Identity is not only self-produced, but also negotiated externally. An immigrant since a teenager, I've had to continuously adjust my identity to blend in and feel accepted. Unfortunately, this identitarian inconsistency also persists even when my well-being is not really at stake; I have become unable to sufficiently articulate who I am. Who is "Mohammad Hafiyyandi?"
This is a summary of my thesis project done at NYU ITP on a 3-part experiment to find ways to find an identity and an identitarian expression that work for me.
1: Internal Construction of Self
Do I say I'm "A and B", or "A but B"? Can I say neither?
I took self-portraits and made a bot trained on my chat logs. Then, I built an installation made of two self-portraits that talk to & merge with each other. Also, as illustrated in the sketch below, these portraits play hide & seek with their viewers.
2: Denying an Imposed Narrative
Every time I have an international flight, I make sure I shave and dress up properly. If I don't, I might just get randomly checked or even temporarily detained to be interviewed.
I made a second installation, sarcastically portraying these experiences.
3: Repurposing an
Can I use a conventional identitarian vocabulary and make it truly my own? I used a script to interpolate between Islamic perfect geometric shapes with doodles of things I like.
Using these messy, imperfect, in-between shapes, I made a custom praying mat (sajadah) for myself.