Ahmed El Shaer

*1980, Cairo, Egypt. Lives and works in Cairo, Egypt.

Ahmed El Shaer is a multi-disciplinary artist (installation, photography, sound, video), with a particular interest in digital technologies. His videos combine Machinima, stock footage, 3D animation and experimental soundscapes. His work has been highlighted in numerous exhibitions and festivals, among which: Fugitive Video Project 2009 (International Festival for Alternative Film and Video, Dublin and Mantua, 2009); Under Current: Contemporary Art from Egypt (SAWA Gallery, Dubai, 2009); Orebro International Video Art Festival (Orebro, Sweden, 2008); International Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean, Bari, Italy (2008). He is the recipient of numerous awards and has participated in several residency programs, such as the Pro Helvetia Artist-in-Residence cycle (Zurich, Switzerland, 2009) and the Summer Academy of Fine Arts (Salzburg, Austria, 2006 and 2007).

EL SHAER Under examination 2

Under Examination / Egypt / 2009 / 2'20 / 4:3

A citizen of Digitaland is seeking a visa to enter Planet Earth. A bureaucrat from the host planet, in charge of controlling movement at the border, is compiling information about him. In the background, disembodied voices speak of “criteria”, “indicators” and “standards”. The traveller has no readily recognizable features: he is no different from any other being created (as he was) with Machimana software. On his forehead is an American flag bandana. Why he is wearing it is unclear; possibly he means to convince the bureaucrat that he is a good candidate for immigration. Obtaining a visa these days is complicated, especially if you’re trying to negotiate passage from and alien-nation into the “real” world…