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Ameera Kawash

I am an artist, writer, and creative technologist. My PhD research focuses on digital retooling as an artistic practice, drawing from speculative, decolonial, and care-based methods.

I am also a co-founder of Or:bital Bloom, a sustainability startup, which is part of InnovationRCA.

In addition to my work with digital arts, I am a classically trained painter and freelance writer. I am Palestinian-Iraqi-American and live in London.

       My PhD research develops digital retooling as an artistic methodology that ties together socially engaged practice, speculative design, and digital arts to create original artworks and projects that rescript how dominant digital media functions. Digital retooling is a propositional, practical, creative, and critical method that transforms existing technologies through artistic practice to break from hegemonic structures rooted in digital capitalism and data colonialism. Staying with embodiment and vulnerability, my research and practice centers architectures of agency, care, and community in overwhelmingly nonconsensual and traumatic digital systems.

            As a practice-based methodology, digital retooling moves beyond image and interface to emphasise infrastructure, contextuality, and the processes by which media acquires meaning and form as it moves in the world. The artistic projects I develop in tandem with critical research innovate at the visual, infrastructural, and social layers to contest default modes and plug-and-play forms of exploitation that come loaded into dominant digital media systems. Through speculative hacking, backend redesign, and an expanded trauma-sensitive approach, my research develops digital retooling as an artistic methodology that integrates speculative, decolonial, and care-based approaches.

Keywords: digital retooling, agency, care, value, co-vulnerability, speculative hacking, back-end redesign, trauma-informed approaches

'Black Body Radiation: Rescripting Data Bodies' screenshot
'Black Body Radiation: Rescripting Data Bodies' screenshot
'Black Body Radiation: Rescripting Data Bodies' Clip

'Black Body Radiation: Rescripting Data Bodies' is a collaboration between digital artist Ameera Kawash and performance artist Ama BE. Over the course of three performances, the work explores tobacco as material, ritual, adornment, and value. Deploying body sensor networks and blockchain architectures, the artwork generates performance-driven NFTs that rescript data bodies as agential forces extending from the performer’s choreography, gestures, and repetitive movements.  




7.5 Minutes
Or:bital Bloom Logo
Mock-up sketch with generative flower
Or:bital Bloom in Wallpaper Magazine

"Or:bital Bloom is a virtual garden that thrives as businesses go green. We are data driven storytellers. We incentivise and express transitions to sustainability"

Or:bital Bloom won honourable mention as a highly commended project at the Terra Carta Design Lab. We have been featured in Wallpaper Magazine, Design Week, and Dezeen.

Please see our website for more.

Mock-up of digital wearable

‘Virtual Keffiyeh’ combines research, article writing, and the design of a digital wearable to draw attention to Palestinian digital rights in the advent of virtual and immersive digital technologies. 

The digital wearable is based on the traditional Keffiyeh and is intended to show solidarity with the Palestinian cause in emerging virtual and metaverse spaces. For more please see my article.