prayas abhinav's index

Vacuum Suction



2015 / Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, curated by Akansha Rastogi


Vacuum is a stateless situation. There is no media for the promulgation of any idea of reform or dramatic intervention. The forces of capital have a clean run. They are free to operate in any way they choose. If vacuum is the absence of air, then what is this air? Human voices, the murmur of conversation, the humdrum in the ether that becomes the substance of manipulation. If there is no manipulation possible then does it mean that the only affordance is to behave according to the script? And who is the author of this script anyway? And why is this author so invisible and absolute? I know that the first cast of actors that works on a new script is very important because a rehearsal with this cast helps in developing the script further. But in our current scenario, that is not possible anymore. Because we are not the members of the first cast of actors. And also because the author in this context is deluded with a sense of his own grand-narrative. The first cast of actors in the present context has long gone. The scenario that we are talking about is the Internet. And the first cast of actors we are referring to are the initial band or artists, hackers and free software evangelists that fought hard to ensure that the common infrastructure became a commonly-owned, wild forest that became the germinal ground for many species to develop. Now we operate in walled gardens that have clearly defined pathways of discourse and exchange.

These walled gardens can collapse easily, if enough noise and air is pumped into the enclosures and the pathways cannot contain the motions of the crowd anymore. If the pathways of discourse and exchange that are permissible today become so densely populated that it breaks out into stampedes and movements that patterns cannot be read into easily then the pathways can be overwhelmed.

In a walled garden, continuities are not encouraged. In a police state, mass assembly is not encouraged.

But for texts to become scripts, continuities need to be imagined. A periodic scope needs to be furnished. Multiple episodes bleeding into each other need to be constructed.

The walled garden will not allow the emergence of a parallel script to challenge its own.

A script that can deny its own existence easily is possible. The continuity can be said to exist only in the minds who engage over time and let their mind be influenced and subjected to. It does not exist in any discernible form otherwise. The script exists in the audience's mind only. The audience can become a part of the production anytime.