It could be that we see a shift from authentic objects to authentic experiences. And the authenticity of that experience may be the commodity of the future.
– Art for Tomorrow
Ali Hossaini works at the cutting edge of art, technology and business. Having collaborated with a wide range of talent, his productions have been exhibited in museums, performing arts centers, galleries and festivals around the world, winning acclaim from Vanity Fair, Cool Hunting and others, including the New York Times, which calls him “a biochemist turned philosopher turned television producer turned visual poet.”
Hossaini is CEO of Cinema Arts Network, a consortium of cinemas, visual arts and performance venues. He is also an Associate of Lord Cultural Resources and Research Fellow in Department of Informatics, King’s College London. In 2013 he completed construction of Britain’s Network for the Arts, a national broadband project that supports culture and creative enterprise in cities across the United Kingdom. He is widely sought as a speaker on culture tech – the intersection of creativity and technology – and he is completing a volume on digital museum planning for Rowman & Littlefield in 2016.
Hossaini’s video cycle Epiphany premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) during the 2015 Next Wave Festival. His video installations and film productions have been presented by Art for Tomorrow, the Barbican, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, New York City Opera, the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Beijing, the Mediations Biennale in Poland, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Montreal Festival of Film on Art, PS1/MoMA, the American Museum of the Moving Image, the Whitney Biennial, Couvent des Cordeliers, Anthology Film Archives and other international venues.
From 2012 to 2014 he advised the city of San Antonio, Texas, where he developed a 5 year strategic plan for the Luminaria arts festival. In previous years he launched and served in executive management at several television networks, including Oxygen, TechTV, LinkTV and Cablevision’s suite of iTV and HDTV channels.
Hossaini has worked with a wide range of Hollywood and creative talent. His productions include performances by Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Salma Hayek, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey, Jr, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Sean Penn and other cultural icons. He has produced numerous documentaries and television series relating to travel, natural history, culture and sustainable living. In 2004 he commissioned the Robert Wilson Video Portraits, serving as executive producer. In 2008 he produced Self-Portrait, a short film directed by Dennis Hopper.
As a vice president at the women’s TV network Oxygen Media, Hossaini developed numerous initiatives related to programming and social networking. At TechTV, he launched Chat Day, the first application to merge chat, webcams and live TV in a virtual environment. Hossaini is a former member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the National Association of Television Program Executives. He serves on the Board of Advisors for Anthology Film Archives and the Pacifica Vanuatu Foundation and is a President of White Box Art Center in New York City.
He speaks at conferences globally. In the 1990s he was a regular guest on The Site, an award-winning MSNBC newsmagazine. Hossaini recently completed a manuscript, Vision of the Gods: How optics shaped history, and he contributed three entries to the Encyclopedia of Photography, published by Routledge in 2005. His writing has appeared in Open Democracy, The Village Voice, New York Newsday, Maclean’s Magazine, Logos, The Nation, Al-Ahram Weekly, andVerlag Spotlight. He is anthologized in the textbooks Passages and Considering Cultural Difference, and his essays on photography are frequently included in college coursebooks.
Hossaini’s forward-looking work in media technology began at the University of Texas Press, where he published Istanbul Boy, one of the first electronic books. Subsequently he began working on new approaches to opera, creating a video of Honoria in Cyberspazio, which was webcast in 1996. His passion for combining opera with new platforms continues in Oceanic Verses, his collaboration with Paola Prestini, performed at the Barbican in 2013, and in his work at Cinema Arts Network.
As a graduate student Hossaini was awarded fellowships for poetry, photography and philosophy respectively from Columbia University, the International Center for Photography and the University of Texas at Austin, where he received a doctorate. His dissertation, Archaeology of the Photograph, traces the history of optics from Sumer to the Hellenistic Era.