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MARISA JAHN

Marisa Jahn is an artist, writer and curator whose work explores, constructs and intervenes in natural and social systems. Ranging in practice from deeply personal to highly participatory, her work often relies on the collaborative authorship and distributive intelligence of surrounding people and situations. As an art educator working with mostly underrepresented youth, Jahn has partnered and worked with organizations such as BreakArts (US/Honduras), Moks (Estonia), Zero One (San Jose), NEXMAP (SF), Meridian Gallery Teen Internship Program (SF), and was recognized by UNESCO in 2006 as a leading art educator.

As a participant in Global Art Lab's program, Jahn developed a poetry competition that allowed members of the Khojand community to submit ten-second poetic entries using their cellular phones, capitalizing on the fact that a common cell phone provider in the region does not charge for the first ten seconds of a call. The short format of the entry also closely resembles the traditional Tajik poetic form Бейт (similar in pronunciation to the English byte). Jahn advertised the competition on local radio and in public spaces such as movie theaters and bus stops. After the two-and-a-half-day submission period, 35 entries were published on the 10sec1bayt.com website and three winners were announced. The first-place winner received a cell phone as a prize. In a country defined by its layers of history and most recently by its post-Soviet transition, Jahn was interested in representing and transforming everyday habits, stories and objects that trace the legacy of former regimes of thought.

Jahn was hosted by Naim Hakimov, Director of Scientific Research at Institute of Art Knowledge, Sogdiana Cultural Center (Khojand, Tajikistan).

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