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Tasmeem Doha 2017

Analogue Living in a Digital World

Tasmeem Doha, hosted by VCUarts Qatar, is a biennial international art and design conference that attracts prominent speakers and artists from all over the world.

Tasmeem addresses contemporary topics on art and design, and brings together international designers, artists, academics, students and industry professionals. 

Over the years, the ambitious and timely themes of Tasmeem have gained widespread attention and praise, while fostering partnerships that enhance the educational, creative and cultural vitality of Qatar and beyond.

Analogue Living
in a Digital World

Tasmeem Doha 2017: ‘Analogue Living in a Digital World’ aims to create dialogue with the leading thinkers, educators and professionals within the art and design community, whose ideas transcend their media and speak to our human existence in a technological society. The intent of this conference is to explore the intersection between analogue and digital technologies in the context of our lived experience, and to examine where the two modes differ, intertwine, and coexist. By looking at past and present art and design methodologies and practices, we endeavor to create a context for examining the relevance of our current attitudes to discover new ways to grow and evolve.

We are experiencing a paradigm shift, as aspects of our lives that were formally analogue become digitized. This radical change impacts how we define ourselves as individuals, and as creative beings. It challenges our institutional foundations, and our roles in society. The gradual evolution of the last several decades is steady and unrelenting, and the ramifications of this transformation have just begun to be revealed and interrogated.

So, I'd like to say that Tasmeem was a journey, and I found myself changed in more ways than one by the finale.

Tasmeem 2017 was a great success thanks to the diversity of the people involved, but especially to Margarita Zuniga, Tasmeem Production Manager.
Tasmeem Doha 2017 Conference Art Design Qatar
©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar


John Freyer and Jill Brammer Ware introducing RVArts Cultural Passport Project, during a majlis conversation at Tasmeem Doha 2017, March 15th. ©RavivCohen, VCUarts Qatar


John Freyer is an artist, author and educator based in Richmond Virginia. His projects include All My Life for Sale, Free Ice Water, Free Hot Coffee and Free Hot Supper. Freyer’s practice engages accidental audiences in galleries, museums, and public spaces. Freyer is a Fulbright Scholar, a Macdowell Colony Fellow an Artist in Residence at Light Work & the Fannon Center, Doha. Freyer has brought his social practice projects to the TEDx stage, has exhibited at Mixed Greens Gallery in New York, the Liverpool Biennial Fringe in Liverpool, UK, and is currently a Tate Exchange Associate at the Tate Modern in London.


Marco Bruno is an architect, an unaware artist and a motorcycle enthusiast. After twenty-one and one-half years of uninterrupted studies between Italy and the US, Marco started his working career in Hollywood as a model maker in an Oscar-nominated special effects company. Marco become a registered architect in Italy, and in the beginning of the millennium, he moved to Seoul, where together with Simone Carena, lifetime friend and working partner, opened MOTOElastico: to date, the best Italian Architecture Office in Korea.

MOTOElastico is a multidisciplinary space-lab working on architecture, interior and art projects. The goal is to challenge local cultures through unexpected combinations of original ingredients. Its design process is similar to the one used by Dub DJs: enhancing rhythms and underlining features of existing songs, with the purpose of generating new yet familiar design tunes.

Marco Bruno
©Leila Natsheh, VCUarts Qatar

It's the first time we've had such a huge interaction between the two campuses!

Michael Perrone
@Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar


Primarily working as a painter, Perrone’s practice has recently expanded to include relational aesthetics and experimental exhibitions. Through curating pop-up exhibits, organizing creative gathering’s/ film screenings and encouraging interactions through game play and video performance, Perrone hopes to share the creative process with the audience. Finding art in the everyday, and making art more accessible, are key themes. Recent projects include Home Improvements pop-up group exhibition at VCUarts Qatar (Dec. 2017), and The Vermont Althing (Randolph, VT. July 2017).


“Why did Marco design a green bus?” - John D. Freyer

“Michael can explain.” - Marco Bruno

“I’ll keep it short, because it's the greatest idea ever to come to Qatar: the mobile bus art gallery.” - Michael Perrone

In Conversation with the Co-chairs

Interview by Nourbanu Al-Hejazi, MFA' 18

The RVarts Majlis: “We set up the Majlis conversations, that was part of the portal to Richmond. The idea with that was to have presenters from both schools in conversation with each other.” - John D. Freyer
Tasmeem Doha 2017 Conference Art Design Qatar
Tintype photography with the Penumbra Foundation from New York: “We could not import the material to develop the images, so they had to turn it into another workshop. They started using polaroids just to take photos in a studio setting, and it was really nice and successful. You can see the images in the final Tasmeem catalogue.” - Marco Bruno
Mass Pointillism Pixel Art workshop : “I remember not being able to sleep, and coming into the building during Tasmeem. I don't know if it was really early or really late, I have no idea. I know it was dark. When I walked in the Saffron Hall, I saw the security guards that were there, 2 or 3 of them, working on the Pixel Art project.” - John D. Freyer
Khalid Albaih is a Sudanese artist and political cartoonist ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Dutch tech-minded fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar


Form(force)’ is an exhibition of works drawn from VCU’s campuses in Richmond and Doha during Tasmeem Doha 2017. Through a wide variety of media, including pointing, sculpture, design, craft, and installation, form(force) explores ways in which artists navigate relationships and tensions between embodied and virtual realities. The selection of works evokes a circle of mimicry, in which organic forms are patterned after technological ones, and where technological forms emulate lived experiences in the natural world.

The exhibition at The Gallery is curated by Amber Esseiva, curatorial Assistant at ICA Richmond, and Karim Sultan, curator at Barjeel Art Foundation.

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