The Back Room


Exhibition / نمايشگاه



An interactive artwork, in progress, that includes a video, a freely available Android app, and hundreds of still images collected from participants in Iran—Subway tests the subversive possibilities of digital media. By Ava Ansari, in collaboration with Andrew Quitmeyer and the Digital World and Image Group.


The collaboration for Subway began in 2011, after a screening of Ansari’s “Dancing by Myself in Public.” The video documents Ansari dancing along New York City’s Times Square subway platform—performing gestures and interactions that would be illegal in her native Iran. Through mobile media, the performance was shared with men and women in Iran, who were able to contribute to the performance in their own ways.

An Android app allows participants to re-stage the dance frame by frame, in public spaces throughout Iran, as well as include their own poses.While dancing is forbidden in Iran, striking a still pose for a snapshot is possible. In that way the app subverts the boundaries of oppressive laws, pointing to their capriciousness and absurdity. Learn more about the technical development of Subway on Quitmeyer’s website, here.

Subway was accepted at ISEA 2013 and was presented at ArtsIT2013 and Artaud Forum 3.


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