Issue #106 At Those Terrifying Frontiers Where the Existence and Disappearance of People Fade into Each Other

At Those Terrifying Frontiers Where the Existence and Disappearance of People Fade into Each Other

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Screenshot 2019-12-08 20.17.01, 2019. Courtesy of the artists.

Issue #106
February 2020

And so our need for a new consciousness at those terrifying frontiers where the existence and disappearance of people fade into each other.
—Edward Said, After the Last Sky

Fragments from Edwards Said’s most personal and poetic work, After the Last Sky, are repurposed to create a new script that reflects on what it means now to be constructed as an “illegal” person, body, or entity. The script is turned into a song that is sung by the artists as multiple avatars. Created via a software program that generates avatars from a single image, the avatars in the video all come from images of people who participated in the “Great March of Return” that continues to take place regularly on the seamline in Gaza, an area that has been under physical siege since 2006. The relationship between fugitivity, fragility, and futurity becomes manifest in this field. The project uses low-resolution images that were circulated online; the avatar software renders the missing data and information in the original images as scars, glitches, and incomplete features on the characters’ faces.

Technology, Borders & Frontiers
Return to Issue #106

This work was presented as a live performance at e-flux in June 2019, and also exists as a sound and video work.

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme work together across a range of sound, image, text, installation, and performance practices. Their practice is engaged in the intersections between performativity, political imaginaries, the body, and virtuality.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.