Who is Mohammad?

0: Intro

Identity is not only self-produced, but also negotiated externally. An immigrant since a teenager, I've had to continuously adjust my identity to blend in and feel accepted. Unfortunately, this identitarian inconsistency also persists even when my well-being is not really at stake; I have become unable to sufficiently articulate who I am. Who is "Mohammad Hafiyyandi?"

This is a summary of my thesis project done at NYU ITP on a 3-part experiment to find ways to find an identity and an identitarian expression that work for me.

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1: Internal Construction of Self

Do I say I'm "A and B", or "A but B"? Can I say neither?

I took self-portraits and made a bot trained on my chat logs. Then, I built an installation made of two self-portraits that talk to & merge with each other. Also, as illustrated in the sketch below, these portraits play hide & seek with their viewers.

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2: Denying an Imposed Narrative

Every time I have an international flight, I make sure I shave and dress up properly. If I don't, I might just get randomly checked or even temporarily detained to be interviewed.

I made a second installation, sarcastically portraying these experiences.

Mohammad or not Mohammad?
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3: Repurposing an
Identitarian Expression

Can I use a conventional identitarian vocabulary and make it truly my own? I used a script to interpolate between Islamic perfect geometric shapes with doodles of things I like.

Using these messy, imperfect, in-between shapes, I made a custom praying mat (sajadah) for myself.