Khoj Studios presents “In Context:Public.Art.Ecology

Khoj Studios presents “In Context:Public.Art.Ecology

Postby sayantini » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:41 am

New Delhi: In continuation with its vision to promote alternative art practices, particularly in the domain of public art, KHOJ International Artists’ Association presents the second phase of “In Context:Public.Art.Ecology”. The four week long residency will culminate in an exhibition of works emanating from the residency where artists from USA/Canada, UK and India explore arts within the realm of science at Khoj Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension, New Delhi from April 1 to April 15, 2011.

The residency aims to investigate and explore sites of science pursued through its diverse projects ranging from creating living ecosystems for insects, an organic grass photosynthesis photograph, an interactive bird habitat, an insect attracting eco- habitat; all within the broader framework of ecology and science rooted in today’s cultural and philosophical context.

The participating artists include Brandon Balengee (Canada/USA), Heather Ackroyd & Dan Harvey (UK), Pratik Sagar (Baroda), Navin Thomas (Bangalore). The critic in residence is Jyoti Dhar (Dubai, India)

According to Pooja Sood, Director KHOJ, “With such residencies, the artists have now began to focus on social interests. By transcending disciplinary boundaries, it hopes to bridge the gap and break down the barrier between art and science addressed through a combination of artistic intervention, critical theorizing and reflective practices. This residency opens up a world of possibilities and creative ideas emerging from current developments in technology and scientific research."
About the Projects Done During the Residency
1. Brandon Balengee (Canada/USA) – Brandon Balengee is working on two different projects. In the first project called ECONNECT + LOVE MOTEL FOR INSECTS, the artist has collaborated with ECOHAVEN project. The project will be on display at the Select City Mall in Saket. The project involves building a micro habitat for the insects in the urban area where the insects can coexist. It offers an oasis of food and shelter for struggling urban insects and provide a public opportunity to observe and appreciate these special creatures.
The other project , Brandon is working on is called “Why insects”? Insects are one of the least understood and appreciated groups of animals. Yet, the majority of our food crops rely on insect pollination to reproduce, countless ecosystems would collapse in their absence and they have been a source of artistic inspiration for thousands of years! Insects are survivors, they first appear in the fossil record almost 400 million years ago, long before the dinosaurs! Today, however many species face decline or may disappear. Loss or alteration of habitat, pollution and climate change all may be affecting populations. Creating beneficial habitats, especially in urban areas where food and shelter maybe scarce, is a way to help struggling species and also a way for us to enjoy their company. Observing and studying "bio-indicators" species of insects can tell us the story of local ecological health.

2. Pratik Sagar
The basic aim of Pratik’s project is to interact and observe nature. The artist has created an eco bird habitat by arranging mud pots in the form of the word “Forgive” with water in it to feed birds. “Forgive” here means to generate awareness about the concept of forgiveness. The artist wants to see birds interacting with the world and the viewers interacting with the birds. The artist is also planning to extend his project to the public spaces around the Studio.
3. Ackroyd and Harvey – Ackroyd & Harvey’s residency at Khoj is framed by an ongoing enquiry into processes of organic growth and the photographic properties of living plant material. By capturing complex images in emerging blades of barley, they aim to create compositions of a subtly elusive kind through the controlled production of the pigment chlorophyll.

A second work responds to the architecture of the inner courtyard at Khoj; they have planted the vertical enclosed walls with barley seeds transforming the space into a green haven - a breathing space within the increasingly hot and polluted city.

4. Navin Thomas - The artist is working on two projects. In the first project called, “MY LOVE IS AN ICY COLD FEVER” the artist has placed a large structure made up of ultra violet rays outside the Khirkee Mosque ,hoping to attract hornets which in turn attracting the large community of bats living inside the mosque.

This continues to be a part of Thomas's interest in urban architecture and its co-existence with subterranean ecology.

“Love Motel for Insects: Khirki Experiment + Meet the Neighbors”
By Brandon Ballengée + Pratik Sagar + Navin Thomas

A KHOJ residency studio has been turned into a “Love Motel for Insects” and impromptu laboratory. Attracted by special ultra-violet lights and food, each night Khirki village insects freely fly in occupying the space. The publics are invited to bug watch and take photos of encountered species.

“ Meet the Neighbors” will be a series of eco-educational programs where students and the public can view and discuss species that have been attracted to or are part of the KHOJ artist in residence programs, including birds, fish and insects!
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