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Hello

– projectsSamt
“Samt is a tri-monthly digital-exhibition space for contemporary research, with a mission to dilute the physicality of geopolitical boundaries through absolute detachment from national or regional political agendas. It also offers anonymity to its contributors with the use of pseudonyms as to protect and encourage those located in controlled regions.”





2017, hello
Internet art
Commissioned by Alserkal Programming

explored heavily trafficked and poorly maintained pedestrian tunnels in the city of Sharjah that are used by expatriates and locals alike. The tunnels are not only used as a crossing path, but also as a hub for residential advertisements on a harmless, yet partially illegal level. Many new expats in these neighbourhoods go looking for a new home through the tunnels, and old residents advertise there for roommates under self-imposed conditions, with hopes to locate others of similar interests and qualities, such as religious views, gender and career.

After collecting several of these advertisements, Al Wawi called the telephone numbers advertised and recorded the initial “hello” of the conversation right before ending the call. Al Wawi has made these recording accessible through a clickable button disguised in a graphic element of a familiar brand. When pressing the button, it reveals an anxious encounter between strangers. On the surface, the work explores the attempts of multinational corporations trying to connect people through branding campaigns and expensive commercials, with actual real encounters of people trying to connect in the Gulf.




alserkalavenue.ae/folio/hello-by-walid-al-wawi