इर्द-गिर्द वह है जो केंद्र में न होकर, इधर उधर, तितर-बितर बिखरा हुआ, केंद्र से परे हाशियों पर मौजूद होता है। मेरे लिए कला की ओर उन्मुख होना मुख्यधारा से इतर जाने के बाद ही संभव हुआ। गत वर्षों में विकेंद्रीकरण ही मेरी विवेचना का केंद्र रहा है। अपने निजी जीवन में एकाग्र न हो पाने , पूर्वनिर्धारित लक्ष्य से इतर होने पर भटक जाने का, खो जाने का ख़तरा तो बना ही रहता है पर साथ ही यह संभावना भी जीवित रहती है कि हमारे समक्ष नई अंजान अनोखी जगह प्रस्तुत होंगी । कई बार भटक जाने से नई नज़र भी मिलती है, वही दुनिया नए दृष्टिकोण से दिखाई देती है खो जाना लक्ष से दूर ज़रूर करता है पर निश्चित ही हमारी चेतना का विस्तार में सहभागी भी होता है। मैंने अपने निज जीवन में इसी दिशाहीनता का अनुभव किया और इसी को इस प्रदर्शनी में उकेरने का चेष्ठा की है। हमारे रोज़मर्रा के कंप्यूटर-मोबाईल उपयोग के परिणामस्वरूप उपकरण हमारे ऐंद्रिय और शारीरिक विस्तार बन चुके हैं। इस वर्चुअल प्रदर्शनी श्रृंखला में मैंने इसी संबंध में एक विच्छेद की संभावना को खोजने का प्रयास किया है।
īrd – gird ( इर्द गिर्द ) is something which is not present at the center but lies or moves around it, off the mark. What is the ontological significance of a center? In common parlance, the idea of a center does point towards a center of power and a seat of control. A journey towards the center is essentially a quest to seek greater control. The idea of a center is also technological.
My personal encounter with art began through drifting away from what is considered as the center. Since then, the questions about the importance of having a center or focus have engaged me. One who is off-focus might get lost in the wilderness, but at the same time getting lost may open the doors to new possibilities.
This webpage opens with a Voronoi diagram as its backdrop. Voronoi diagrams, named after the Russian mathematician, are a representation of the division of space into parts on the basis of their proximity to certain sets of points. Each cell around a central point is the representation of an area, which consists of points which are nearer to the given point than any other point. These diagrams find their utility in a multitude of disciplines. Epidemiologist Jon Snow had made such diagrams to depict and analyse the hotspots during a cholera outbreak in the 19th century. In the present circumstances of the Covid-19 outbreak, the world has entered into a phase of stasis. I see these diagrams as a map of the stasis. The territory has been divided into green, orange and red spots; movement is possible only within the cells. Yet, those who are forced to move on the margins are being invisibilised by an apathetic gaze.
The mass migration away from the cities is a reminder of the perils of the centralising nature of technological mass production. Centralisation and homogenisation have been consistent tools for perpetuating the regime of technological thinking. Homogenisation is a brutal process which tries to flatten out the fractal-like nature of our beings.
I also attempt to think around the notions of a centre through the example of a body. A multicellular body can perform highly advanced functions when compared to a unicellular body of an organism. The individual cells of the multicellular organism cannot act on their own; they are bound by the commands of the centralised control system. They need to submit to the organisational logic of the body. A virus which resides on the margins is primordial in its structure yet it carries the potential to disrupt and halt the highly evolved systems. A virus acts like a repetitive machine; making millions and millions of copies of itself inside the body. Yet it is not a machine as it has the ability to mutate and constantly evolve. In order to progress, one needs to conform to the rules and regulations of a body like society. But on the margins there will always exist forces which will disrupt and force the larger body into a rethinking about its structure.
My explorations with the medium of a webpage began by experimenting with the methods of navigation in virtual space. Along with these I felt an overwhelming sense of loss of direction. The realization of the futility of everything I do was overpowering but maybe other dominant fears led me to build this body of work.
Here, I envisage the notion of a home, not necessarily physical, where I reside. The home opens doors to the directionless paths which lead nowhere, these paths are bound to make one feel lost. But these may also loop the wanderer back into the self. The work contains an encoded motion of the cursor in relation to the movement of mouse, which are deviant from normal behavior. A cursor is the body we inhabit in order to navigate the virtual world. This work seeks a sensory rupture in the ways of navigating the virtual world.
This virtual display stands on the remains of an unrealised exhibition. The exhibition which would have explored the interplay of materials, spaces, and movements now only exists as an idea or a concept. That idea of the unrealised exhibition and the virtual medium coalesced into each other to take the form of the current display.
In retrospect, when I think about the code as a medium, I realise that I was closer to coding while pursuing my graduation in engineering. But back then I always ran away from the world of coding; rather, I found solace in painting. After coming to AUD, a reversal happened. I looked back at coding through new lenses. I found immense joy in coding; while coding, I started to feel as if I was painting. While thinking about the medium of a code, it presents itself as a very deterministic and logical enterprise. But I am intrigued by the possibilities of ambiguity in a code. People like Kurt Godel and Alan Turing proved mathematics and logic to be inconsistent. They refused to believe that mathematics obeys the platonic binary of truth and false.
I recall Urdu poet Chakbast who asks ‘what is life’ (ज़िन्दगी क्या है?). His answer to the question is that it is a meticulous arrangement of elements (अनासिर में जुहूर ए तरतीब). I scratch my head, if an ineffability like life can just be a mere meticulous arrangement of elements. What are those elements? Atoms, DNA molecules, or maybe only Chakbast knows. Similar to life, art and technology are also constituted by a meticulous arrangement of elements. When does this meticulous arrangement lead to a poiesis? Where does the meaning lie—is it in the form or in the mind of the viewer/listener? Is it the life which gives us the ability to experience poiesis? To me meaning doesn’t seem to be inherently present in the meticulous arrangement of elements. And if the body is a signifier, what is the signified?