the artist in an augmented reality space with plasticized sand and squiggly tubes

II0I  I0I0 (Umm al Raml tracing the dots) is an immersive single-channel video installation that renders visible the absence of female prophets within Islamic literature and explores its challenges. This work juxtaposes the spiritual journey of four Iranian women practicing mysticism in Toronto against a mesmerizing digital landscape generated through the divination method known as the science of sand. The driving question for this project, “Where are the female prophets?” serves as the catalyst for generating narratives. By reviving the 7th-century Islamic method of divination, the science of sand, this project builds on narrative possibilities generated through divination. It decolonizes the linear narration of time by blurring the line between present, past and future. This research is its own living archive, holding the interviewees’ stories, dreams and prophecies.

Shirin Fahimi is a digital media artist based in Ontario, born in Iran. She investigates the colonial dichotomies of rationalism and superstition, as well as the ways in which women negotiate visibility in the political and celestial realms. Her research is influenced by Islamic mysticism and magic in Iranian society and diasporic communities. She uses divination as a form of archiving, storing knowledge, making accessible visible and invisible worlds, and documenting the past, present and future.


This exhibition is presented in partnership with University of Waterloo Art Gallery

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