The technological image is present in almost all societies in different forms. It is perhaps for this reason that it is hard to define, for often we don’t recognise it. We instead define points of similarity across territories. This representation is essentially theatrical – it is human but without humanisms; it cannot be destroyed. It has no ideology per say, its ideology is derived from its relationship to objects around it and itself. The representation (of the recognition of technology) carries within it an eternally unrealized and unfulfilled project. It has agency but is unashamed by failure; for there is always a better version of itself. It is constantly performing itself.
Multiple representations of technology form a network of relations, through which information passes and is distilled. Networks occupy all of the space behind and in front a translucent object (the terrestrial). The network forms holes in light, and as the light source or illumination increases, the network grows. The opacity of the network is never constant: it sometimes feels impenetrable, sometimes very faint but never completely disappears. A kind of imagination may find ourselves engulfed in an entanglement of cables and circuit boards. Black and its opacity instead are absorptive and relentless; everything pales in comparison.
Landscape is the invisible + visible infrastructure of earth: If technology has the capacity to reveal shifts in how the human understands itself, we should have already come to the conclusion that we are not the protagonists of the planetary story: Natural contingencies, intelligence as an inherent property of matter and cumulative effects way beyond our grasp (and idea of time) are only some of the ways to prove that.
Further, we have encountered models that have distorted the traditional models of nation-state geography and this has produced new territories in its technology’s own image. What is the topography of this relatively new political geography? I’m looking at constructing an image that hinges on the lack of authentic segregation of terrestrial (places of economic congregation, of political memory etc…). Can we think of an image as some kind of map that encompasses the analogue, the virtual and the digital?
Where do we fit in? We are users and we can be only understood in relation to something else – the thing it comes from, the thing it is adjacent to, the thing that is its counter, the thing it is going towards; a user- silhouette exists in addition to the physical object that is mediated by the opacity of the network; the background is lit such that identifying details cannot be seen; a generic shape is revealed.
From within the tent of Vettaikkorumakan’s yearly salutation
at an Iyyappa Temple in Baroda, against the techno-epidermal skyline
IIT’s tech-park on OMR (Chennai) from the base
of the Amir Masjid in Champaner, Gujarat
Rooftop view of the Durgaamman temple on a full-moon night in Pondicherry
Conveyor belt connecting two sections of the thermal power plant
in Ennore, over the Kosasthalaiyar river
Looking what was once a part of Bangalore’s Hesaragatta Lake from Beirut’s reclaimed seaside which currently cannot be accessed now due to commercial high risers
Entrance of Bangaluru’s Chikkasandra market road resting on the infrastructure of pipes carrying fly ash from the new thermal power plant in Ennore
to its illegal dumping grounds
A Location In Parts: I’m trying to craft a series of work that reflect upon our relationship with technology (the digital and the virtual) and the analogue through a different mediums: can newer forms of narration help look at micro-macro conditions in alternation and simultaneously?
Story 1 (soon)
Story 2 (soon)
Shown at curated_by Vienna, curated by Luigi Fassi 2016
In collaboration with Misha Stroj, this work took the form of a sculpture with embedded sound.
We were interested in assuming reason as thought as non-geographical at the outset (why must we always go back to colonisation when talking about reason?) to build an argument from there on:
Taking generic and positive sayings such as ‘happiness is a state of mind, a choice, a way of living; it is not something to be achieved, it is something to be experienced’, we crafted a dialogue between two forms of thinking: one centered on a desperate positivity, and the other centered on enquiry, but not all that different from each other.
We formulated our questions in the following manner: What happens when the generic form of thought and the yearning for subjective agency come together? The melting of a singular uniqueness (first as agency and only now slowly as idea) and the simultaneous creation of a digital identity has perhaps created in us a peculiar sense of power (in thought, action and being): a generally anonymous but highly subjective digital
being persistently looking for a positive form of engagement with itself; looking for creating meaning using itself. Is there a techno-thought-plateau that we are fast approaching?
The sculpture was an abstraction of the message in the fortune cookie.
Have you heard of Israel? Please, let’s not take ourselves too seriously. They know a little English so it means they’re a little educated atleast. It’s so amazing how we are all so much the same. Ha, ha let’s not even pretend we’re the same. Other. India? People are so sweet here. It’s not amusing for me if she is laughing, it’s our culture. Everything here is dirt cheap. What does it mean to become a student of a socio-political movement? How to start a revolution in 10 steps. Pakistan? We are all so connected. If you want to emancipate me, then you better start now and now wait until in 45-50 years old. Isn’t this (NAM) all just exotic? What does decolonising the mind mean? Other. Ethnography. It’s interesting (and revealing) how we all so badly want to be the same. India? Other. Other.Other. How To Read Donald Duck. 60-70 years ago it was a very backward place… there was not even one hotel. Oh, people are so nice here! I cannot believe we are discussing the basic definition of what the Other is. We should have done it 6 months ago. India? We’ve read Fanon – why doesn’t that mean anything? Oh, we’re just fantasising about the weekend! So, when’s the deadline again? So, when’s the deadline again? Other. I have clearly under-estimated the extent of colonialism. We all need to lock ourselves in a room and just read. We need to distinguish our point of view, from our world views. India? India? Rome? Pakistan? Please, let us do ourselves a favour and read more. It’s not their fault they hold such views. Sexual liberation is a crucial aspect of decolonisation. Other. Anthropology.