Selwa Abd is a moroccan-born artist, music composer and freelance designer / consultant based in New York City.
Her prolific and thought-provoking output challenges critical questions surrounding the future of technology, her own fragmented personal identity shaped by the complexities of post-colonial urban environments, and the influence of virtual realities on contemporary society.

Inspired by Deleuze's interpretation of Henri Bergson's philosophical framework, she embraces intuition as a legitimate method for investigating these complex issues in all her creative endeavors.

Selwa collaborated with a diverse array of cultural artists spanning the realms of both the art and music worlds. Her musical compositions were showcased in exhibitions of contemporary visual artists, she also remixed the works of musical artists, including Depeche Mode. 

She is a recipient of the SACEM grant (2020), Harvestworks Technology Immersion Program Grant & Fellowship (2022), the Issue Project Room Residency (2022) and The Jerome Hill Artist Alternate Award (2023).

Selwa has shown works at MOMA Ps1, Roulette, Moogfest , National Sawdust, Issue Project Room x The Center for Performance Research, Basilica Hudson, Fridman Gallery, The James Gallery, 47 Canal and The Brooklyn Film Festival to name a few.

Selwa has earned recognition from outlets including The Washington Post, BOMB Magazine, GQ Middle East Magazine, Resident Advisor, Mixmag Mena and Artforum
Her music has been released on labels such as Optimo Music and Tresor Records.

Selwa is the founder of the community resource
Pick Up The Flow and the publishing imprint BIZAARBAZAAR. She's been a NTS Radio DJ resident since 2018.

Discography / Bandcamp

"As If Reality?" is a series of works initiated by Selwa during her Artist-In-Residence Program at ISSUE Project Room in 2022. The project draws inspiration from David Chalmers' book, "Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy," and follows a creative approach based on intuition and fragment-based systems. According to Chalmers, as the physical world deteriorates, virtual worlds will offer new landscapes and possibilities. However, Selwa wrestles with the repercussions of this growing reliance on virtual platforms for our planet. 
While she acknowledges the hopefulness in Chalmers' perspective, she is equally troubled by the ecological implications. This dichotomy, labeled as Opti-pessimism by Selwa and influenced by Henri Bergson’s philosophy, drives her to confront audiences with conflicting realities, prompting them to contemplate the future of humanity amidst planetary decline.

Selwa's latest works aim to build sonic and visual worlds as simulations that extend creative research and speculations on the future. Her focus is on utilizing fragments and intuition conceptually to alter the scales of perception and better understand the sonic and visual mediums. These explorations of fragments exist within the tensions between the actual and virtual, which have become a hallmark of the "Bergsonist" project.

As If Reality Part I  | June 10, 11, 2022

Diptych composition comprising a 9-minute video art piece showcasing footage from Governors Island, along with 3D fragments created by Selwa. The accompanying sonic composition features sounds recorded on Governors Island. The other half of the diptych composition is a 23 minute live performance on Governors Island, using sounds from the environment to immerse the audience in a physical representation of "As If Reality".

Taking inspiration from musique concrete and electronic music, Bergsonist employs found sound as a sonic element, blending it with man-made FM sounds generated by machines.  This process was repeated in different environments to create a new body of work that simulates immersive experiences. The performance took place within Harvestworks Art and Technology Program Building 10a at Governors Island. Link

As If Reality Part II | November 4, 2022

Multimedia audio-visual performance showcasing 3D & designed objects, video projections, and a sonic composition by Selwa Abd. Selwa developed the piece during her 2022 residency with the ISSUE Artist-In-Residence Program, in collaboration with Harvestworks and Center for Performance Research. This latest iteration builds upon previous presentations of As If Reality?, it features 360 footage and visual fragments captured during Abd's travels in Morocco in the summer of 2022. Video production support: Greg Zifcak (Wavdwgs)

As If Reality | Album | May 25th, 2024

This album was supported by a grant from the Jerome Foundation and builds on the works Selwa created during her Artist-In-Residence Program at ISSUE Project Room x Harvestworks in 2022.

Listen to the album here

Design by Gina Lee