Ali Akbar Mehta

I am a Transmedia artist, curator, and researcher, who creates immersive cyber archives that map narratives of history, memory, and identity constructs through a multifocal lens of violence, conflict, and trauma. Such archival mappings – as drawings, paintings, new media works, net-based projects, poems, essays, and theoretical texts, as well as performances both of bodies and networks – are rooted in posthumanist critical theories of making visible hegemonic power relations and silenced historical materialism. My ongoing doctoral research, tentatively titled ‘Practicing Online Performativity: Constructing Politically Conscious Archives for the Future’, is interested in exploring the performative relations between online archives and its users through the mediated interventions of Second Order Cybernetics, to create knowledge systems that outline a vibrant new political public sphere.

My work as performances, installations, and talks have been exhibited in galleries and alternative spaces in Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Helsinki, Tampere, Pori, Venice, Nova Gorica, Vienna, Fiskars, and Jyväskylä. Several projects, such as 256 Million Colours of Violence, Outsiders at Work, Ballad of the Lost Utopian Meadow, and Central Park Archives, exist as permanent ongoing online archives.

I am a co-founder, and co-Artistic Director (w/ Marianne Savallampi) of Museum of Impossible Forms, Helsinki, an anti-racist queer feminist project, a board member of Kiila ry, and pursuing my Doctoral Research in the Contemporary Art Department at Aalto University, Helsinki. I hold a BFA in Drawing & Painting from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, and an MA in Visual Culture, Curating, and Contemporary Art from Aalto University, Helsinki.

projects
performances
talks
exhibitions
residencies
texts
publications
press
  • The Shape of Museums to Come
    'The Museum of the Future. 43 New Contributions to the Discussion about the Future of the Museum', (ed.) Nora Sternfeld, Kassel University
  • SAFE{R}: Evolving the Conditions for Collaboration
    Third Space, Helsinki
  • Museum of Impossible Forms: Voicing the Margins
    'From Margins to Museums', (ed.) Anna Rastas, Tampere University
  • The Meadow
    Onoma Summer Exhibition 2020, curated by Taru Elfving, Fiskars Village
  • A Cyber Archive of Questions
    Restricted Fixations, Bengaluru
  • Central Park Archives, announcement
  • Central Park Archives
  • Ballad of the Lost Utopian Meadow
  • A Tapestry of Time
    TAO Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • Violence in Finnish Society: In conversation with Arvind Ramachandran
  • Towards a New Internet: In conversation with Palash Mukhopadhyay
  • Is there a room with just a colour?
    Myymälä2, Helsinki
  • Is there a room with just a colour? In conversation with Camelo Ramiro
  • Digital Creativity and Entanglement: In conversation with Timo Tuhkanen
  • Notes for Radical Diversity, HAM Helsinki
  • Narrating WAR, Mymmälä2, Helsinki
  • WAR • ROOM • ECHO: Regarding the Pain of Other Cyborgs
  • Making Space
    curated by Saloni Doshi, Sakshi Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • Resistance and Reimagining Alternatives
  • Saša Nemec: My Teenage Angst Never Faded, I Am Still Rebelling
    Interview by OUTSIDERS AT WORK
  • Abhinit Khanna : Make Memes not War
    Interview by OUTSIDERS AT WORK
  • Outsiders at Work
  • Tuike and Simo Alitalo: All Ears are Equal
    Interview by OUTSIDERS AT WORK
  • Notes for Radical Diversity
    Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), Helsinki
  • Notes for Radical Diversity, HAM Helsinki
  • In Conversation with Ali Akbar Mehta
  • direct contact // feedback
  • To Not Wait for the Archive: Home and Labour mired in the complications of Invisibalisation
    Home Issue, Visual Culture and Contemporary Art Journal #5, (ed.) Saara Mahbouba, Paola Jallili and Else Lagerspetz, published by Aalto University, Helsinki 2019
  • Atlas of Lost Beliefs (for Insurgents, Citizens, & Untitled Bodies)
    Curatorial text by Ali Akbar Mehta, Museum of Impossible Forms, Helsinki
  • Narrating War, Museum of Impossible Forms, Helsinki
  • Narrating War, Experimental Event VI – La Torre de Babel, Pori
  • Narrating War, Carinarnica, Nova Gorcia
  • No Corners
    TAO Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • To Whomsoever it May Concern
  • To Participate in the Archive
  • Re-Musing the Museum: Part II
  • Cyborg Archives: WAR • ROOM • ECHO, TIFA Working Studios, Pune
  • Cyborg Archives: GarbageInGarbageOut, TIFA Working Studios, Pune
  • Cyborg Archives: Can Archives Speak?
  • Cyborg Archives: 256 Million Colours of Violence, TIFA Working Studios, Pune
  • Assembly of Access
    TIFA Working Studios, 2018
  • Maunula Remix
  • FOOD and Other Practices at the Arthouse
    Visual Culture and Contemporary Art Journal #4, (ed.) Ali Akbar Mehta and Vidha Saumya, Published by Aalto University, Espoo, 2018
  • External Evaluation of Ali Akbar Mehta/ Master’s Thesis – Cyber Archive: Being and Doing Knowledge
  • Cyber Archives
  • Cyber Archive: Questions
  • Cyber Archive: Being and Doing Knowledge
    MA thesis, Aalto University, 2018
  • Cyber Archive: Archiving as a sustainable counter-hegemonic practice
    Hakara Journal, (ed.) Ashutosh Poddar and Noopur Desai, 2018
  • Bibliography and other Reading
  • Archiving Knowledge, sculptures
  • Cyber Archive
  • Congratulations, the Space is invaded: Now What?
  • Archiving: Histories in the Present
  • An Ode to Erkki Kurenniemi
    Essay by Ali Akbar Mehta
  • Not your Regular Archive
  • Colours of Violence, AROOP III - Totems and Taboos
    (ed.) Nancy Adajania, published by Raza Foundation, New Delhi, 2018
  • Narrating War, Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki
  • Narrating War, Clark House, Mumbai
  • The Photons of Politics: Footnotes for a New History
    RAB-RAB Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art, (ed.) Sezgin Boynik, 2017
  • Purgatory Edit
  • Purgatory edit
  • OUT2
    Research Pavilion: The Utopia of Access, Venice Biennale, Venice
  • Maunula Speaks
  • Partizaning Maunula
    Maunulatalo, Maunula, Helsinki
  • Locating: The Museum of Impossible Forms
    Kone Foundation Boldness Blog, 2017
  • IS/NOT: Sculpture for the Post-Truth Era
    Aalto University Learning Centre, Helsinki
  • Is the representation of violence also violent?
  • Decolonial Dreaming, Urbanapa 2017
  • Border Crossing: Reshaping the Agency of Struggle
    Interview with Ranjit Hoskote, CuMMA Papers Publication Series, (ed.) Nora Sternfeld, 2017
  • Ateria/ The Meal
    URB 2017 + Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum, Helsinki, 2017
  • What is the colour of violence?
  • Shades of Violence
  • Limitations of Liability
  • Limitations of Liability, Piramal Art Foundation
  • Limitations of Liability, Mumbai Assembly
  • Limitations of Liability, Harkat Studios
  • Grant Report
  • Does violence have a colour?
  • Narrating War
  • Narrating War, Pispala, Tampere
  • Narrating War, Kallio Public Library, Helsinki
  • Space Invaders IV: Heterotopia
    Espoo, 2016
  • (Un)Becoming Finnish
  • The Spaces Are Alive
  • The Inescapable Manifest Destiny of the Artworld Culture: Defining Art through the state of the Artworld today
    Essay by Ali Akbar Mehta (unpublished)
  • SOAK
  • SOAK, Illusia
    Kalasatama, Helsinki
  • SOAK is a mixed use world
    Curatorial Text by Ali Akbar Mehta
  • Pudding Manifesto for Togetherness
  • Whose History is it Anyway?*
    Aalto University, 2016
  • The Manifesto for Togetherness
  • Pudding Manifesto, Video
  • Proposal for Pudding Manifesto
    Project Proposal by Ali Akbar Mehta
  • Project Report
  • Pledge
  • Other Readings
  • Immersion 2016
    Former ADD LAB Space, Aalto University, Espoo
  • Play the Space, Stupid!
  • Museum of Impossible Forms
  • Proposal for Contemporary Ruins of Kruunuvuori
    Project Proposal by Ali Akbar Mehta
  • About 256 Million Colours of Violence
  • 256 Million Colours of Violence
    Third Space, Helsinki
  • 256 Million Colours of Violence
  • null.void
  • TRINITY: Past, Present, and Future
    Artist Statement by Ali Akbar Mehta and Vidha Saumya
  • TRINITY: Godrej Legacy Park silos
    Godrej ONE, Vikhroli, Mumbai
  • TRINITY: Gordrej Legacy Park Silos
  • The BB Art Showcase: Ali Akbar Mehta
  • Memory & the Maximum City
  • Memory and the Maximum City
  • Chinese Fortunes and other Mumbai Memories
  • Placebo Singers
  • No one at the ceremony remembers to mention the artist
  • Perfect Ghosts
    A brief historical record of the Kruunuvuori Villas, by Ali Akbar Mehta
  • Contemporary Ruins of Kruunuvuori
  • Why is an archive of wars required?
  • Foreword: Artist's Note
  • What a Wonderful World
  • The Possibility of Alienation
    Exhibition Essay by Sumesh Sharma – co-curator, Clark House Initiative, Mumbai
  • The Possibility Of Alienation – Ali Akbar Mehta
  • The Origin of Kwan Yin or Miao Shan
  • The Chinese in Mumbai
  • SITE : STAGE : STRUCTURE
    Artist Statement by Ali Akbar Mehta
  • SITE : STAGE : STRUCTURE
    Clark House, Mumbai
  • Site Specific
  • Shrikrishna Report
  • A select History of Mumbai
  • Paintings
  • Odes and Inquisitions: Sino-Indian Connections in Recent Indian Art
    Essay by Ryan Holmberg
  • Mazgaon Interviews – Fakhruddin and Khateeja Merchant
  • Mathar Pacady Interviews – Uncle Martin
  • Mathar Pacady Interviews – Mr. Julius Valladares
  • Mathar Pacady Interviews – Aunty Tessi
  • Kwan Tai Shek Temple
  • Interview
  • Hidden Histories of Mazgoan
  • FOLKARCHIVE: Ali Akbar Mehta
  • Artist Book #3: Kwan Tai Shek
  • Artist Book #2: Daarukhana
  • Artist Book #1: Performers of Mazgaon
  • SITE : STAGE : STRUCTURE
  • Tagore Lost and Found
    Curated by Bina Sarkar Ellias, IndiaBulls Art Gallery and Auction House, New Delhi
  • Tasher Desh
  • Planktonian People
  • Small is Beautiful – II
    TAO Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • On Superheroes and Science fiction
    Essay by Ali Akbar Mehta (unpublished)
  • Ali Akbar Mehta in conversation with Namrata Bhawnani
  • Beyond the Canvas
    Curated by Kalpana Shah and Sapna Kar, TAO Art Gallery, Mumbai,
  • SPACE 118
  • Visual Disobedience
  • Of Men and Supermen
    India Art Festival, by TAO Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2012
  • Of Men and Supermen
  • Poems
  • Luminous Matter
  • Working stills, 2011
  • Luminous Matter Press Kit
  • Prelude to Luminous Matter (Animated)
  • Luminous Matter, Animated Short
  • Dystopia and Urban Imagination
  • The Harlequin Series
  • Somewhere between Science and Subjectivity
    Interview by Rahul D'Souza
  • Paintings
  • Nothing is Mundane
  • Not on Noah’s Ark, but on the Raft of the Medusa
    Essay by Ranjit Hoskote, Mumbai, 2011
  • Ballad of the War that Never Was, and Other Basterdised Myths, TAO Art Gallery
  • In A Liminal Age
  • Everybody's a Jester
  • Drawings
  • Comprehending Violence
    Review by Abhishek Bandekar
  • Ballad of the War that Never Was, and Other Basterdised Myths
  • A Body Split in Two
    International Gallerie, Journal of Contemporary art, issue 30, (ed.) Bina Sarkar Ellias, Mumbai
  • April Salon
    Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
  • We are such stuff As dreams are made on
  • Transforming Myth
    Artist Statement, 2010
  • Three New Voices: Dimensions in Time & Space
    Art Heritage, New Delhi
  • Rebirth
  • Purgatory
  • We are such stuff As dreams are made on