MAYA ROSE FERNANDES
The latest exhibition by Sunaparanta Goa Centre for the Arts, Altinho, Panjim, is called this.generation, and has been curated by Srinivas Mangipudi. It begins with a site-specific performance by Nikhil Chopra, interpreting the instructional drawing #797 by Sol LeWitt, the forefather of programming, machine and algorithmic processes.
The exhibition will be launched on Dec 2, 2023, and the works are on view till March 31, 2024.
INSPIRATION BEHIND THE ART
“We wanted to de-mystify code-based art through this exhibition and show where it is being used. So, instead of using a technological framing throughout the exhibition, we are interpreting what else could be a code through other art forms and looking at where code is being used in other places like a performance or by growing flowers,” explained Mangipudi.
“For example, how does a seed know how to grow into which flower? Does the code reside in the soil, or the plant…? The poem, Growing in the Garden looks at this,” he continued.
He added, “We want to show people that code is everywhere, and give them access to collectively understand the different interpretations through this exhibition. Our bodies also run on code i.e. autonomous processes like temperature regulation, for example. Similarly, the lotus flower knows how to open in the day and close in the night.”
When talking about the movement, Mangipudi said, “Generative art is part of a larger, relatively newer movement that boomed from programming in the 1950s and 60s. But, it has an ancient meaning.”
“Indian classical music, for example, has particular forms like ragas. Or recipes which were forms of instruction passed down from generation to generation," he said.
"If we wrap it in a technological context, it distances people from understanding, and this exhibition seeks to help people understand that code is what we inherently follow through our language, culture, recipes etc,” he explained.
“We hope that after attending this exhibition, people will see that there is a structure in guiding and understanding how to collectively work together to create systems to help us and our environment,” he said.
When asked why people should come to this exhibition, Mangipudi replied, “We want people to understand that code is part of an inherent structure of our world, our make-up, and things function according to small pieces of code that are omnipotent everywhere.”
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Three highlights from the show include ‘Earth House,’ an ongoing site-specific architectural installation that is being built collaboratively with People who are taking part and individuals who are offering their services without being paid. to understand building a sustainable dwelling using first principles with basic materials like mud, rubble, hay, bamboo, etc.
Then, there’s ‘Climate Recipes,’ which is the first iteration of a participatory process to surface wisdom of sustainable lived experiences from indigenous ancestors, environmentalists, activists, foragers, chefs, architects and artists.
It presents practices and cultures that teach us to live with the changing biodiversity. This is relayed by Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi and Srinivas Mangipudi, and supported by Sunaparanta Goa Centre for the Arts, Pollinator.io and Socratus.
There’s also ‘Land Art Poem Installation,’ a piece of poem by Sasha Stiles that will grow for the duration of the exhibition, with various wild flowers foraged from nearby forests.
Architect Tallulah D'Silva said, “I feel that when people see the Earth House or touch it, they will immediately connect with something that is known and familiar to them – Nature. Touching the Earth House, made of mud, will give them a warm feeling, like being in a womb.”
“We also want to remove misconceptions that mud doesn’t work or has limitations as a building material once they see this standing structure. As an architect, it’s important for us to understand and learn from how animals live and build," said Tallulah.
"We need to learn how to take minimally from nature and ‘found’ materials without destroying anything that is there in the environment,” she explained.
The exhibition will display work by the following artists: Nasreen Mohamedi, Sol LeWitt, John Simon Jr, Nikhil Chopra, Sasha Stiles, Licia He, Eva Hauschild, Siddharth Gosavi, Ira Greenberg, Laya Mathikshara, Ryan Woodring, MCHX, Karthik Dondeti, Anishka Trivedi, TimeBlur, Bhisaji Gadekar, Tallulah D’Silva Climate Recipes and Khwampa.