Artists in Residence: Ali Momeni and Jenny Schmid

On the night of June 4, 2011, the Twin Cities hosted Northern Spark – its first Nuit Blanche or “white night” festival – a dusk to dawn participatory event bringing together artists and the community in interactive projects throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. That evening, the MIA’s 24th street entrance was transformed by “MIA Inside/Out: Battle of Everyouth,” a kinetic digital projection by Iranian-American experimental media artist Ali Momeni and his collaborator, Minneapolis-based artist Jenny Schmid.

During their residency, Momeni and Schmid worked closely with a team of 90 ninth-graders from Washburn High School in the spring of 2011 to create an interactive projection performance. The projection served as a vehicle to animate timely and relevant issues, including what happens to youth in a culture enmeshed in violence and war. A blend of cinema, participatory theater, animation, and live performance, “Battle of Everyout” aimed to create a context for exploring the subject of global youth and violence.

Artist Ali Momeni is an assistant professor in the Department of Art at Carnegie Mellon Univerity, Pittsburgh, and director of the Spark Festival. He has exhibited collaborative art installations in Paris, Madrid, and Tokyo.

Jenny Schmid is an associate professor of printmaking at the University of Minnesota. She has received numerous grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright to study in Bratislava, Slovakia. Recent exhibitions were held in Arizona and California. Schmidt and Momeni’s collaborative animation was included at Philagrafika in Philadelphia.

“MIA Inside/Out: Battle for Everyouth” was made possible by a Joyce Award, the Carolyn Foundation and the Friends of the Institute, with additional support from Northern Spark and Best Buy Children’s Foundation.

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