Alumni Receive Creative Capital Awards for 2022

BY William Hutton, January 26, 2022

Mónica de la Torre ’95 (GSAS ‘13 Ph.D), Adjunct Assistant Professor Tan Lin (GSAS  ’95) and Cyrus Moussavi CC ’09 are among the recipients of the 2022 Creative Capital Awards. 


The Creative Capital Awards support projects-in-progress by artists working across the performing arts, visual arts, film, technology, literature, and socially engaged and multidisciplinary practices. Artists’ projects-in-progress receive up to $50,000 in direct funding, supplemented by career development and networking services to foster thriving artistic careers. This year, artist support totals $2.5 million.


De la Torre receives funding for a book-length literary hybrid called Parallel Interiors. In it, de la Torre weaves together research centering on the Cuban-born industrial designer Clara Porset and memories of growing up in a part of Mexico City built upon modernist utopias developed by architects such as Luis Barragán. Having grown up in Mexico City, de la Torre revists her past through the eyes of the present and explores the histories embodied by rooms and objects as well as the parts of us a built environment can hold. 


Mónica de la Torre is a poet born and raised in Mexico City whose writing engages translation, performance, and the visual arts. Her most recent book is Repetition Nineteen, which centers on experimental translation. Other books include The Happy End/All Welcome––a riff on Kafka’s Amerika––and Public Domain. She has published several books in Spanish, including Taller de Taquimecanografía, written jointly with the eponymous women artists’ collective she co-founded. She is a contributing editor for BOMB Magazine; an editor for Señal, Ugly Duckling Press’s chapbook series of Latin American poetry in translation; and with Alex Balgiu, she co-edited the anthology Women in Concrete Poetry 1959-79. She teaches at Brooklyn College.  


Lin receives support for an experimental fiction project entitled Our Feelings Were Made By Hand. It tells the generational history of a Chinese-American family and its journey from China to southeastern Ohio. The work centers on a history of a family life, one organized around objects as much as people. Constructed as a “documentary,” or inventoried history of objects, and the formats that record them, Lin incorporates bibliographies, catalogs, spreadsheets, memos, deeds, recipes, photo albums––all those formats relevant to the invention of a family life. 


Tan Lin is the author of over 12 books. His publications include 7 Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary. 2004. The Joy of Cooking (Wesleyan University Press), Insomnia and the Aunt (Kenning Editions), and articles on post-war art and contemporary poetics for Criticism and boundary2. He is the recipient of a 2012 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant for Poetry, a Getty Distinguished Scholar Grant for 2004-2005, a Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital Arts Writing Grant, and the Association for Asian American Studies Award for Poetry/Literature. His video and film works have screened at Artists Space, Performa, Marianne Boesky Gallery, Yale Art Museum, MoMA/PS 1, the Ontological Hysterical Theatre, and the Whitney Museum. A solo exhibition of his work was held at Treize Gallery Paris in 2017. He was the Visiting Literary Arts Digital Writer at Brown University in 2018. He received a Ph.D from Columbia University. 


Moussavi’s Somebody’s Gone is a feature-length documentary about 94-year-old spiritual singer Brother Theotis Taylor told through the remarkable archive footage collected by his son, Hubert. Taylor’s music took him to Carnegie Hall and the Apollo, but the vast majority of his performances occurred within 50 miles of his home in Fitzgerald, Georgia. He is beloved in some of the poorest countries in South Georgia and virtually unknown everywhere else. 


Cyrus Moussavi is an Iranian-American filmmaker and producer of musical artifacts. His short I Snuck Off the Slave Ship, a sci-fi-documentary collaboration with acclaimed artist Lonnie Holley, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was released on the Criterion Channel. As founder of Raw Music International, a documentary collective telling social, political, and cultural stories through music, he has produced films on music in Iraq, Ukraine, Burma, Mongolia, and Western Sahara. His work has been published by NBC News, Time, and the Wall Street Journal, and has screened at places like BAM CinemaFest, Anthology Film Archives, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts and Mawaheb Fest St. Petersburg. Since 2019 he has co-owned Mississippi Records, an independent record label releasing overlooked music. He worked directly with artists and their heirs to equitably reintroduce their work to an international audience. Moussavi studied economics and philosophy at Columbia University and conducted an oral history of Iranian migrants in northern Europe on a Fulbright grant. He grew up between Iowa and Iran.