Ali Akbar Mehta (b.1983, Mumbai) is a Transmedia artist, curator, and researcher. Through a research-based practice, he creates immersive cyber archives that map narratives of history, memory, and identity, through multifocal lenses of violence, conflict, and trauma. Such archival mappings – like drawings, paintings, new media works, net-based projects, poems, essays, and theoretical texts, as well as performances both of bodies and networks – are rooted in data feminist posthumanist critical theories of making visible hegemonic power relations and silenced historical materialism. His ongoing doctoral research, tentatively titled Practicing Online Performativity: Constructing Politically Conscious Archives for the Future, is interested in exploring the performative relations between online archives and their users through mediated interventions of Second Order Cybernetics, to create knowledge systems that outline a vibrant new political public sphere.
His work as performances, installations and talks have been exhibited in galleries and alternative spaces in Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Helsinki, Tampere, Pori, Venice, Nova Gorica, Vienna, Turku, and Jyväskylä. Several of his projects, such as 256 Million Colours of Violence, Outsiders at Work, Ballad of the Lost Utopian Meadow and Central Park Archives, exist as permanent ongoing online projects.
He is a co-founder of the Museum of Impossible Forms, an anti-racist queer feminist project and was its Co-Artistic Director from 2018 to 2020. He currently serves on the board of TKOK ry (2021-) and Kiila ry (2019- chairperson 2021-); is a research member of the Cluster of Critical Artistic Research (CCARE) and is pursuing his Doctoral Research in the Contemporary Art Department at Aalto University, Helsinki. He holds a BFA in Drawing & Painting from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, and an MA in Visual Culture, Curating, and Contemporary Art from Aalto University, Helsinki.