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The thing about residencies are they give themselves enough time to ebb and flow, to peak and dip. If the resident immerses there a many things that happen. During the residency the idea transforms and flows simultaneously, Like the river tearing into the valley shaping stone and pushing earth down. Since the mind is aware of the wide 6 weeks to lay a plan it does many things. It focuses and allows for a long walk away with a concept only to return with multiple, Like a tree with all its splendorous branches ideas spread across different sciences and mediums. The other thing that is good about the residences are the residents, They are critical to the transformation of the idea. Talking to them opens up the pathway to reflect from the point of view of the viewer. The result of this interaction results in aesthetic harmony as well.

This the beginning of the 4th week and I have begun to appreciate the residency even more. Just as I wished and even as Khoj perhaps wished,  the residency has revealed the kind of artist I am and the mediums I like to work with. What kind of artist am I ? I can firmly say that I am a conceptual artist that creates an immersive experience. The concept can be plotted in the intersection of science, yoga philosophy, art, climate change and space travel, At the centre of it is life and what it makes of all this. As the concept is plotted in a cluster the experience must also be in a cluster and hence just to write, paint or sculpt will not suffice. I have to draw from within all that I can and must be able to imagine experiences that may or may not be implemented and also can or cannot be implemented.

I am stepping into the implementation phase and the 3 weeks of immersion so far has resulted in thoughts such as;

  1. Installation in the International space station that will help the astronauts practice better physical exercise. Rooted in yoga the idea was extracted from the kinematic stud of various yoga asanas from the book “Light on yoga”. I built an immersive process that involved the entire surface area of the wall. I arrived at Da vinci’s virtuvian man which may express itself in an installation It fundamentally carries the idea of weight converting to resistance in 0 gravity, It also touches on other challenges like proprioception and vestibular system that may or may nor express themselves explicitly in the open house.
  2. The recurring theme in my mind has been the experience of weightlessness, It seems easy to call the state but once I started experiencing them through thought experiments it gets quite immersive and the yoga philosophy starts to emerge from the depths. In the practice of yoga I try to become fully aware of the body by bringing intentional movements leading to stillness. These intentional movements are infused with correct knowledge dispelling ignorance. In space since there is no weight of the body to experience reversal of sorts happens. The practice of yoga turns itself on its head, In situations where there is gravity the asana begins from the body and in space the asana begins from the mind. Weight give way to resistance and body gives way to the mind. In order to experience this I have purchased an inflatable tub in which magnesium sulphate is mixed with water creating density in which a human body floats, like the dead sea. We will shut the studio down form all light and sound and this I believe will create an ambience where the mind will completely separated form the body creating a sensation of floating in space. This covers only one but crucial aspect that astronaut experiences. This tub and a projection in the tub on the open day seem to take a central space.
  3. The other idea I had committed to explore was to make the human body more efficient. I had come with the belief that by adding 2 more arms we might make the jump from the human to the super human. This thought seems to have solidified even further in these 3 weeks. I am introducing this thought through photography. We will use many photographic techniques to get this story out on the open day in addition to an interactive installation. I will detail this further in my next blog.

There is much to evolve in the process of implementation, There will be a few surprises which I look forward to.

kinematic study

Kinematic detail

Ankit is programming the prosthetics that can move with thought
Ankit is programming the prosthetics that can move with thought
the hard drive to control the prosthetic arms
the hard drive to control the prosthetic arms
magnesium sulphate being mixed in water....
magnesium sulphate being mixed in water….