Sara R. Yazdani holds a PhD in Media Aesthetics and Art History from the University of Oslo (2015-19). Her fields of research are modern and contemporary art with a focus on photography, parallel ecologies and the relationships between art, media, and technologies. In September 2019 she defended her PhD dissertation Self-Sufficient Images: Art, Media, and Ecologies in the Works of Wolfgang Tillmans (supervised by professor Ina Blom and Liv Hausken).
Through the optics of the process ontologies of Gilbert Simondon and Gilles Deleuze, and the media archaeology of Wolfgang Ernst, the dissertation examines how Tillmans’ mode of constellating images reveals a relational conceptualization of photography as the medium enters the digital—a conceptualization attuned to what this study defines as an image ecological practice. Historically contextualizing Tillmans’ practice with reference to artworks from the 1920s and 1960s which have explored visual art in comparable relational terms, the dissertation discusses how Tillmans’ practice creates relationships between bodies, technologies, nature and thing in ways that challenge identity politics, subject-object dualism and the anthropocentric world-view.
Yazdani is also an art critic, contributing to Artforum International, Mousse Magazine, Objektiv, art & education, and Kunstkritikk and over the past years she has curated a various of different art projects and exhibitions.
Between 2016 and 2019 Yazdani was co-leading the interdisciplinary research group Media Aesthetics, at the University of Oslo.
In 2016, she was a guest researcher at Medienwissenschaft at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (invited by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ernst).
She holds a Master of Media Studies and History of Arts from the University of Oslo (2010-12) with a focus on modern and contemporary art, media, and technologies, and a Bachelor in Cultural Studies from Nottingham Trent University.
Environmental Humanities: Menneskets tidsalder? (BA). Department of Art and Media Studies, NTNU.
Media analysis (BA), Department of Art and Media Studies, NTNU.
Media Aesthetics, (BA and MA), Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo (subject leader).
Audiovisual Aesthetics (BA), Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo.
Alternative Film (BA), Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo.
Methods in Media Studies: Close Textual and Visual Analysis" (MA). Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo.
Fotografi, kultur, samfunn (BA and MA), Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo.
EXFAC03-MVIT – Examen facultatum, Medievitenskapelige grunnferdigheter (BA), Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo.
Publications and Academic works
Journal Articles (a selection)
"Wolfgang Tillmans’ Abstract Mediations," Depth of Field. Leiden: Leiden University Press (accepted for publication, forthcoming 2019).
“Fungus, Art and Life: Wolfang Tillmans’s Neue Welt”, British Computer Society: Special Issue: Politics of the Machine: Art and After, Bind EVA Copenhagen (Electronic Workshops in Computing), 2018.
“Toxic Environments, Sensitivities and Planetary Times: A Conversation with Susanne M. Winterling,” Mousse Magazine (August 2018)
Wuxia. Special Issue: Iranian Film and Art, eds. Sara R. Yazdani and Kaveh Tehrani, no. 1-2, 2018.
“Introduction: Cyborgs, the Poetic and Political: Notes on Iranian Cinema,” Wuxia. Special Issue: Iranian Film and Art, eds. Sara R. Yazdani and Kaveh Tehrani, no. 1-2, 2018.
“New Forms of Life: The Physicality and Poetics of Pictures,” with Susanne M. Winterling, Objektiv.Tidskrift for kamerabasert kunst (2015)
Books and Book Chapters
“Surface, Skin and Affect” with Susanne M. Winterling, in Writing Images. Conversations on Photography, ed. Antonio Cataldo. Berlin: Kehrer Verlag, 2019 (forthcoming)
“Bodily Transformations” in New Scandinavian Photography, eds. Bjarne Bare and Behzad Farazollahi. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2015.
Fra Terror til Overvåking, eds. Liv Hausken, Trine Haagensen and Sara R. Yazdani. Oslo: Vidarforlaget, 2014
“Oslo, Norge: En Samtal om Bilder,” in Fra Terror till Overvåking, Liv Hausken, Trine Haagensen, and Sara R. Yazdani (eds.) Oslo: Vidarforlaget, 2014
”The Portrait in Art” in Portaits by Waiters, ed. Sveinn Fannar Jóhannsson. Oslo: Multinational Enterprise, 2014
“Beyond the Individual: “Expanded Sculpture” and the Social at the Academy of Fine Art, Oslo,” Art & Education (Artforum and e-flux) (May 2019)
“Sandra Mujinga”, Artforum International (July 2018)
“Matias Faldbakken”, Artforum International (December 2017)
“Karl Larsson”, Artforum International (April 2017)
”Wolfgang Tillmans”, Artforum International (May 2016)
“Eloquent Materials”, Kunstkritikk (September 2016)
“Digital Flows”, Kunstkritikk (February 2016)
“En Taktil Värld”, Kunstkritikk (March 2015)
“Organiska Medier,” Kunstkritikk (February 2015)
“Objekets Sosiala Process,” Kunstkritikk (January 2015)
”The Sculptural Body,” The Plantation Journal (July 2014)
“Contesting Images” with Khaled Barakeh and Terje Abusdal. Plenary Conversation. Let’s Talk About Images. Fotogalleriet, Oslo. November 2018.
“Photography as Diagrammatic” Plenary Lecture. Art Criticism and the Anthropocene, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo, Norway. June 2018.
“Art, Fungi, and Photography” Plenary lecture. Forms of Life: Vitalisms, Bio-politics and New Ecologies. Text, Image, Sound, Space. Programme franco-norvégien, Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris. January 2018
“On Ecologies, Mediation and Para” With Goutam Ghosh and Jason Havneraas. Plenary conversation. Kunstnernas Hus, Oslo. April 2018.
"Photography, Life and Social Ontologies” Plenary lecture. Networks, Topologies, Aesthetics. Department of Art History, University of Oslo. January 2017.
“A Conception of Photography as Media Diagrammatic” Keynote lecture. Medien, die wir meinen. Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Medienwissenschaft, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. June 2016.
“Contemporary Material Processes, Media, and Bodies in Wolfgang Tillmans’ Approaches” Plenary lecture. What is the Contemporary? Text, Image, Sound, Space. Programme franco-norvégien, Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris. January 2016.
“Temporality, Life and Photography” Keynote lecture. How to do the History of the 1970s.Edinburgh University and Schools of Fine Arts. May 2015.