Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2017-18

(Brooklyn, NY)Amy Khoshbin


Amy Khoshbin is an Iranian-American Brooklyn-based artist merging performance, video, collage, sound, and fabric arts to examine our individual and collective compulsion to create, transform, and sometimes destroy the stories of who we are and who we think we should be. She produces media and mythologies using humor and a handmade aesthetic to throw a counterpunch at the high-definition, profit-generating codes and signals that American audiences are trained and accustomed to consuming. Amy has shown at venues such as Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Leila Heller Gallery, Times Square Arts, Mana Contemporary, Abrons Arts Center, National Sawdust, and festivals such as River to River and South by Southwest. She has received residencies at spaces such as The Watermill Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Anderson Ranch, and Banff Centre for the Arts. She is a 2017 Franklin Furnace Fund recipient and has received a Rema Hort Mann Artist Community Engagement Grant. Khoshbin has bachelor's degrees in Film and Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University. She has collaborated with Laurie Anderson, Karen Finley, Anne Carson, and Tina Barney among others.

Project Description

The Myth of Layla (TMOL) is a participatory multimedia performance about political ideology, celebrity-obsessed media, and an Iranian-American activist named Layla based on Khoshbin's personal history. TMOL is a SciFi allegory set in a near future when a big-brother media conglomerate called The Network runs the US government and is at war with a fictionalized Middle Eastern country akin to Iran. The leader of The Network is a reality show host, similar to President Trump, who employs media-manipulation tactics such as fear of the Other, propaganda, and entertainment as distraction. The Host of The Network invites Layla and random audience members to participate on their new reality show, Activists in Sexy Solidarity (ASS), which is the set for the performance. Khoshbin will be taking TMOL on tour to smaller towns to foster cultural exchange and political dialogue in venues outside of the urban NYC art context, such as community theaters and schools, with a final performance in New York City.