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26.–28.09.2013

A Conversation between Art forms and Organisational forms

Ashok Sukumaran

There is no one-to-one correspondence between the shape of art's assemblages and installations and say, the shape of a collaboration. Nor is there a formula by which a song can be guessed by knowing all the members of a band. Yet, these are not unrelated either. Things emerge and perish through encounters. How and where this happens is a very fertile question, especially if we agree temporarily that:

a) When the environment changes, some things fade and others sharpen. Ice melts and crevasses spread. Currently one problem seems to be that we dont individually have the sense organs to "process" so many of the key processes going on around us: environmental, digital, industrial, bodily. For this reason, sensuality, duration and form can only be expanded through encounters with other kinds and families of structures.

b) Art suggests an infinite potential or gap between metaphor and reality, individual expression and society. This is art's transcendental promise, but also one of its conceits, in that it mostly believes that tweaking the first of these paired terms will have a great influence on the second. Can we do without this being the main location of art's promise? Can the density and vastness of places like Cairo evoke an art moving horizontally across many domains, nestling in and opening up new cracks, letting us touch the scattered, testing fragility, becoming legion?

This talk and colloquim is an exploration of the potential of art and organisational forms crossing paths. It draws on experiences from within an organisation (a heterogeneous, 6-year old one) that has sought to do art in new ways.

Thursday September 26, 2013
19:00 – 21:00 A talk by Ashok Sukumaran, inaugurating practical aspects of the above.

Saturday September 28, 2013
16:00 – 19:00 A conversation unwrapping "networks". When everything is a network, nothing is a network. A word loses its meaning, and its power. A conversation about what artists and art institutions could describe better as qualities of distribution and encounter, parasitism, relay, dependency and loss.

Ashok Sukumaran is part of CAMP, Bombay. His early work as an electric media artist received many awards, including a Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica in 2007 and the UNESCO digital arts award in 2006. He has been interested in what haunts or underlies networked forms and material distributions. Recent work has involved encounters with urban water, electricity, cycle rickshaws, surveillance systems, sea trade, and "the neighbour". Ashok co-founded CAMP in 2007 and the online footage archive Pad.ma (http://pad.ma/) in 2008.

CAMP (camputer.org) is a collaborative studio based in Bombay. It combines art and non-art, film, video, software, open-access archives and public programming with broad interests in technology, film and theory. CAMP likes to work on long term, complex projects that nest in their contexts. Their recent feature-length experimental documentary From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf is part of a four-year project across the Arabian Sea and its littorals. Upcoming screenings include at the BFI London Film Festival, Underdox Munich, DocLisboa and the Viennale, among others.

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