Ali Hossaini



Ali Hossaini is an american artist, a philosopher, a producer, a biochemist as well as a poet.

Some of his researches on langage,  autism and the reassessment of Chomsky's work led him to an reevaluation of a primary langage: for example, in the 4Monkeys (2017), he uses numbers and letters.

“Reality is Psychedelic.” an Interview with Ali Hossaini


Please tell us about your artistic process and how it has evolved throughout the years.

For me the first stage of inspiration comes through adventure. My fundamental drive is curiosity – I’ve always wanted to know everything. I love reading, and I might have been very bookish, but (fortunately for my love life) that intellectual drive is matched by a robust physical and emotional urge to see the world. So I’m constantly exploring, whether through mind or body, then reflecting on what I’ve learned. In the course of this process one naturally makes connections. Some of these connections are straightforward, following established rules of analysis or synthesis. And some are poetic: associative with resonances that are more generative than conclusive.

It is through the latter process that I produce something people call art, though for me it’s more precisely called poetry. I like calling myself a visual poet because the term relates to poesis, which for the Greeks was very specific kind of creative process. (Also the words “art” and “artist” today imply a lot of things I find horrible.) For me poetry arises from a process of disintegration in the fullest sense of that process: the coherence of things breaks down, and previously unrelated structures start bumping against one another, adhering and forming new structures which may or may not make immediate sense.

When I’d started trying to express myself I had a lot of trouble coming up with ideas. And I was unconfident about them. Creativity is a natural secretion of consciousness, and, now that I’ve had a lot more experience, new projects flow faster than I can realize them. One way I think about the creative process is alchemy, the transmutation of dross into gold, an image I love. (This is silly, but I secretly think of the need for artistic expression as a full bladder—you just gotta do it.) In Hindu culture the transcendence of creativity is represented by the lotus, a beautiful flower that rises from muck. Years of reading and travel has enriched my daily experience. When I look at things, I see the thing in front of me, for sure, but it’s in the center of a vibrant, fluctuating, utterly delightful web of connections – historical, scientific, aesthetic, emotional, literary, social and philosophical. My rich inner life contrasts with my Spartan approach to possessions. I live very simply because have a lot of trouble with stuff. Material possessions make my heart sag and distract my thinking, so I find living plants and organic forms to be the best environment for creativity.

Aesthetics and craft are very important to me, so I work hard to make experiences that are beautiful. Beauty has been an unpopular category in art for some years, with the justification being that aesthetic criteria have less validity than concepts. I take the diametrically opposite view, as I don’t think artists have much to contribute in the way of original concepts. What the artist can offer is a rigorous craft based on trained manual skills and aesthetic principles. The mandate of art is to create something beautiful – this doesn’t mean that it can’t be critical, provocative or idea-based, but those qualities emanate from the relationship of art to disciplines better equipped to handle them.

Some might say I am dumbing down art, but to me beauty relies on processes that are far more sophisticated than the verbal ability required to appreciate the irony, cynicism and self-referentiality of conceptual artworks. Beauty arises from the innate mathematical abilities of our mind. While our verbal brain lumbers along with kludged linear processes, our visual faculties contain dedicated neural circuits that instantly analyze multidimensional fields. To say concepts are more sophisticated than beauty ignores the fundamentals of cognition, and it also disrupts the organic connection between our intuitions, life processes and the physical world.


Ali Hossaini is an american artist, borned in 1962 in West Virginia. His work combines lots of disciplines which permitted him to expose and perform in galeries, museums, as well as festivals.

“Art cannot be science, but it can convey the sense of wonder that drives scientists. It can visualize the worlds of science while honoring our sense of self as beings that transcend the mundane” Ali Hossaini

EXHIBITIONS (selection)


 - V.I.E. V.ideo I.mage E.volution, Galerie W, Paris 


Ouroboros, video installation, Click Festival, Helsingor, Denmark

Why It's Kicking Off Anywhere, video director, Young Vic, London, UK


Ouroboros, video installation, Art for Tomorrow, Doha, Qatar


Epiphany, video installation & live performance, BAM, New York


Oceanic Verses, video installation & live performance, Dillon Gallery, New York


Oceanic Verses, video installation & live performance, The Barbican, London, UK


Illusory Production, video installation, CAFA Museum, Beijing, China

Epiphany, video installation, Mediations Biennale, Poznan, Poland

Ouroboros, video installation, Clews Foundation, Denver, Colorado

Oceanic Verses, video installation & live performance, The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC

Ouroboros, video installation, Clews Foundation, Denver, Colorado

Oceanic Verses, video installation & live performance, River to River Festival, New York City

Ouroboros, video installation, Clews Foundation, Denver, Colorado

Hermetica, video screening, Electronic Art Intermix, New York City

Divine Machines, Museum of Optography, Sharjah


Fabric of Life, solo show of prints & video, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York City

Executive Privilege, video installation, White Box, New York City

Fading Civilizations, video triptych, SoundRes Festival, Lecce, Italy

The Aging Magician, musical theater, The Kitchen, New York City

Fading Civilizations, video triptych, The Kitchen, New York City

Ouroboros, video installation, Museum of Outdoor Art, Denver, Colorado

Memory Begins, video installation, SudLab, Naples, Italy


Memory Begins, video installation, White Box, New YorkCity

Ouroboros, video installation, Ise Cultural Foundation, New York City

Oceanic Verses, operatic video, New York City Opera

Caro Ben Mio, live video, Galapagos Art Space, New York City


Baghdad Transcendental, sculpture & photography installation, The Drop, New York City

Epiphany: Prints, The Kaufman Arcade, New York City

Epiphany: Volcano, Gallery 8, New York City


Divine Machines, film , The Hackney Empire, London, UK

Epiphany, video installation, American Museum of the Moving Image, New York City

Noumema, Time is the Moving Image & The Same River, short plays, Water Mill Center for the Arts

Installation of productions from LAB, American Museum of the Moving Image, New York City

Curated selection of LAB productions, Scope Art Fair, New York City

Unperception Now, film, Montreal Festival of Film on Art, Montreal, Canada


Living Voom, curated selection of LAB productions, Scanners Film Festival, The Lincoln Center

Curated selection of LAB productions, Borderlines Festival, Beijing, China

Unperception Now, Janos Gat Gallery, New York City

Curated selection of LAB productions, SF Cinemateque, San Francisco

Curated selection of LAB productions, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California

Curated selection of LAB productions, Orchard 47, New York City

Jeanne Moreau & Isabelle Huppert Video Portraits, Couvent des Cordeliers, Paris



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