Iranian artist Morehshin Allahyari to discuss technology and art

April 02, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Contemporary artist and activist Morehshin Allahyari will explore political, social and cultural contradictions in a lecture titled “On Digital Colonialism and Monstrosity” at 10 a.m. this Friday, April 6, in the Foster Auditorium of Penn State’s Paterno Library.

Her work, which uses 3-D scanners and printers as tools to investigate and re-appropriate tradition, narrative and objectification, has received recent and widespread worldwide attention. It is also featured in the complex and interdisciplinary exhibition "Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials," currently on view at the Palmer Museum of Art.

Born and raised in Iran, Allahyari is a new-media artist and activist who has lived in the United States since 2007. During her presentation, she will examine the relationship between the use of digital technologies and activism, discussing her 2015 project "Material Speculation: ISIS" and its aftermath. She will also discuss Digital Colonialism and “re-Figuring” as feminist and de-colonialist practice in her new, in-progress project called "She Who Sees the Unknown." Allahyari will posit and contextualize “a position outside” that asks difficult questions about technology as it reflects and documents our collective lives in this century.

To view the presentation live, visit

The lecture is co-sponsored by the University Libraries, CIMP-3D, Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory, Center for Global Studies, School of International Affairs, Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Central Pennsylvania Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, Rock Ethics Institute, and the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art. Allahyari’s work is represented by Upfor Gallery in New York.


The Palmer Museum of Art on the Penn State University Park campus is a free-admission arts resource for the University and surrounding communities in central Pennsylvania. With a collection of 8,850 objects representing a variety of cultures and spanning centuries of art, the Palmer is the largest art museum between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Areas of strength include the museum’s collection of American art from the late 18th century to the present, Old Master paintings, prints and photography, ceramics and studio glass, and a growing collection of modern and contemporary art. The museum presents 10 exhibitions each year and, with 11 galleries, a print-study room, 150-seat auditorium, and outdoor sculpture garden, the Palmer Museum of Art is the leading cultural resource for the region.

Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays; and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. The museum is closed Mondays and some holidays.

The Palmer Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Also on view at the Palmer Museum of Art this spring are "Pop at the Palmer," through May 13, and "Dox Thrash, Black Life, and the Carborundum Mezzotint," through May 20.

For more information on the Palmer Museum and a calendar of upcoming events, visit

  • Allahyari Poster

    Allahyari's work is featured in the interdisciplinary exhibition "Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials," currently on view at the Palmer Museum of Art.

    IMAGE: Penn State
  • Morehshin Allahyari, "Priest with Eagle"

    Morehshin Allahyari, "Priest with Eagle," from "Material Speculation: ISIS," 2015–16, 3D-printed plastic with embedded electronic components.

    IMAGE: Morehshin Allahyari / Upfor Gallery
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Last Updated July 11, 2018