Announcement of 2012 Makers Muse Recipients

Aug 30, 2012


It’s almost fall again, and with the season comes year four of the Makers Muse Award. We’ve spent the last year trawling the Internet, our cinemas, galleries, memory-banks, and libraries for the inventive and bizarre. While some have captivated us for years, others are new fascinations; this year’s recipients epitomize the awesome and the valorous.

Through the use of video, graphic novels, performance, writing, installation, web projects, design, archiving, music, and photography, the 2012 awardees all have a profoundly interdisciplinary edge to them. Tackling issues from justice to sexuality, uprisings to economy, these individuals will surely galvanize and provoke you.

Coming from the US, Afghanistan, Iran, and Indonesia we present to you the 2012 Makers Muse Award recipients.



Jibz Cameron is a performance/video artist and actor who lives and works in New York. Her work as her alter ego Dynasty Handbag has been seen at international dives both great and small. She has been heralded by the New York Times as “the funniest and most pitch perfect performance seen in years” and “crackpot genius” by the Village Voice. She has received awards from Dance Theater Workshop (2008), Franklin Furnace (2008), Mondo Cane! (2010), and Kindle Project (2011, 2012). She is an adjunct professor of Performance and Theater studies at TISCH NYU. She is currently an associate performer with the Wooster Group.

Miranda July is a filmmaker, artist, and writer. July wrote, directed and starred in her first feature-length film,  Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005), which won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and four prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Camera d’Or. Miranda July’s most recent film is The Future (2011). Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Harper’s, and The New Yorker; her collection of stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You (Scribner, 2007), won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and has been published in twenty countries. Her latest book, a work of non-fiction, is entitled It Chooses You (McSweeney’s, 2011).
July created the participatory website, learningtoloveyoumore, with artist Harrell Fletcher and a companion book was published in 2007 (Prestel); the work is now in collection of The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Eleven Heavy Things, the interactive sculpture garden she designed for the 2009 Venice Biennale, was most recently on view in Union Square in New York and presented by MOCA in Los Angeles. Raised in Berkeley, California, she currently lives in Los Angeles.

Josh MacPhee is a designer, artist, activist, and archivist. He is a member of both the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative ( and the Occuprint collective ( He is the co-author of Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now, co-editor of Signal: A Journal of International Political Graphics and Culture, and he recently co-founded the Interference Archive, a public collection of cultural materials produced by social movements (

Carlos Motta (b. 1978, Bogotá, Colombia) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work draws upon political history in an attempt to create counter narratives that recognize the inclusion of suppressed histories, communities, and identities. Motta’s work has been individually presented in venues such as New Museum (2012); Performa 11 (with Julieta Aranda), New York (2011); Museo de Arte del Banco de la República Bogotá (2010); Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin (2010); MoMA/PS1, New York (2009); Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Philadelphia (2008); Art in General, New York (2008); and in international group exhibitions at Guggenheim Museum, New York (2011); Serralves Museum, Porto (2010); National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (2010); San Francisco Art Institute (2010); CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson (2009); and “X Biennale de Lyon” (2009); Creative Time (2008), New York; among others. Motta is currently working on a large-scale performative event in collaboration with Matthias Springer, co-commissioned by Electra Productions and Tate Modern, which will premiere in February 2013 at Tate Modern, London. He is also co-organizing with Oliver Ressler the exhibition and conferences “Absolute Democracy” as part of Steirischer Herbst in Graz in September 2012. Motta is a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program and was named a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow in 2008. He is part of the faculty at Parsons The New School of Design and the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College.

Nova Ruth is a life artist, musician and activist. Her first music project, the conscious rap duo Twin Sista performed in contexts as diverse as prisons, cheesy shopping malls, poetry festivals and punk gigs across her native Indonesia. As a solo performer, Nova Ruth spread her poetry and raps wider, traveling to Australia in 2008 at the invitation of Gang Festival. Nova is now part of the Barcelona-based AV project Filastine, where she sings, raps and plays drums on stages from Cairo to Paris to Tokyo. Her work with Filastine includes a pair of videos that address cultural and ecological frictions, winning critical acclaim and an award from the United Nations OCHA. Despite being on tour nearly half of every year Nova continues to dedicate much of her time to projects within Indonesia, including two acoustic bands, Ajér and Mimimintuno. Nova recently opened a cafe & cultural space called Legipait in her hometown of Malang, Java, where she organizes art expositions, micro-concerts, and readings. Nova worked for years with Engage Media, a social justice and environmental video site for the Asia Pacific. Her most recent project is a local environmental action group, SUMUK, focused on raising awareness of regional deforestation and pollution.
Photo: Kirill Kotov (Instagram: Kirill69kotov)

Marjane Satrapi was born in Iran. Having studied at the French lycée in Teheran, she furthered her studies in Vienna before settling in France in 1994. On arrival in Paris, she joined the Atelier des Vosges, a haunt of the big names in modern comic-book illustration.

In her first novel, Persepolis 1, published by L’Association in November 2000, Marjane retraces part of her family’s history through the story of her first ten years until the fall of the Shah’s regime and the start of the Iran-Iraq war. The book received the prize for the best first album at the Angoulême festival. In Persepolis 2, released in October 2001, she recounts the Iran-Iraq war and her adolescence until her departure for Vienna aged 14. Persepolis 3 and Persepolis 4 tell of her exile in Austria and her return to Iran.
She has since published two further novels, Embroideries and Chicken with Plums. The latter won the 2005 prize for the best album at the Angoulême festival. She has also published children’s books, notably Sagesses et malices de la Perse (in partnership with Lila Ibrahim-Ouali and Bahman Namwar-Motalg), Monsters are Afraid of the MoonUlysse au pays des fous (in partnership with Jean-Pierre Duffour, released in 2001), Ajdar (released in 2002) and Le Soupir (released in 2004). In 2009, she appeared in Riad Sattouf’s movie, Les Beaux Gosses (The French Kissers), co-wrote the lyrics of “Poney Rose” with Philippe Katerine for the album by Arielle Dombasle, Glamour à mort, and illustrated the cover of the Iggy Pop album PréliminairesChicken with Plums is her second full-length movie.

Fardin Waezi is a self-taught photojournalist, born in Kart-e-Now in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Since taking his first photo with an old snapshot camera in his father’s commercial portrait studio at the age of seven, he has been taking photographs for twenty-two years. During the Taliban regime, he worked on the street outside the Ministry of the Interior making official portraits using a wooden box camera. Though these ID card pictures were almost the only photography that the Taliban allowed, Fardin was sometimes beaten and arrested for making them.

Today, he is able to travel far and wide around the country and gain a unique overview of the economic, political and social changes in Afghanistan. In his words, “Whilst it is true that my country is a place of war and terrorism, and this is what the foreign press always concentrates on when they photograph Afghanistan; it is also a place where 30 million people like me live their lives, bring up their families and have hopes and dreams. I want the world to know my country is more than bombings and burqas.”