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KJR Studios

Kameelah Janan Rasheed is a learner* from East Palo Alto, CA

Brooklyn | Berlin | Johannesburg



© Kameelah Janan Rasheed. All rights reserved.
 Biography




Kameelah Janan Rasheed (she/her) was born in East Palo Alto, CA. Rasheed lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

A learner, Kameelah Janan Rasheed explores writing practices across all species, states of living, states of consciousness, and substrates. With an interest in the poetics and possibilities of loss, ruin, and failure in the reading and writing process, Rasheed is interested in Black knowledge production and fugitivity. You can learn more about her practice in the Aga Khan Museum - This Being Human Podcast (2023) Art 21 documentary (2021), a recent interview in Art in America (2021).

Drawing on her regional East Palo Alto (Northern California) Black vernacular upbringing, Islamic mysticism, neo-animism, and quantum physics, Rasheed creates books that change over time due to reader interaction; sprawling installations mirroring Octavia Estelle Butler’s ecosystemic concept of “primitive hypertext”; prints, photographs, paintings, and drawings that allow for some element of chemical and biological change over time; performance lectures that draw on her experience with improv and high school teaching; ergodic browser-based essays; writing games and constraints; creative code; and other forms yet to be determined.

Most recently, she is a recipient of a 2023 Working Artist Fellowship; the 2022 Schering Stiftung Award for Artistic Research; a 2022 Creative Capital Award; a 2022 Betty Parsons Fellow – Artists2Artists Art Matters Award; a 2022 Artists + Machine Intelligence Grants - Experiments with Google; and a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts.

Her most recent solo exhibitions include KW Institute of Contemporary Art (2023), Art Institute of Chicago (2023), and Kunstverein Hannover (2022). Her upcoming solo exhibition at REDCAT (Los Angeles, CA) will feature new video works.

Rasheed is the author of five artists' books: in the coherence, we weep (KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 2023); i am not done yet (Mousse Publishing, 2022); An Alphabetical Accumulation of Approximate Observations (Endless Editions, 2019); No New Theories (Printed Matter, 2019); and the digital publication Scoring the Stacks (Brooklyn Public Library, 2021). Her writing has appeared in Triple Canopy, The New Inquiry, Shift Space, Active Cultures, and The Believer. Before her adult publishing, she authored half a dozen books as a six and seven year old.

Rasheed also founded Orange Tangent Study, a consulting business that has provided over 7000 USD in microgrants to practitioners, and further supports individuals and institutions in designing expansive and liberatory learning experiences. She is also the founder of Black Orbits, a platform for digital archives exploring the many permutations of Black life through the material and immaterial. Black Orbits is home to three projects: Mapping the Spirit (Black religious life in North America), 981 (Black vernacular photographs), and Study East Palo Alto (Black radical education experiments in my hometown 1960-1983). Finally, she founded Scratch Disks Full, a project publishing leftovers, excess,  dirty data,  spillage, and the unfulfilled.

Currently, she is an adjunct instructor at the Cooper Union and Barnard College, a Critic at Yale School of Art, MFA Sculpture, and an instructor at the School for Poetic Computation.

Rasheed served on the board of Sadie Nash Leadership Program (2017-2021). Currently, she serves on the boards of Metropolitan New York Library Council (2020-present) and Printed Matter, Inc. (2021-present).


Rasheed holds an M.A. in Secondary Social Studies Education from Stanford University (2008) and a BA in Public Policy from Pomona College (2006). She was an Amy Biehl U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa (2006–7).

While she did not attend art school, she is indebted to her commnity learning through residencies (Lower East Side Printshop - 2015;  Center for Book Arts - 2013) classes (Plugged In - late 1990s, School for Poetic Computation, Poetry Project, Magnet Theater, Brooklyn Insitute for Social Research, Brooklyn Brainery) and countless peers such as Chang Yuchen.

Rasheed is represented by NOME (Americas and Europe).