Systems of oppression cannot be fought by the same set of tools and ethos of war that perpetuate them.

Alysse Stepanian (Aug 6, 2016)

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Alysse Stepanian is a US-based and Iranian-born transmedia artist, independent curator and “animal” rights advocate (human and not). She has exhibited in over 45 countries and her writings have been translated into Spanish, Finnish, and French.

Current projects include a series of 3D animations titled #MemoryoftheUniverse. Her creative work, research and writings are focused on the effects of nationalism and politics of fear, the importance of intersectionality in fighting injustices such as racism, sexism and speciesism, the concept of global collective consciousness in a digital age, and the struggle against the homogenization or Westernization of consumer culture. Stepanian thinks that art is about creative problem solving and figuring out the relationships between concepts and events, and she is interested in the use of technology in ethical and creative ways that help expand human consciousness.

She has lectured about interconnected oppressions concurrent with her co-curated exhibition of video art by 20 Iranian women, “Nietzsche Was A Man”, at the Pori Art Museum in Finland (Feb 6 – May 24, 2015), Malmö Konsthall in Sweden (April 10 – June 15, 2014), and Museo Ex Teresa Arte Actual in Mexico City (June 7 – July 31, 2013). The title of this show points to the prevalent dualistic patriarchal worldview that subordinates and exploits nature and the powerless, separates men from women, and humans from “animals”.

Her exhibitions include MADATAC (Madrid, Centro Conde Duque, 2017), solo show with performance at DEUX [dø] Gallery (Marseille, 2016), The State Darwin Museum (Moscow, 2016), Contemporary Art Ruhr (C.A.R.) (Germany 2016), Perez Art Museum (Miami 2016), Museum London (Canada 2013), Freies Museum (Berlin 2012), Contemporary Museum (Baltimore, USA 2011), Arad Art Museum (Romania 2011), Anthology Film Archives (New York City 2011), Center For Contemporary Arts (Santa Fe, New Mexico 2010), and HZ Online Journal (2009).

Autonomous Agency is a newly formed team of creatives and thinkers initiated by Stepanian in collaboration with two other artists, highlighting the necessity of creative action against various expressions of bigotry and oppression. Their first online publication is expected to be completed by the beginning of next year. Stepanian is also the creator and curator of Manipulated Image video art screenings and multimedia events, and URBAN RANCH PROJECT, an “animal” advocacy and social and environmental activism arts venue based on Facebook that is a 2013 recipient of Culture & Animals Foundation Multi-media Research Grant.

Publications of her writings and interviews include the peer-reviewed Journal for Critical Animal Studies; STIGMART10: VIDEOFOCUS 2013, which examines the fusion of videoart and experimental cinema; and Rompeviento TV interview with Lulú V. Barrera of Luchadoras (July 20. 2013. Mexico City).

Stepanian’s collaborations include multimedia installations created with Philip Mantione under the name BOX 1035 in Kunsthaus Tacheles/Berlin, Imagine Gallery/Beijing, and Islip Art Museum/New York. Their works are multi-sensorial, with social, political, psychological and philosophical references, and an emphasis on post-911 color-coded politics of fear. Beijing’s City Weekend Magazine featured their work as number one of the top 5 art exhibits:

Alysse Stepanian and Philip Mantione have made, in 3-D, a Dr. Seuss depiction of the American government’s color-coded terror alert system and its affect on the American psyche during post 9-11 America. Through installation pieces the pair try to reflect the constant paranoia incited in citizens by a governmental plan that claimed to protect.

Stepanian holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree and has taught in university and colleges in Southern California.