To Participate in the Archive

To Participate in the Archive

ARTEL 2018: Residency at TIFA Working Studios

From January 5, to Febuary 6, 2018, I was invited with several other artists and practitioners within the field of archiving to be a artist-in-residence at the ARTEL2018, TIFA Working Studios, Pune. The curatorial framework for ARTEL2018 was defined by artist/curator Vidisha Fadescha as "To Participate in the Archive".

During my month-long residency I produced new work and took the opportunity to reiterate existing work in new formulations. I did this in the form of five performance and installation experiments under the framework of Cyborg Archives:

  1. Cyborg Archives: #ArchivingKnowledge
  2. Cyborg Archives: 256 Million Colours of Violence
  3. Cyborg Archives: WAR • ROOM • ECHO
  4. Cyborg Archives: GarbageInGarbageOut
  5. Cyborg Archives: Can Archives Speak?

"We live in a networked world where we no longer just shape the communication technology around us, but are shaped by it in return. We are already Cyborgs, not the sci-fi amalgamations of flesh and flesh and wires, but in a more profound sense – a human/technology symbiont; and so are our archives.

Every body is an archive, and every archive is an embodiment of knowledge.

The series of performance installations replace the familiar technology we depend upon, with human cognition and brain power, to explore how archives function, what can they do, and what are their limits."

Overall, it was an opportunity interact with my fellow residents, volunteers and employees of the residency; and to consolidate my practice within the lens of 'Archiving as Artistic Praxis'. The residency has been the instrumental towards helping me formulate and consolidate the direction of my MA thesis at Aalto University, Helsinki, titled "Cyber Archive: Being and Doing Knowledge".

Archiving Knowledge, sculptures

‘Will the new generation of (cyber) archives be accessible, decolonised, norm critical, and counter hegemonic to dominant forms of knowledge?’, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
The act of archiving is a performative act – that actively disengages with the statement of ethnocentrism, and states instead that 'your knowledge is better than mine', From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
Archives contain archives that have been archived by archivists, who work through archives to create further archives within archives, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
The archive is a tool for both ‘History’ – the science of the state, and ‘Memory’ – the art of the stateless, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
What compromise could there be with the instrument of your repression?, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
The archive can perform a role of a critical apparatus, that can possibly provide a 'critical diagnosis' no more, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
The body is an archive. The body will always be central to resistance, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
The archive is a corpus, a manifested body of a witness, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
Archives investigate contaminated circumstances, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
Can Archives speak?, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
Tools & Technology are devoid of their political affiliations, it is only in the way these tools are used, can those political or ideological manifestations that arise from its use, be discussed, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
The fable of ‘The Emperor’s Cartographers’ tells a fictional tale of cartographers who created the map so vast that it matched the dimensions of the empire precisely, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
The question is no longer 'Can We use the master’s tools to take down the master’s house?' Today the question is 'Can we still use our own tools now that the master has taken them up?', From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
The task of the archive is to make you hear, to make you feel, and above all, to make you see. That is all, and it is everything. The archive is simultaneously never complete and always complete, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
How do we map ourselves? What are the possible parameters of such a mapping? what kind of a field would this hybrid between social sciences and artistic practice constitute?, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
The archive mediates time and space; fights nostalgia and amnesia; visibalises the silence; it contains the potentiality of everything – including the unspeakable, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018
The archive is ‘a language, not yet a language’, exponentially transcending its contexts by increasing its vocabulary through a transmediated absorption of meaning, From the series: Archiving Knowledge, hand engraved marble, 2018

Cyborg Archives: 256 Million Colours of Violence, TIFA Working Studios, Pune

Cyborg Archives: 256 Million Colours of Violence is the second in a series of five performance and participatory installations, exhibited as part of the culmination of my residency at TIFA Working Studios

Installation view: Cyborg Archive: 256 Million Colours of Violence, 2018, ARTEL 2018, TIFA Working Studios

256 Million Colours of Violence is an ongoing project. To know more about this project, click here

Cyborg Archives: WAR • ROOM • ECHO, TIFA Working Studios, Pune

Cyborg Archives: WAR • ROOM • ECHO is the third in a series of five performance and participatory installations, exhibited as part of the culmination of my residency at TIFA Working Studios

Installation view: Cyborg Archive: WAR • ROOM • ECHO , 2018, ARTEL 2018, TIFA Working Studios

256 Million Colours of Violence is an ongoing project. To know more about this project, click here

Cyborg Archives: GarbageInGarbageOut, TIFA Working Studios, Pune

Performance directed by Ali Akbar Mehta, and performed by Luv Mehtani

GarbageinGarbageOut is the fourth in a series of five performance and participatory installations, as part of the culmination of my residency at TIFA Working Studios.

Members of the audience were invited to participate 'in the archive' by interacting with the simplified manifestation of a cyber] archive through a series of controlled statements and requests. 'The archive', in this case performed by Luv Mehtani, was bound by a scripted introductory and closing statements, and with instructions to invite questions/statements from the audience.


Performance view: Cyborg Archive: garbageINgarbageOUT, 2018, ARTEL 2018, TIFA Working Studios



GarbageinGarbageOut is performed by Luv Mehtani, and the performance was conducted at TIFA Working Studios in the exhibition 'Assembly of Access', curated by Vidisha Fadescha, 2018.

Cyborg Archives: Can Archives Speak?

Performance directed by Ali Akbar Mehta and performed by Ganesh Totekar

Cyborg Archives: Can Archives Speak? is the fifth in a series of five performance and participatory installations, as part of the culmination of my residency at TIFA Working Studios

Can Archives Speak? is performed by Ganesh Totekar, and the performance was conducted at TIFA Working Studios in the exhibition 'Assembly of Access', curated by Vidisha Fadescha, 2018.

Assembly of Access

TIFA Working Studios, 2018

Installation view: Cyborg Archive: 256 Million Colours of Violence, 2018, ARTEL 2018, TIFA Working Studios
Installation view: Cyborg Archive: WAR • ROOM • ECHO, 2018, ARTEL 2018, TIFA Working Studios
Installation view: Cyborg Archive: garbageINgarbageOUT, 2018, ARTEL 2018, TIFA Working Studios
Installation view: Cyborg Archive: Archiving Knowledge, 2018, ARTEL 2018, TIFA Working Studios
Installation view: Cyborg Archive: Error Archive, 2018, ARTEL 2018, TIFA Working Studios