Through the study of Greek former and present customs, and Saudi ancestral practices, Nouf Alhimiary questioned the very essence of hope, through the folkloristic need of relying on something that seems external and nevertheless extremely human. Her focus took roots in her sociological and anthropological research around Greek and Saudi ancestral traditions and heritage, bringing together two different cultures through mutual understanding, technological transition and eagerness, and historical figures. Diving into Greek and Saudi oral histories, Alhimiary explored parallels between machine learning and folklore, investigating the concepts of intelligence, free will, and personhood, as they are continuously redefined in virtual space. The artist’s research challenged the conception of technology as a cold, rational tool, and proposes an alternative narrative—that of a reflective medium capable of introspection and self-awareness. Through this lens, Alhimiary highlights the urgency for amore human-centric approach to technology, one that incorporates qualities of care and ethical consciousness. In the epoch where technology is inextricably woven into the tapestry of human experience, “Machine Poetry” plunges into the liminal space between mysticism and machine intelligence. Rooted at the crossroads of art, technology, and folklore, Alhimiary’s work produced during the Residency explored the tensions and possibilities that lie within the contemporary technological landscape.
Nouf Alhimiary (b. 1992, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) is an artist whose art practice engages technology and cultural rituals and narratives. Her work is informed by tacit knowledge of Hejazi girlhood and the folkloristic stories and rituals that form around them.She uses the virtual, feminine and its mystical aspects as frameworks. Alhimiary is interested in delving into the human-machine relationship and its spiritual dimensions and potential by creating installations that act as liminal spaces between these dimensions.Through the mediums of photography, sculpture, VR, AR, performance,writing and video she creates installations that act as portals, bridging the ethereal and the digital,and drawing participants into a realm where esoteric traditions meld with contemporary computational methods.
Nouf Alhimiary is based in London. Past exhibitions include British Museum (London, UK), Venice Biennale (Venise, Italy), Utah- MOCA (Salt Lake City, USA), Sharjah Art Museum (Charjah, United Arab Emirates)