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February 2 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

12 Gates Art

106 North 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106 United States

Alhamdu Muslim Futurisms@-12-Gates-Art



Twelve Gates Arts is proud to present the immersive installation “The Mirage” from the ALHAMDU | MUSLIM FUTURISM exhibit created and curated by the Muslim arts and culture collective—MIPSTERZ,  opening on Friday, February 2nd, 2024.

Opening Reception: February 2nd, 2024, 5-8pm

Philadelphia, PA, February 2, 2024 “The Mirage” is a single-user immersive experience created by the Muslim arts and culture collective—MIPSTERZ with generous support from the Building Bridges Program of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. This installation invites users to contribute to a future where Muslimness is centered and celebrated through kaleidoscopic visuals, atmospheric sound, and tangible interactions. “The Mirage” offers an interactive opportunity for a marginalized community to share a world in which their thriving, and flourishing are possible and their boldness actualized.

This installation sends all visitors (Muslim or not) on an emotional journey with the aid of haptic responses,  dynamic spatial audio, aggregated visuals, and an impressive scale centered around Islamic themes of flourishing.

The interactive sequence begins with the visitor scanning a code just outside of the space. Upon doing so, they are asked a singular question: what would you like to contribute to a Muslim future? This question places responsibility and accountability in the hands of the visitor. The options presented vary greatly from contributions such as harmony, radiance, justice, or solidarity or other, more negative options such as indifference, skepticism, or resentment. While many participants may have never thought of a “Muslim future” before, they now must consider their place in it and their contribution to its evolution.

Upon entering their selection, the visitor then steps into an illuminated platform centered in front of images projected onto screens made of long panels of billowing fabric in front of enormous fans. The projected images are initially obscured by the fabric’s motion, settling once the visitor steps in front of the piece.

On the fabric screens, visitors bear witness to kaleidoscopic visuals from the MIPSTERZ-envisioned Muslim future—one in which dozens of Muslims shine brightly in their vibrant regalia and environments. The installation’s thoughtfully designed soundscape situates the visitor in a sonic translation of galaxies far away mixed with the rich familiar instrumentation found throughout the Muslim diaspora on Earth today. Poetic wisdom appears on the screens as a direct response to the aggregated collective “contributions” of all who have entered the space:

Take care of your souls.

Be custodians of justice.

Remember me; I will remember you.

What is coming is better than what has gone by.

After a momentary pause to reflect on these messages, the text disappears, and the billowing resumes. Visitors can choose to remain in the space to experience the cyclical sequence of visuals and sound or, if they wish, reconsider their contribution and try for a new response.

“The Mirage,” in many ways, is an optical illusion of a seemingly wondrous distant future brought close as a hopeful wish of what could be. This Muslim future is not a fleeting figment of our imaginations—it is the shifting image of something real somewhere or some time from now.  Through this installation, we reinforce the ethos of the larger ALHAMDU | MUSLIM FUTURISM project: however we build the future, it will be together.

“The Mirage” debuted at the inaugural ALHAMDU | MUSLIM FUTURISM exhibition at the Rubenstein Visual Arts Center at Duke University in Durham, NC in 2022. The exhibition will travel to Iowa City, IA and Colorado Springs, CO later this year.

Gallery Hours: Thursday-Saturday 11 AM – 5 PM or by appointment.

About Twelve Gates Arts

Founded in 2011, Twelve Gates Arts (12G) is an arts gallery located in Old City, Philadelphia that uplifts South & West Asian diasporic artistic voices within the local cultural landscape. 12G quarterly visual exhibitions and community events focus on an emerging art landscape that maps the cultures of migration, inclusive of the systems that influence it: race, gender, creed, empire, and economy. A nod to the archetypal fortified walls that surround Imperial medieval cities worldwide, our namesake underlies our exhibitions and events, which celebrate the melange of cultural identity that foments as peoples move and settle.

MIPSTERZ is a non-traditional arts and culture collective for emerging Muslim creatives. MIPSTERZ enables and amplifies Muslim creative voices by presenting and producing original works for general audiences. MIPSTERZ helps marginalized creators build, collaborate, or experiment with diverse folks who share a common connection to a larger tradition. The collective has featured work in popular media and academia to museums and art spaces to bring multi-dimensional third-culture-inspired voices and stories to the forefront.

Shimul Chowdhury (she/they) is a new media artist, art director of MIPSTERZ, and an Assistant Professor of Immersive Media at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. She studied Art + Technology at the University of Florida and holds an MFA in Digital Arts and New Media from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Shimul uses textiles, virtual spaces, experimental animation, and more to create participatory experiences that initiate and invite dialogue with the audience. She centers her own lived experiences as a Muslim US American in her work, aiming to create and build community and solidarity with participants and viewers.

Abbas Rattani is an award-winning film director, producer, and process artist at MIPSTERZ. He has over a decade of experience advancing Muslim artistic contributions. His work has been exhibited at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, THE SHED, Carnegie Hall, Tribeca Film Festival, Museum for the City of New York, and Cooper Hewitt. His 2013 “Somewhere in America” film had an international cultural impact, and his recent “ALHAMDU | MUSLIM FUTURISM” film (2022) was selected for multiple festivals and inspired an international conference and exhibit of the same name funded by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Yusuf Siddiquee is a lifelong musician, co-founder of MIPSTERZ, and a leader in arts organizing. In the last decade, he produced and curated dozens of community experiences blending mixed media presenters and interactive performance art for stages large and small. Yusuf’s original music has been featured in award-winning short films shown worldwide. He is a multi-instrumentalist who will play literally anything like an instrument, as long as the tone fits. Yusuf has worked for arts and culture hubs such as the Silent Barn, Brooklyn Academy of Music and StoryCorps. An alumnus of the ZooLabs Music Accelerator, NYFA Emerging Leaders Program, and NEW INC Cultural Incubator, he believes in the power of building cultural legacies through the arts and is dedicated to helping artists thrive.


February 2
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm


12 Gates Art
106 North 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106 United States
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