Author Archives: Amir Saber Esfahani

About Amir Saber Esfahani

Amir Esfahani is a practicing Bay Area artist, educator, and curator. Esfahani's role at the Internet Archive is to connect artist with our collections and to show what is possible when open access to information meets the arts. He is also the Director of Special Art Projects at the Internet Archive.

Artist Dina Kelberman’s newest exhibition features images of compulsive habits found in the Internet Archive

A project by Dina Kelberman presented by Dazibao and broadcasted in partnership with the Internet Archive

Nervous (52/60), 2020

Kelberman’s practice is one of obsessive collection and organization converted by a perfectionism that provokes interminable repetitions. Though her images are often sourced from the Internet, the artist doesn’t work within the random and fragmented semiotics of that medium. Instead, with a character of care and resourcefulness, she leans into that which is expressed through multiplicity or reiteration: “My work is about how everyone and everything is special, and so while specialness is not special, it is still pretty much the most exciting thing going.”

Dina Kelberman’s project Nervous will feature a series of video loops that compare and combine compulsive habits, recursively exploring the areas where comfort and anxiety are simultaneous. In the midst of Covid-19, these restless gestures for coping, once experienced privately by a minority, might suddenly become familiar to a vast majority who attempt to take cautionary measures. Instagram in this context and as a platform for the work, also speaks to a feeling both of necessity and of insatiability, while inducing the user/viewer in the repetitive, almost irrepressible gestures of tapping and scrolling.

Nervous (10/60), 2020

The original footage used for Nervous comes from viewing hundreds of commercials and educational films spanning the 50’s to 90’s sourced from the Internet Archive’s extensive collections.  Tiny moments found within these movies are edited into endless loops of small behaviors.  The original innocuous context of these moments, intended to be level-headed and soothing, instead becomes nerve-wracking.  Commercials for tough-acting cleaners and convenient appliances are now compulsive preoccupations. Educational films depicting the right way to do something, the solutions to problems, now are problems themselves.  The means to improve your life have failed past the realm of diminishing returns into flat-out harm.

Nervous will run from June 1st to July 31st as an instagram residency at: @dazibaomtl #nervousdlk2020

Dazibao is a contemporary art center and non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination and mediation of contemporary image practices, privileging artistic experimentation, enquiry and reflection related to current social issues.

Dazibao is dedicated to the development and presentation of original artworks by Canadian artists whose contemporary practices are founded on the image. Providing the public an opportunity to create links between local and global discourses, such works are presented alongside works by international artists thus contextualizing their relevance within a broader art ecology.

By questioning the discourses, uses and modes of disseminating images, Dazibao explores artistic as well as historical and social issues, sharing them with the various communities that make up Montreal’s diversity.

The reflections developed by Dazibao are conveyed by way of exhibitions, video programs, films, public artworks, books and special events. These activities are accompanied by a cultural outreach program that facilitates stimulating encounters with art and create conversations raised by societal issues.

Dazibao collaborates with numerous artists, curators, critics, researchers, and the university milieu and is involved in several ongoing partnerships with related or complementary organizations. Dazibao promotes equity, inclusivity, equality, diversity and cultural hybridization so that art can assert itself as a field of knowledge capable of facilitating a better understanding of the world around us. Offered free of charge, the activities organized by the center are open to all.

Relief Grants for Bay Area Visual Artists

The Internet Archive & Ever Gold [Projects] Present

Bay Area Emerging Visual Artist Exhibition Production Relief Grant


Submit an Application

The Fourth Annual Internet Archive Artist-in-Residency Exhibition, organized in collaboration with Ever Gold [Projects], has been cancelled this year—along with so many other visual art exhibitions in the Bay Area and across the globe. Part of the residency program involves Ever Gold and the Internet Archive providing participating artists with funds to support production costs to create their research project and the artworks they exhibit.

Typically, emerging artists creating a body of work for a solo or two-person exhibition at an art gallery pay for these production costs out of their own pockets, and wait for their dealers to place their finished artworks with collectors, patrons, or institutions to recoup this overhead.

With exhibitions cancelled and art sales slowing down to a crawl, these lost revenues are compounding emerging artists, who have already invested in production costs for now cancelled shows.

As this is a specific problem to practicing emerging artists which the artist in residency program is designed to support—Ever Gold and the Internet Archive have decided to use the funds allocated for this year’s residency program and create a relief grant to support other Bay Area artists with lost and out of pocket exhibition production costs.

This is made possible by a grant from the Internet Archive, with additional support from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and individual contributions from Roselyne Swig, Bryan Meehan, Justin Shaffer, John Sanger, and Maurice Kanbar. To date, we have raised a total of $30,000 which we will be distributing in thirty $1,000 grants direct to artists who meet the following qualifications.


Applications will be limited to the first 400 artists who apply.

Qualifications for artists to apply:

  • You must be a Bay Area resident.
  • You must have had a solo, two, or three-person exhibition that has been cancelled or delayed due to the pandemic.
  • The exhibition needs to be with a commercial Bay Area art gallery and have an original opening date of between March and September 2020.
  • Provide visual documentation of the body of work made or in-progress.
  • Provide a basic summary of production costs spent out of pocket for this work (besides materials, this can also include studio rent, and other related costs)
  • Provide a finished or draft of the press release for the exhibition.
  • Only 400 application slots available, open May 12 – 15, with funds distributed the following week.
  • You must be able to participate in an online exhibition featuring grant recipient, tentatively scheduled in mid-June.
Submit an Application

Applications will be reviewed by:
Hilde Lynn Helphenstein aka Jerry Gogosian (Curator, critic, and @jerrygogosian)
Drew Bennett (Artist and founder of the Facebook art program)
Andrew McClintock (Ever Gold [Projects])
Amir Esfahani (Internet Archive)

All inquires:

The Internet Archive’s 2019 Artists in Residency Exhibition

Still from Meeting Mr. Kid Pix (2019) by Jeffrey Alan Scudder and Matt Doyle

The Internet Archive’s 2019 Artist in Residency Exhibition

New works by Caleb Duarte, Whitney Lynn, and Jeffrey Alan Scudder

Exhibition: June 29 – August 17, 2019

Ever Gold [Projects]
1275 Minnesota Street
Suite 105
San Francisco, CA, 94107

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12-5 pm and by appointment

Ever Gold [Projects] is pleased to present The Internet Archive’s 2019 Artists in Residency Exhibition, a show organized in collaboration with the Internet Archive as the culmination of the third year of this non-profit digital library’s visual arts residency program. This year’s exhibition features work by artists Caleb Duarte, Whitney Lynn, and Jeffrey Alan Scudder.

The Internet Archive visual arts residency, organized by Amir Saber Esfahani, is designed to connect emerging and mid-career artists with the Archive’s millions of collections and to show what is possible when open access to information intersects with the arts. During this one-year residency, selected artists develop a body of work that responds to and utilizes the Archive’s collections in their own practice.

Building on the Internet Archive’s mission to preserve cultural heritage artifacts, artist Caleb Duarte’s project focuses on recording oral histories and preserving related objects. Duarte’s work is intentionally situated within networks peripheral to the mainstream art world in order to establish an intimate relationship with the greater public. His work is produced through situational engagement with active sites of social and cultural resistance and strives to extend the expressions of marginalized communities through a shared authorship.

During his residency at the Internet Archive, Duarte visited communities in temporary refugee camps that house thousands of displaced immigrants in Tijuana, Mexico. By recording oral histories and producing sculptural objects, participants exercised their ability to preserve their own histories, centered around the idea of home as memory; the objects come to represent such a place. Using the Internet Archive, Duarte was able to preserve these powerful stories of endurance and migration that otherwise might be subject to the ongoing processes of erasure. The preservation of these memories required transferring the objects and oral histories into a digital format, some of which are carefully and thoughtfully curated into the Internet Archive’s collections for the public to access. For the exhibition at Ever Gold [Projects], Caleb has created an architectural installation representing ideas of “human progress,” using the same materials from Home Depot that we use to construct our suburban homes: white walls, exposed wooden frames, and gated fences. These materials and the aesthetics of their construction form a direct visual link to the incarceration of immigrant children. This installation is juxtaposed with raw drawings on drywall and video documentation of sculptural performances and interviews created at the temporary refugee camps in Tijuana.

Artist Whitney Lynn’s project builds on previous work in which Lynn questions representations of the archetypal temptress or femme fatale. This type of character is the personification of a trap, a multifaceted idea that interests Lynn. Many of her recent projects are influenced by the potential of an object designed to confuse or mislead. For her residency at the Internet Archive, Lynn has turned her attention to the ultimate femme fatale—the mythological siren. Taking advantage of the Archive’s catalog of materials, Lynn tracks the nature of the siren’s depiction over time. From their literary appearance in Homer’s Odyssey (where they are never physically described), to ancient Greek bird-creatures (occasionally bearded and often featured on funerary objects), to their current conflation with mermaids, sirens have been an object for much projection. Around the turn of the century, topless mermaids begin to appear in Odyssey-related academic paintings, but in the Odyssey not only are the Sirens never physically described, but their lure is knowledge—they sing of the pain of war, claim that they know everything on earth, and say that whoever listens can “go on their way with greater knowledge.” In Homer’s iconic story, Odysseus’s men escape temptation and death because they stuff their ears with wax and remain blissfully ignorant, while Odysseus survives through bondage. The Internet Archive’s mission statement is to provide “universal access to all knowledge” and the myth of the siren is both a story about forbidden knowledge and an example of how images can reflect and reinforce systems of power. Lynn’s investigation of the siren brings up related questions about the lines between innocence and ignorance, and the intersections of knowledge, power, and privilege.

Programmer and digital painter Jeffrey Alan Scudder’s project centers around Kid Pix, an award-winning and influential painting app designed for children released in 1989 by Craig Hickman. The user interface of Kid Pix was revolutionary—it was designed to be intuitive (violating certain Apple guidelines to reduce dialog boxes and other unwieldy mechanics), offered unusual options for brushes and tools, and had a sense of style and humor that would prove hard to beat for competitor products. The original binaries of Kid Pix and related digital ephemera are in the collections of the Internet Archive. As part of his practice, Scudder writes his own digital drawing and painting software, and has always wanted to meet Hickman. As part of his residency with the Internet Archive, he visited Hickman at his home in Oregon. In a video directed by Matthew Doyle, Scudder and Hickman discuss software, art, and creativity. Hickman donated his collection of Kid Pix-related artifacts and ephemera to the Computer History Museum, and the exhibition will include a display of these materials alongside Scudder’s work. In addition to the video work and the selection of artifacts on view, Scudder will present a whiteboard drawing/diagram about his work with the Internet Archive.

During the exhibition, Jeffrey Alan Scudder will produce a new iteration of Radical Digital Painting, an ongoing performance project which often includes other artists. Radical Digital Painting is named after Radical Computer Music, a project by Danish artist Goodiepal, with whom Scudder has been touring in Europe over the last two years. In 2018 alone, Jeffrey gave more than 45 lecture-performances on digital painting and related topics in the United States and Europe. On July 20 at 5 pm, Radical Digital Painting presents THE BUG LOG, a project by Ingo Raschka featuring Julia Yerger and Jeffrey Alan Scudder.

Please contact with any inquiries.

More about the artists:

Caleb Duarte (b. 1977, El Paso, Texas) lives and works in Fresno. Duarte is best known for creating temporary installations using construction type frameworks such as beds of dirt, cement, and objects suggesting basic shelter. His installations within institutional settings become sights for performance as interpretations of his community collaborations. Recent exhibitions include Bay Area Now 8 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, 2018); Emory Douglas: Bold Visual Language at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2018); A Decolonial Atlas: Strategies in Contemporary Art of the Americas at Vincent Price Art Museum (Monterey Park, CA, 2017); Zapantera Negra at Fresno State University (Fresno, CA, 2016); and COUNTERPUBLIC at the Luminary (St. Louis, MO, 2015).

Whitney Lynn (b. 1980, Williams Air Force Base) lives and works between San Francisco and Seattle. Lynn employs expanded forms of sculpture, performance, photography, and drawing in her project-based work. Mining cultural and political histories, she reframes familiar narratives to question dynamics of power. Lynn’s work has been included in exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Torrance Art Museum; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco); RedLine Contemporary Art Center (Denver); and Exit Art (New York). She has completed project residencies at the de Young Museum (San Francisco, 2017) and The Neon Museum (Las Vegas, 2016). She has created site-responsive public art for the San Diego International Airport, the San Francisco War Memorial Building, and the City of Reno City Hall Lobby. Lynn has taught at Stanford University, the San Francisco Art Institute, and UC Berkeley, and is currently an Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts at the University of Washington.

Jeffrey Alan Scudder (b. 1989, Assonet, Massachusetts) lives and works between Maine and Massachusetts. Scudder spends his time programming and making pictures. He attended Ringling College of Art & Design (BFA, 2011) and Yale School of Art (MFA, 2013). He has taught at UCLA and Parsons School for Design at The New School, and worked at the design studio Linked by Air. Recent exhibitions include drawings at 650mAh (Hove, 2018); INTENTIONS BASED ON A FUTURE WHICH HAS ALREADY HAPPENED at Naming Gallery (Oakland, CA, 2018); Radical Digital Painting at Johannes Vogt Gallery (New York, 2018); Imaginary Screenshots at Whitcher Projects (Los Angeles, 2017) Presents at February Gallery (Austin, 2017); New Dawn at Neumeister Bar-Am (Berlin, 2017); and VIDEO MIXER at Yale School of Art (New Haven, 2015). In 2018 alone, Jeffrey gave over 45 lecture-performances on digital painting and related topics in the United States and Europe. Selected recent lecture-performance venues include Weber State University (Odgen, Utah, 2019); 650mAh0 (Hove, 2018); Chaos Communication Congress (Leipzig, 2018); the ZKM Museum (Karlsruhe, Germany, 2018); Estonian Academy of Arts (Tallinn, Estonia, 2018), Bauhaus University (Weimar, Germany, 2018); and Yale School of Art (New Haven, 2018).

About the Internet Archive:

At the Internet Archive, we believe passionately that access to knowledge is a fundamental human right. Founded by Brewster Kahle with the mission to provide “Universal Access to All Knowledge,” this digital library serves as a conduit for trusted information, connecting learners with the published works of humankind. Like the internet itself, the Internet Archive is a critical part of the infrastructure delivering the power of ideas to knowledge seekers and providers. For 23 years, we have preserved now more than 45 petabytes of data, including 330 billion web pages, 3.5 million digital books, and millions of audio, video and software items, making them openly accessible to all while respecting our patrons’ privacy. Each day, more than one million visitors use or contribute to the Archive, making it one of the world’s top 300 sites. As a digital library, we seek to transform learning and research by making the world’s scholarly data and information linked, accessible and preserved forever online.

The 2018 Internet Archive Artist in Residence: Pickling the Past for Future Edibility

Exhibition Overview on the Archive for download or viewing here:

or on YouTube:

Article Written by John Held, Jr.

The Internet Archive is near and dear to my heart. First: a disclaimer. When the website provider Geocities went under and scrubbed existing sites, my data loss was incalculable. But all was not lost. The Internet Archive came to my rescue, capturing the site for posterity, giving it a new URL and making it accessible again, along with almost 300 billion (!) other preserved websites.

The Internet Archive, which is physically located down the street from me in a majestic former Christian Science Church at the intersection of Clement Street and Park Presidio, captures much more than defunct websites. It also digitizes and makes accessible books and sound recordings. For every person who bemoans the fact that private information put up on the Internet is forever available, there is another viewing the resource as an invaluable service expanding the depth of research on multitudes of topics.

Research takes many paths, and one path especially favored by Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle is providing an open-ended road of creativity for artists to travel down. In a talk he gave last year at the inauguration of the Internet Archive’s Artist in Residence Program exhibition at Ever Gold (Projects), Kahle marveled at the inadvertent uses of the structure he constructed. Yes, the Internet Archive provides a public service by capturing and disseminating information, but the myriad of unpremeditated “happy accidents” resulting from the formation of this highly engineered edifice, is often the most satisfying. Important as the formidable information sharing of the Archive is, we can also be impressed by the ability of the system to transmute information in unexpected ways. It’s the manifestation of alchemy embedded in today’s technology.

Selected by residency founder and director Amir Saber Esfahani, this year’s residency artists Mieka Marple, Chris Sollars and Taravat Talepas and have each approached the mining of the Internet Archive through independent investigation and style of presentation on topics ranging from Hieronymus Bosch, the Grateful Dead and the Iranian Revolution.

Mieke Marple has previously exhibited at Ever Gold (Projects) on the theme of the Tarot. She switches gears in the current exhibition to investigate the imagery of Hieronymus Bosch’s, “What Abomination from the Garden of Earthly Delights Are You,” interpreting her understanding of the work through linking Victorian eroticism with floral embellishments, creating her own version of “Earthly Delights.”

Two installations by Chris Sollars sharply contrast with Marple’s timeless Victoriana. Searching the Internet Archive for psychedelic screen savers and Grateful Dead recordings, and linking them with the literal pickling of information by mixing canning and hardware from the Internet Archive itself, Sollars reveals the endless possibilities the Internet Archive can generate.

Taraval Talepasand was born in the United States to Iranian parents during the Iranian Revolution of 1979. This duality informs much of the work of the widely exhibited artist, who is on the faculty of the San Francisco Art Institute. Instead of dredging the Internet Archive, Talepasand adds to it by creating the “Vali Mortezaie” Archive in collaboration with his son Hushidar Mortezaie. The collection contains vintage publications from pre-revolutionary Iran, including magazines, propaganda posters and advertisements. Talepasand, who studied Persian miniature painting in Iran, translates the Archive’s contents through a series of drawn and painted works.

Kudos to Ever Gold (Projects) gallery director Andrew McClintock, who collaborated with Amir Saber Esfahani, on the exhibition’s organization. Ever Gold (Projects) is known for presentations of in-your-face artworks that scream contemporaneity. The current exhibition’s diversity mirror the range of roads made possible by the capture of billions of websites and petabytes of information. Just as pioneer women in an earlier age pickled the year’s crop, preserving it for later edibility, the Internet Archive, as exemplified by Chris Sollars installation, preserves information for future consumption.

The Artist in Residence Exhibition ran from July 14- August 11, 2018. We have put together a short video with interviews from Brewster Kahle and the artists involved, as well as shots of the actual opening event.

The Internet Archive’s 2018 Artist in Residency Exhibition

The Internet Archive and Ever Gold [Projects] is pleased to present The Internet Archive’s 2018 Artist in Residence Exhibition, an exhibition organized in collaboration with the Ever Gold [Projects] as the culmination of the second year of the Internet Archive’s visual arts residency program. This year’s exhibition features work by artists Mieke Marple, Chris Sollars, and Taravat Talepasand.

Exhibition Dates and Information:

July 14 – August 11
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 14, 5-8 pm
1275 Minnesota Street First Floor Suite 105, San Francisco, California

The Internet Archive is a San Francisco based nonprofit digital library providing researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public access to more than 40 petabytes of collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books, as well as the Wayback Machine archive (an archive of almost 300 billion websites preserved over time). The Internet Archive visual arts residency is organized by Amir Saber Esfahani and Andrew McClintock, and is designed to connect emerging and mid-career artists with the archive’s collections and to show what is possible when open access to information meets the arts. The residency is one year in length during which time each artist will develop a body of work that utilizes the resources of the archive’s collections in their own practice.

Image Credit: Mieke Marple

Inspired by a Facebook quiz titled “What Abomination from the Garden of Earthly Delights Are You?” Mieke Marple created a series of drawings loosely based on the masterwork painted by Hieronymus Bosch. By digitally checking out numerous books from the Archive’s library and using imagery contained within them to inspire her work, Marple juxtaposes beautifully painted flora with old world erotic illustrations to create her own Garden of Earthly Delights.

Image Credit: Chris Sollars

Through a series of sculptures, sounds, and video, Chris Sollars will investigate the Internet through a combination of physical and digital representations to address the absurdity of the Sisyphean task of keeping the content of one’s work and society perpetually alive. As a nod to the 1960’s Bay Area’s psychedelic and electronic explorations, Sollars will be sourcing the Internet Archive’s psychedelic screen savers, live recordings of the Grateful Dead, and psychotropic literature while utilizing “slow movement” methods of pickling and preserving for handling data.

Image Credit: Taravat Talepasand

During her residency at the Archive, Taravat Talepasand created the “Vali Mortezaie” archive in collaboration with his son Hushidar Mortezaie. The eBook collection contains vintage publications from pre-revolutionary Iran and contains magazines, propaganda posters, and advertisements that capture the lifestyle at a politically pivotal time in Iranian history. Using the newly formed archive Talepasand created a series of drawn and painted collaged miniatures.

Mieke Marple was born and raised in Palo Alto, CA, among a family of engineers in the heart of the Silicon Valley. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2008. She was co-owner of Night Gallery, Los Angeles, from 2011 until 2016, and has been written about by The New York Times and W Magazine, among other publications. In 2012, Marple produced the web series Feast of Burden, directed by filmmaker Eugene Kotlyarenko and distributed by MOCAtv. In 2014, she co-founded the benefit art auction and gala Sexy Beast for Planned Parenthood LA, and remains on the organization’s advisory board. Recent exhibitions include Relocation Tarot at Ever Gold [Projects], San Francisco (2018). She lives and works in San Francisco.

Chris Sollars is an artist based in San Francisco. His work subverts public space through interventions and performance. The results are documented using sculpture, photography, and video that are integrated into mixed-media installations. Sollars is an Assistant Professor in Sculpture, Mills College, Oakland, CA with awards that include a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2013 San Francisco Arts Commission: Individual Artist Commission Grant, 2007 Eureka Fellowship Award, 2007 San Francisco Bay Area Artadia Grant, 2009 Headlands Center for the Arts residency, and 2015 residency at Recology. Recent projects include White on Red at 1275 Minnesota Street (2017); Goatscapes for Jewish Folktales Retold: Artist as Maggid at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco, 2017-2018); and the sculpture band skullture that plays site-specific sets on location.

Taravat Talepasand was born in 1979 in the United States to Iranian parents during the Iranian Revolution. She retained close family and artistic ties to Iran, Esfahan, where she was trained in the challenging discipline of Persian miniature painting. Paying close attention to the cultural taboos identified by distinctly different social groups, particularly those of gender, race and socioeconomic position, her work reflects the cross-pollination, or lack thereof, in our “modern” society. Talepasand has exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently in the exhibition In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2018), Westoxicated at Zevitas Marcus Gallery (Los Angeles, 2017), and Made in Iran, Born in America at Guerrero Gallery (San Francisco, 2017). She has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Huffington Post.