Oraib Toukan was born in Boston and raised in Amman, Jordan. She is currently living and working between Amman and New York. She works across media in photography, video, text, and installation, often using politics and current affairs as source material. The representations of these events are de-contextualized into political spaces of institutional critique. Typically her works start off from appropriating a singular map, letter, document, photograph or found footage. Stylistically she has become known for her playful subtle interventions with institutions ranging from Wikipedia to Christie’s. With a background in photography, she holds an interdisciplinary Masters in Fine Arts from Bard College in New York, as well as an MSc and BSc in Information Systems and Environmental Geography from the London School of Economics.
Toukan has worked with Makan Amman, Triangle Arts Trust, and the Fondazione Michel Angelo Pistoletto in pushing studio practice in to more discursive and social spaces and has co-initiated the annual Shatana International Artists workshop in Jordan. Toukan has also initiated and managed experimental sound art labs for young people in Jordan as well as the first international conference introducing Open Source systems in Amman, Jordan in 2003.
In 2008 she received a full two-year Fellowship Award from Jacob Javitz, as well as MAWRED, YATF and AFAC production grants for work on trying nations for food theft, auctioning off nation states, and researching diplomatic gifts from Arab states to the people of Israel.
In 2009, she was an artist in residence at Delfina, London and also artist in residence at Artist Alliance New York.
Her work has been showcased and reviewed internationally including the Equity is in the Circle at the 11th Istanbul Biennial, Talking Heads at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Dublin and Counting Memories at Darat Al Funun, Amman.