Assumptions, 2014. Participatory art installation with rice flour, salt and projected digital video. Video: black and white, with sound, 2-min. loop
The underlying theme of my work is a dialogue with the self and the community about contemporary culture and the struggles of navigating through the physical and metaphysical worlds. My work is informed by Eastern thought, advances in learning and cognitive sciences, and Indian cultural practices like yoga and Rangoli/ Kolam (ephemeral drawings on the floor).
For the exhibit <Decode> Artists Policing Data, I draw parallels between the spiritual and the digital. Hindus believe that the divine spirit pervades all things around us, including the air, water, trees and animals. When matter dies, the spirit within moves on and is transformed into something else. It is also a common Hindu belief that every single thought and action influences the universe around us. “Sharing” as is the norm in today’s social media driven world, is effectively a thought that is projected out to the universe and echoes throughout existence. Once projected, even if the tweet or a post is deleted, the information that represents the thought is never destroyed, but instead like the spirit, is only recreated in some other form, a form that will make itself felt in the physical world. Yoga, a school of thought within Hinduism, therefore stresses on disciplining ourselves to control our mind to be both self-aware and understand the transformations around us.
Controlled Mind is a participatory installation where audience completes the installation by contributing their thoughts. They are asked to share their thoughts in 3-5 words on a piece of a paper which they fold and drop into a ‘hundi’, a ritualistic vessel which here represents the social media ecosystem of today. These thoughts are projected as animated words churning in and out ultimately manifesting in a physical form on the floor.
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