Studio Visit: Milad Mozari

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This studio visit is part of the exhibition ROUNDS featuring new works by Michael Milano, ALyssa Moxley, and Milad Mozari. The exhibition is organized by Make Space in conjunction with ACRE Projects.

I first met Milad Mozari in the food line at the ACRE Residency this last summer while Make Space was conducting visits with the residents throughout a three-day period. Milad is as personable as he is intelligent, talking with a pleasant wit and a dry sense of sarcasm. Milad is an immigrant from Iran who grew up in a mostly Mormon part of Utah, which acts as a foundation for his work that concentrates on language and place or understanding cultural contexts through tradition and memory.

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Milad’s current work is, perhaps, more on the side of cultural context and language. Geometric drawings hang on the walls around his studio, which surround a table sitting on sawhorses. The table is actually Harmonograph that was created with fellow ROUNDS artist, Alyssa Moxley, during the first session of ACRE. The Harmonograph was a collaborative project by the two that will be featured in the upcoming exhibition at the ACRE space that will focus on harmonic patterns and interference.

A CNC machine creates the geometric drawings, while the patterns themselves are realized through mathematical equations or operations dissecting songs into notes, then into sections. The number of notes drives the operation—one section may have 200 notes, where the third may have only 70. Milad has worked with loose forms of arithmetic before and his current process is still in-line with translating ideas into materials and forms.

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Milad makes cultural connects in the mathematics, continually finding his aesthetic through geometry and translation. The idea of translation and scale seem to ground the drawings. The drawings are strict but not absolutely uniform due to the nature of a felt maker creating the lines. The idea of ‘absolute’ is an interesting way to approach the work. The math or the file driving the CNC machine may be absolute but the translation is hindered by medium and perception. The felt marker has an inherent thickness—one we are accustomed to drawing with—which creates irregular overlapping patterns on the paper. The overlapping is the threshold of scale—a human scale. The translation cannot be any more defined because of the marker or the marker cannot draw the infinite even if it is told to do so. These inconsistencies questions what a geometrical drawing is and gives a clue into the process.

When asked about poetics in the work, Milad said that his relationship with the drawings themselves are ongoing—a process of finding where the poetic may be. The poetics are not in the one-dimensional issue of indeterminacy, rather it may be found in the act of dividing perfection into the idealized and the messy realized. Perhaps the drawings also activate through the audience’s threshold—perfect to the passive and imperfect to the contemplative.

Make Space and ACRE Projects is proud to present ROUNDS // new work by MICHAEL MILANO, ALYSSA MOXLEY and MILAD MOZARI, the next installment in ACRE’s year-long series of solo exhibitions by 2013 ACRE summer residents.