening series, and workshops, Labour of Love at its most general examines the relationship between the economics of labour and the digital arts as it contends with the conditions of racial capitalism. As a research platform, we aim to build an understanding of the digital by presenting artists who invent new trajectories through various technologies.

All lectures and screenings are free and open to the public.

This talk is available in our online video archive.

Associated Programming:

Labour of Love: On Digital Economies in the Arts

October 17 to December 17, 2019

Thursday, October 17 | 7pm

Screening: Videos by Hannah Black

October 17-November 17

Screening in Plug In’s Breezeway

More, Less, About the Same (2019)

By Alyssa Bornn

Thursday, November 7 | 7pm

Lecture by Suzanne Kite

Monday, November 18 | 8pm

Presentation by Hyphen-Labs

Friday, November 22 | 6pm

Presentation by IM4 Media Lab

Friday, November 22-23

Workshop by IM4 Media Lab

Monday, December 2 | 7pm

Lecture by Ali Shamas Qadeer

Co-presentation with School of Art, Graphic Design, University of Manitoba

Monday, December 2-6

Workshop by Ali Shamas Qadeer

Thursday, December 5 | 7pm

Lecture by Morehshin Allahyari

Co-presentation with Institute for the Humanities, University of Manitoba

Tuesday, December 17 | 7pm

Keynote Address by Hannah Black

December 6, 2019 – March 6, 2020

Screening in Plug In’s Breezeway

Soft Nails ~ [ASMR] Kleincomputer Robotron KC87

By Nadja Buttendorf

For participant bios + more information on the program:

This program is made possible through the Digital Strategy Fund: Digital and Intelligence by the Canada Council for the Arts.


Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art recognizes we are in the territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Dakota, Dene, Métis, and Oji-Cree Nations. Plug In ICA is situated in Treaty 1 territory, the ancestral and traditional homeland of Anishinaabe peoples. Treaty 1 was signed in 1871, taking this territory from seven local Anishinaabe First Nations in order to make the land available for settler use and ownership (Referenced from the University of Winnipeg).

Plug In ICA extends gratitude to our artists, generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers, with special thanks to our Director’s Circle.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enables us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Angela Forget:

For more information on this and our other education programs, contact Nasrin Himada at

For general information please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043

University of Manitoba Logo

This lecture is a co-presentation with Institute for the Humanities, University of Manitoba