Meta-Functions of Cultural Production / Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts in Qatar (QA), Photo: markus schneeberger

Meta-Functions of Cultural Production

Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts in Qatar (QA)

As VCUarts Qatar’s inaugural participation in the ARS Electronica Campus Exhibition, Meta-Functions of Cultural Production features a selection of 10 works produced by undergraduate and graduate students and student-faculty collaborations. Reflective of the diverse creative and cultural ecosystems of Qatar and the larger SWANA region, this exhibition presents a multifaceted exploration into the metafunctionality of cultural production and preservation.

Students and faculty on the Qatar-based campus engage in a plurality of hybrid forms of creative practice-crossing domains and intersections in art, design, science and technology. This exhibition showcases the creative outcomes of multidisciplinary explorations, highlighting the innovative and highly collaborative approaches cultivated by our community.

Unpacking complex issues and challenges through critical insights and new perspectives, the selected works invite visitors to explore and unpack meaning through cultural forms and contexts existing within systems of communication, behavior, and interaction. Meta-Functions of Cultural Production includes a selection of works exploring Arabic typographic forms, nanotechnology for increased functionality in textiles, generative processes translating pattern to sound, usages of AI datasets for blind contour drawings, prototyping for responsive architecture and a visual exploration in cultural conceptions of place.

  • Electric Calligraphy

    Electric Calligraphy

    Lana Abou Selo (US), Fatima Abbas (SD), Levi Hammett (US)

    Electric Calligraphy is a series of Arabic typeface designs that re-examine the evolutionary path of the Arabic script within the Latin-based technological constraints, adding new perspectives to the discourse of contemporary type design.

  • Fast Paced Life

    Fast Paced Life

    Ghayda Abduljalil (JO)

    Fast Paced Life is a mixed media audio-visual installation about mindless habits that leave temporary senses of satisfaction: such as scrolling through social media, fast fashion, smoking, fast walking and fast food.

  • Morphing Memories

    Morphing Memories

    Jameela AlHumaidi (QA)

    Morphing Memories is a generative artwork that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to explore fusing blind-contour art to create an abstract and dynamic image.

  • Nanoabaya


    Noor Rashid Butt (QA), Khaled Saoud (US), Christopher Fink (US)

    Designed by Fashion Design student Noor Rashid Butt in collaboration with Physics Professor Khaled Saoud, the Nanoabaya is treated using nanotechnology that absorbs UVB rays to improve the synthesis of Vitamin D by the skin and block the sun’s harmful rays in extreme summer climates

  • Preceding Emptiness

    Preceding Emptiness

    Levi Hammett (US), Mohammad Suleiman (JO), Hind Al Saad (QA), Fatima Abbas (SD)

    Preceding Emptiness is a light installation that imagines alternative typographies by constructing unconventional language display technologies.

  • Rays of Essence

    Rays of Essence

    Hind Al Saad (QA), Sara Khalid (SA), Joshua Rodenberg (US), Fatima Abbas (SD)

    Rays of Essence allows viewers to interact with projected Arabic forms.

  • Sacred Silence

    Sacred Silence

    Basma Hamdy (EG), Shima Aeinehdar (IR), Selma Fejzullaj (AL)

    Sacred Silence explores the Arabic letter nun (ن).

  • Stimulated Fashion

    Stimulated Fashion

    Hadeer Omar (EG)

    Simulated Fashion is an immersive video created by students in Art Foundation’s Time Studio.

  • Stitch by Stitch

    Stitch by Stitch

    Naima Almajdobah (JO)

    Stitch By Stitch is designed to experience, translate and spread the rich visual culture and diversity of traditional Palestinian textile patterns using modern techniques and mediums including visual communication and sonification.

  • Transformative Distortions

    Transformative Distortions

    Jood Elbeshti (LY)

    Transformative Distortions explores the transformation of a rigid shape, a square, into a fluid object through motion.

Established in 1998, VCUarts Qatar is the international branch of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts in Virginia, USA. It offers a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design, interior design, painting and printmaking, bachelor of arts in art history, and master

of fine arts in design. The campus fosters cross-cultural exchanges and attracts renowned artists and designers for teaching and speaking engagements, while hosting events including Tasmeem Doha, an art and design biennial, and Hamad bin Khalifa Islamic Art Symposium.