More selected projects

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Installation views: Insert2014, Mati Ghar, Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts, Delhi, 2014. Photographs by: Umang Bhattacharyya, Akshat Jain. Courtesy of INSERT2014

In the Faraway Past and In the Future

2014. Aluminium construction, mono lament, LED lights, electric transformers, tripod. Diameter 600 cm.

Team: Néstor Pérez Batista

As we enter the space, the only thing visible is a constellation of thin curved lines floating high up in the air. Slowly, more of the curved irregular patterns emerge; they flow in different directions. Decontextualized specular highlights move according to the viewer’s individual movements; the unknown “object” changes its shape, size and position in relation to the viewer. The observed structures create images resembling light echoes – a phenomena observed in astronomy that occur in space, revealing events from a distant past (light explosion).Monofilament refracts the light into the spectator’s field of view, making the light echoes appear as orbits of and for his/ her own observation. The installation invites us to experience trajectories of apparent upwards motion.

And yet, our brains can’t measure what they perceive; we can only guess, speculate, imagine and try to find the co-ordinates. The work probes the wonder of observation and awareness that we are part of a movement provoked by our inter-dependence.

A large circular metal framework, suspended in mid-air below the dome ceiling, holds three layers of transparent monofilament net, weaved in radial fashion. A tiny LED light is positioned on the ceiling, while another one is located on a tripod below the net. The light draws striking elliptical shapes on the monofilament texture.

Installation view: Insert2014, Mati Ghar, Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts, Delhi, 2014.Video: Courtesy Insert2014.

Installation views: Insert2014, Mati Ghar, Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts, Delhi, 2014. Photographs by: Umang Bhattacharyya, Akshat Jain. Courtesy of INSERT2014

The circular frame holds three layers of monofilament net structure. Circle of each layer has 720 radial dividers/ lines with differently positioned excentric middle points. In total, there are 2160 lines, 15120 m of monofilament.

The installation In The Faraway Past and in The Future is designed specifically for the dome of the building Mati Ghar. It is related to speculations coming out of the research on Jantar Mantar, the astronomical observatories in Jaipur and New Delhi.

Mati Ghar was originally designed as a temporary exhibition space to house a special exhibition on time (Kala). Its design encapsulates a variety of symbolisms that are related to time. There is the use of the numbers (12 [months], 24 [hours], 36 [360 parts of the year]) in the formation of the essentially circular building.

Project research. Edited by Shveta Sarda for the publication Insert2014

Drum-shaped sandstone and plaster model of the Great Jai Prakash Yantra, Jaipur. Photo Credits Volwahsen, A., Cosmic Architecture in India / The geometrical division of the Jai Prakash Yantra, Jaipur / Jantar Mantar, Jaipur: Yai Prakash Jantra

[1.1] “… Seeing that the sun has risen, his mind is filled with wonder, and with a broad smile on his face, he reflects: ‘What has happened is amazing.’” (Astronomers and their reasons: working paper on Jyotihsastra by Christopher Minkowski, Journal of Indian Philosophy, 30 (5), 495-514.)

[1.2] Jantar Mantar is an appeal to experience in the form of observations as a part of astronomical practice. A palpable experience of Earth’s cosmic motion.

[1.3] Observation of celestial bodies requires physical alignments with the instruments. The architectural scale of Jantar Mantar allows seeing ones self as being part of the movement of the universe, defining now and there, local time, and past and future.

[1.4] Astronomy is a speculative method to understand our own movement and time in relation to other bodies.

[1.5] “Placed within this complex, one is moved beyond the experience of time as a personal phenomenon, to a realization of the larger order of time in which one exists.” (On Jantar Mantar, in Kala, Exhibition in Mati Ghar, Concept: Kapila Vatsyayan, P.60)

[1.6] Jantar Mantar, Delhi, is a street laboratory of democracy. Here, protestors sing about bringing the heavens down to earth.

[1.7] Unlike observatories that use telescopes to extend our view and travel towards the stars, Jantar Mantar serves as a host to stars. Direct-sight observation makes one feel one has a very intimate connection with one’s visitors, becoming part of ‘cosmic’ movement – their and our comings and goings. It seems Jantar Mantar is a house, for stars and planets to visit us.

[1.8] The dome of the Maati Ghar employs astronomical tools in an eclectic way – disk, circles, and sphere, dividing them into degrees. It allows for observation of trajectories of apparent motion, upwards. It refracts light into the field of view of observers, making them appear as orbits of and for her own observation. It casts shadows for orientation. And yet, our brains can’t measure what they observe, but we can guess, speculate, imagine and try to find co-ordinates. [1.9] Dance of the Light Echoes

[1.9][a] A linear structure that will create light echoes, a phenomena observed in astronomy that occurs in space revealing events from distant past (light explosion).

[1.9][b] Create a sense of belonging to the abstract movement that is related to, but far away from me. A sense of being very grounded and embodied, yet part of ephemeral and vast space. It is about the wonder of observation, and of awareness that we are part of some movement caused by our interdependence.

[1.9][c] A fictional astronomical/architectural instrument in which human and her movement holds the central place, causing the observation of trajectories – orbits without center of orbiting, which may or may not be comprehensible.

[1.10] “The wheeling stars, a study of their movements, pure mathematical calculation, these shaped men’s worldview and particularly sharpened their sense of structures and systems. We are lucky to find an investigator.” From Space and the Act of Space, Kham, Exhibition in Mati Ghar