Shahbaz Khayambashi is an academic, curator, artist and educator based in Toronto. He is currently working toward a PhD at York University in the department of communications. His research is focused on the representations of death and protests in the media. His research has been published in a variety of places including Omega: The Journal of Death and Dying and Public. He has also had short narrative pieces published in Pressed Magazine and an upcoming book, and videos screened in festivals in Toronto and Winnipeg. He has programmed screenings in Toronto for about five years, either independently or as the co-founder of Citizens Committee on Moral Hygiene or Monster Mash. He is currently co-chair of Toronto film and video collective Pleasure Dome.
Why did you get involved in this project?
I wanted to convince some friends to do an exquisite corpse during this but a mixture of not particularly artistically motivated friends and my own laziness made me give up on that idea. So when I saw that someone had started one, I jumped at the opportunity (as quickly as a lazy person can jump).
Did the one week turn-around for the work help or hinder your creativity?
I felt that a week meant that I didn’t really have a lot of time to think, which meant that I would have to trust my gut and go with the first instinct. Creatively, I thought that was great. Artistically, I’d have to wait and see!
How did you feel about working on a project where you didn’t know who you were collaborating with?
Incredible! There was literally no way to guess how any of this is going to turn out.
Has being involved in the project changed your thoughts on creativity?
Somewhat. I feel like I would have never felt good about my contributions if the project was a personal one where I was in charge of things. There was no time with this to double guess myself, so I allowed myself to be sloppy and not feel horrendous about it.
If you worked on several videos, what kept you coming back for more and how many did you do?
I was technically involved with two and I mainly did the second so I could do the first, but I did seriously consider doing another just because it gave me something to focus my mind on for a while.