Follow the link below for the final installation. you will see pictures arranged all along the wall like in the image below. All images were shot by partner at the residency #VivekMuthuramalingam
Section 1 of 3 - 2 extra arms at home
section 2 of 3 - 2 extra arms out on the road
section 3 of 3 - pictures that rendered ambience
Astronauts loose the sense of proprioception when they return from space. We wanted to explore that feeling here in earth. We made objects that looked lighter/ heavier than they seem and placed it around the residency to observe the interaction of the other residents. A brief moment of loss of proprioception was experienced by the residents.
Astronaut are the super humans of our times because their effort of being the pioneers in space travel will help human being become interstellar beings.
After watching many hours of video footage from the International Space Station and listening to interviews of Astronauts speaking of their challenges we felt that attaching 2 more arms will make them efficient. These videos are a aesthetic look into this aspect.
follow the blog for the proposal and how it all begun
follow this blog for the topics discovered, explored, discarded and continued
“Upside downside evolution”
This installation “Upside downside evolution” is immersive, experiential and performance based. Ideas that will challenge the concept of being human and human evolution in this period of acceleratedclimate change will be introduced both directly and vicariously. This technozoosemiotic installation was discovered from within the practice of yoga philosophy bringing together bio art, neuroscience, robotics and quantum mechanics.
As climate change ravages the earth the option of interplanetary travel becomes urgent compelling us to train our focus on technology related to space travel. This effort is a seed that will transform human to a super human and accelerate the inevitable inter planetary human dwellings.
At this moment and for some time to come the definition of a super human will fit the astronaut. In space every concept spins on its head. Flying like superman is not being super at all. The challenges of this superhuman are immense and often unimaginable, Losing bone density, eye sight and muscular strength are just a few. The experience of picking a simple object such as a pen in space and on earth is not the same and in fact they cannot be compared at all. Fundamentally weight needs to convert to resistance in zero gravity and the practice of yoga here on earth is based on just that concept. This makes yoga an ideal place to look for solutions to suit the environment of the superhuman.
During the residency we simulated weightlessness by making a sensory depravation tank and experienced the loss of body and explored the resulting change in the mind. A piece called “Tub of loss” will embody the experience vicariously. We conducted thought experiments to empathise with the physical movements of the astronauts simultaneously conducting a kinematic study of asanas. This effort led us to an object and idea that is ideal for exercise in the International space station, This said object does not figure in the installation but the idea will be presented in parts called ** “Astropleb" and “spaceman as superhuman”. As the process matured with events and discussions around the residency the human reaction to grotesque stayed on as a crucial idea to explore which we did with photographs and called it the “Elephant man”.
** “Astropleb” was made in Bangalore by Ankit Shekhawat who heads the medial lab at Moonraft.
NOTE: Towards the end of this video you will see a tub suspended. We projected the 2nd video embedded here in it, The bar was right under the tub.
more about the sensory deprivation tank is on this blog
If by adding 2 more arms to a human we invoke the feeling of Grotesque, Then there must be a point where Grotesque becomes the new normal. David Lynch explores in detail in his film "Elephant man". There were main clues to this ephemeral human condition of identifying with the Grotesque.
Why is the elephant man grotesque? Why are the hindu gods not?
It seems such a waste of time to sit on the backside and think when one can think with the entire body. This sculpture was made over 3 days when the body needed a break. The material for the sculpture came from the painting (5 images below the sculpture) that we tore down as were preparing the wall for the final installation.
In studying the Astronaut's exercise routine in the International Space Station we discovered a fundamental flaw in their routine, they seem to pretend that they are in a gravitational field by strapping themselves and performing actions that mimic the Bicycle, Running track and weight lifting, None of these exercised are possible in absolute '0' gravity.
The object that is to be used as an aide must be made to work in '0' gravity and must not pretend to be in gravity. The exercises must be actions that arrive from within the body tapping in internal resistance. Ex. The average weight of the arm is 7 kgs and there must be a way to realise the weight from within. The only exercise we have evolved in these terms is Yoga. We tapped into the archetypes of asanas and looking to extract a common archetype that might later evolve into that object that Astronauts will use for exercise in space.
The following images are an indication of the method of extracting the archetype. This exercise was not completed during the residency. Work has been continuing in this direction for a few months and will lead to another project.