As a pioneering artist, writer, activist and programmer, Samia Halaby recently released her first NFT collection, titled the YAFA series. A homage to the city of her childhood, the work is a group of stills harvested at various dates from a program she wrote in C language between 1992 and 1996. In this conversation, Halaby will speak about her recent ventures into blockchain technology, the politics around digital art, and her long history with technology.
Born in Jerusalem in 1936, Samia Halaby is a leading abstract painter and an influential scholar of Palestinian art. Although based in the United States since 1951, Halaby is recognised as a pioneer of contemporary abstraction in the Arab world. By the mid 1960s, she launched a series of experiments that would initiate a career-long investigation of the materialist principles of abstraction: how reality can be represented through form. Also influenced by the abstract movements of the Russian avant-garde, Halaby works with the conviction that new approaches to painting can redirect ways of seeing and thinking not only within the realm of aesthetics but also as contributions to technological and social advancement. This underlying notion has led to additional experiments in drawing, printmaking, computer-based kinetic art, and free-from-the-stretcher painting.
The conversation will be in Arabic and English.
Image: Yafa 91, Samia Halaby, (2022).