Mina Zarfsaz is an interdisciplinary artist, designer and system thinker who works across the fields of art, technology, philosophy, architecture and design. Her work seeks to invert common tools and social control to create dialogue, exchange critical perspectives, generate questions and ideally inspire a better understanding of what we perceive as reality and its representations.
Zarfsaz’s work explores grey areas that make humans complicated and interesting. Her immersive, or participatory projects invite the spectator to reconsider empathy by situating them at the center of a performative act and aim at creating uniquely effective spaces that forge intimate and visceral connections between audience members, changing paradigms and behavior.
Her work explores perception and the organization of the everyday, challenging how we consider our bodies separate from our environment, and that perception happens in our heads without requiring an active participation in the environment.
In her procedural installations, the body is conditioned by architecture, involved in what she calls imaging-along— walking around, bending, and situating, in order to assemble and dismantle expectation— reconstituting new perceptions, and thereby reinscribing new realities through kinetic investigation. She often destabilize the taken-for-granted materiality of body, object and environment, and with a touch of humor, she accentuates social tensions like division, discrimination, exclusion, or othering on the grounds of race, class, gender, sexuality or ability.
Her technologically-driven sculptural installations find common ground with works attuned to the particularities of being human, processing and communicating the world around us through movement and implicating the simultaneous grossness and sensuousness of fleshy bodies. She uses a broad variety of methodologies and practices in contemporary, innovative and emerging technologies including augmented reality, electronics and algorithmic data interpretation with creative coding to name a few.
Zarfsaz has attended Pratt Institute's MFA ComD program and received her MFA from Montclair State University in Studio Arts. She holds a BFA from State University of New York, a BA in Business Administration from University of Alzahra and an Interior Design Certificate from Tehran University. Zarfsaz currently lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and holds teaching appointments at Temple University, and Rowan University. Zarfsaz was awarded an innovative teaching grant at Temple University in 2019.
Zarfsaz regularly works as a lecturer and workshop leader; her work has been shown in galleries internationally and across New York, Philadelphia and other cities in the USA: Magnan Metz Gallery (Chelsea NYC,) Azad Gallery (Tehran,) Broadway Gallery (NYC,) Times Square Museum (NYC,) New York State Museum (Albany/NY,) Icebox Project Space (Philadelphia,) Vox Populi Gallery (Philadelphia,) Window on Broad of Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery (Philadelphia) to name a few. Her work is also featured in Artslant, and NY Arts Magazine amongst other publications. She has been awarded Leeway Art and Change grant, and granted residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Icebox Project Space, Asian Arts Initiative, and most recently at University City Science Center collaborating with the scientists at Integral Molecular (a biotech company) to create a multidimensional solo exhibition at the Esther Klein Gallery for 2021. Zarfsaz is working on a book on Enactive Perception called "Not X-Small, Not X Large, But X-Medium”.