For this weeks workshop we had to present a PowerPoint on our chosen word from the previous workshop. I chose Playful as I felt it related well to my project with childhood memories and clay. I chose to research RAQS media collective and their project ” Escapement 2009″.
Escapement (2009) by RAQs Collective media
RAQs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, b.1965, New Delhi, Monica Narula, b. 1969, New Delhi, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, b. 1968, New Delhi) have been described as artists, media practitioners, curators, researchers, editors and catalysts of cultural processes. Their work is located at the intersections of contemporary art, historical enquiry, philosophical speculation, research and theory, often taking the form of installations, online and offline media objects, performances and encounters.
RAQs produce work that demands the viewer look anew at what they take for granted.
Escapement (2009), their installation at Frith Street Gallery, comprised 27 almost identical clocks, each allocated to a city and the hands set to their respective time zones. However, the clock hands marked emotions rather than time – epiphany, anxiety, duty, guilt, indifference, awe, fatigue, nostalgia, ecstasy, fear, panic, remorse – as if each city was on a treadmill, doomed to an eternal return of extreme feeling. The cities represented were a combination of world economic and cultural centres (such as New York, Tokyo and São Paulo) and war zones (including Baghdad, Grozny and Kabul).
The installation was intentionally sparse and visually in an attempt to create a condensed equivalent for the ‘non-place’, the endless movement of ‘super modernity’ (the airport, the motorway service station etc.).
The clocks hung on the walls like a graph, undulating at certain points, surrounding four plasma screens attached to a pillar, across which an image of a teenage girl’s head slowly moved, blinking as she reached the end of each screen. This was accompanied by a soundtrack, including dripping water and an old-fashioned modem dial-tone, underpinned by a slow beating heart.
Escapement was an attempt to pass comment on a very contemporary form of existential crisis – one familiar to BlackBerry-obsessed, airport-bound, biennial addicts – that would feel more at home in a 1990s anthropology reader.
What if we could fold time in the same way as we can fold a piece of paper? Supposing we could fold it into a boat or an airplane, what kind of voyage would we find ourselves embarking on?’
For my project this week I worked on connecting more of the clay sculptures to the wood and working out which memory went where. I did end up getting rid of some that I felt didn’t work well with the others. I was also running out of time and didn’t want to put more work on top of myself. I have a problem with getting things done too quickly, but this semester I feel I have gone in the opposite direction and am procrastinating a lot, struggling to find the motivation and just putting off a lot of work.