Drawing on a 1:1 Scale II

This project spanned two years where I attempted to articulate ideas around the personal and the universal, the subjective and the objective and the overlaps that are created. Each version of work produced under this title addressed these ideas from a different angle, and using different mediums.


Changing neoliberal constructs are constantly redefining the form of capital and labour, leading to intensified abstraction and a sense of alienation, affecting the very idea of who (or what) we think we are – as a race, as humanity, as a future, as hopeful. While it may be a little difficult to chart out in absolute terms where we are headed, it seems certain that we have become selves oscillating between the virtual and the real in multiple spheres, who seem to negotiate the abstraction and alienation we feel, rather than accept it as an inherent contradiction.

What do we do with the unshakable urgency to set right all that has gone horribly wrong? What do we do next? The crisis in the search for meaning is not new, though it has changed over the years as our perception of what we think identity or reason means has changed. With this comes a sense of hope that is purposefully and methodologically cultivated – again pleading toward the future for some answerssomewhere!

The inexplicable need to find universals is also inherent to the sapient mind, and that is becoming more and more difficult to find.1 In their absence, we feel the need to ‘move beyond our boundaries’ to find ‘that (elusive) something else’: the globe as a single entity, consciousness as the other universal, identity, sapience, etc. But does such a thing exist? And if so, how does it manifest?


Drawing one a 1:1 Scale I

This project spanned two years where I attempted to articulate ideas around the personal and the universal, the subjective and the objective and the overlaps that are created. Each version of work produced under this title addressed these ideas from a different angle, and using different mediums.


Video projection of large white paper 6:59 min; Performance for the duration of the video

With this project, I began my interest in finding very precise but generic concrete actions that can be abstracted into being emblematic of larger conditions the human takes part in. Repetition then takes the action forward, linking it with the generic. For example in the work Drawing on a 1:1 Scale, I was interested in ways we digitally and geographically exteriorise identity: multiple selfies were set in a 360 degree rotating landscape. An additional gesture performed live was me attempting to draw the landscape horizon embedded in the moving background. A voiceover spoke about the collusion (in content) of three forms of thinking: a religious who did not want to be named (I interviewed a hindu monk), modern science-philosophy (from the work of Thomas Metzinger) and ‘inwardness’ as a philosophical undertaking (the work of J. Krishnamurthi). I included some of my own thoughts in this amalgamation as well.

To think, is to reason, and it is not location specific. While the means can be local, the ends of thought/action/deliberation cannot. Rather than to neglect a concrete starting point, it is to realign the tendency from the constant return to the site/individual as a binding distraction into an enabling form, where the horizon doesn’t end at the locus.

For this specific piece, more than create an abstract drawing, I was interested in creating a drawing of abstraction – a drawing of the forces that create the individual, along with its own time and space. How to create a map of digitality – something that operates in 1’s and 0’s? Can this be a mapping of the disembodied self?

Thinking Feeling Reason

essay for Makhzin edited by Ghalaya Saadawi, Mirene Arsanios and Iman Mersal

What constitutes the ability to think of thinking? The “catching oneself” in the act of knowing is the re-affirmation of the humanness of the human. To catch oneself from time to time isn’t enough: we want to be eternally caught. But we are also afraid of being in a state of the eternally caught. It is thus this pull of oppositional needs that sets the human apart from other forms of being. As much as we want to be human, we also do not want to be merely human.


Name Names Herself

text, video, performance, drawing

Text/Poster: Name works in the archiving section of a museum documenting information about a (newly discovered) specimen. As she carries out her work, she realises that in order to define the specimen she has to first define herself. The project directly looks at the conditions that make the human, human – identity, alienation, abstraction, and conversely the ‘everything else’. How does the production of subjectivity of the character allow that of the specimens’ to be created? Are the distinctions that clear?

Video: attempts to articulate how we look at hope/hopelessness as axioms, with people scraping out scratch cards, alluding to financial anticipation in its most exciting form: will I win something?

Performance: I drew along with the scraping action in the video, as a gesturing of recording financial anticipation. A drawing emerges.

name names herself text

click here to read poster

unnamed (1)

Installation view

Would We Know It If We Couldn’t Feel It

My contention within this work was that while each of us feel and experiences in ways only particular to us (depending on socio-political and historical signifiers), there is a generic element to experience that precedes these particularities. We see things, we experience, we identify and are identified with, and, we also somewhere believe these are inseparable from each other in such a way that to divorce one from the other would create an abyss within our very understanding of ourselves. This is obvious to to a certain degree. However can we also see that these experiences of that form the base for our identity are not open-ended, but allude to the idea that they cannot be accounted for; there is a functional openess to them.

I proceeded to construct this work through interviews with three individuals. We spoke at length of particular instances of extreme emotion, physical reactions, attempts at deconstruction of the emotion and continuous self-reconstruction. What emerged, post edit, are patterns of self-affirmation and negation taking place simultaneously – patterns of experiencing the particular. While living as per the tenets of i-am-generic is extremely hard to make a reality, it is pattern recognition that allows us to think of ways to avoid offering subjective claims as solutions. In the image I constructed in the video, I was keen on the face as the site of subjectivity, but the passport size framing as the site of the generic.