With her famous #arthacks and #glitchgoddess, the award-winning work of Marjan Moghaddam actively redefines form for digital art. On May 19th, Agora will be in conversation with Moghaddam to learn more about her career, as well as how digital interventions and embodiment can democratise exhibition spaces.

Elizabeth Richardson  |  Ed Erin Floyd | 12 May 2021

Marjan Moghaddam, #GlitchGoddess intervention at Frieze NY 2019 #Arthack (2019), © Marjan Moghaddam Courtesy of the artist.

Three digital goddesses emerge in the midst of an exhibition space at Frieze New York, their flickering virtual-reality bodies assuming centre stage. Embodying mixed reality (XR) space, they dance and slink their way through the exhibitions at Salon 94 and 303 Gallery. The fair’s visitors, however, remained unaware: this #arthack intervention by Moghaddam – titled #GlitchGoddess intervention at Frieze NY 2019 – was created and shared to Instagram whilst the event was live. 

This #GlitchGoddess intervention presents a critical dialogue that explores the potential for digital technology to intervene and create new narratives. Moghaddam used found and shot footage of Frieze New York, hacking 3d computer graphics (CG) animated bodies, music and voiceovers into the space. Through the visual language of glitch, each goddess defies existing prescriptions of female shape in art. This thought-provoking #arthack champions women’s sexual agency and contributions to the artworld, and includes dialogue from the Artsy x Gucci Artists for Gender Equality film series.

Marjan Moghaddam, Baisser in Mary Boone, in Glassish & Waxish Glitch (2018),© Marjan Moghaddam Courtesy of the artist.

#GlitchGoddess has since featured in Moghaddam’s #arthacks of Frieze London 2019 and Art Basel Miami 2020, to name a few. #GlitchGoddess is part of the ongoing series of #arthacks that Moghaddam has been creating and exhibiting on Instagram since 2016. Throughout #arthacks, Moghaddam seeks to radicalise curation and redefine form for digital art by visually inserting her work into found footage of art fairs and gallery shows. She invites us to experience how digital embodiment and a transference to XR has the possibility to democratise exhibition space; these hacks go beyond the transgression of format to actively engage in art historical intervention. As Moghaddam explains via Instagram, “in all my styles of embodiment I’m engaging in the critical discourse that I see missing from art exhibition spaces.”

Marjan Moghaddam, #GlitchedOdalisque in Goldish iterations with Black Niche (2020), © Marjan Moghaddam Courtesy of the artist.

Moghaddam works in her unique style of 3d CG modelling and character animation that predates the #arthack series. By blending the ideals of sculpture and animation, Moghaddam has achieved an original technique of figuration that she defines as Chronometric Sculpture. Her techniques have been aesthetically, conceptually and technologically path-breaking since the ‘80s. As early as 1996, Moghaddam was the featured artist for the launch of the first ever commercial internet art gallery in New York. As a digital artist whose work has been consistently innovative for the last four decades, it is no surprise that Moghaddam has been hailed as “The Early Pioneer of Digital Art” by SuperRare Editorial (2020).

Marjan Moghaddam, Crypto Reinvents Art Outside #FriezeNY21 #Arthack (2021), © Marjan Moghaddam Courtesy of the artist.

Moghaddam has an impressive calendar of events for 2021, including the solo exhibition The Digital Embodiments and Interventions of Marjan Moghaddam on the Museum of Contemporary Digital Art (MoCDA) platform in June. The exhibition will span her digital art practice over the course of her career. 

Agora Digital Art is excited to be in conversation with Marjan Moghaddam about her career and art practice. Entitled Embodiment and Interventions in Digital Art, this talk will focus on how her work offers contemporary insight into expanding art history in authentic ways. Join us for an opportunity to find out more about Moghaddam’s digital embodiments, viral animations and interventions.  


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