Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On The Sidereal @ The Guild

On The Sidereal


Time is the material with which we construct our waking experience.

If the fountain of youth; eternity itself, lands up at our doorstep, what would we make of it? Surrounding ourselves with our things, we try to make meaning through them. We exchange the time on our hands with things we desire. Jung's Alchemist sought a spiritual process to occur within the world of things. Things rising above their thingness to be all things and nothing at the same time, were the hope and desire of many. If that chase should be cut short, what would it be replaced with? Time. Empty time. Void. A thing falling into an infinite abyss. For now, to stay with the process of knowing this abyss better, we will refer to it as “sidereal”. The sidereal in a way sidesteps our knowing of multiple realities and universalities, but still is a part of our experience.

“How do you plug a void plugging a void?”, R. D. Laing

What do we do after we de-shackle time from its commodity exchange value? Few can bear the weight of naked time. We seek ways to dullen, fragment and diffuse our awareness of it. Media creates a dream world for our waking selves. A dream world in which we are told that we have agency to reconfigure the worlds around us. A dream world that placates us when we cannot do so, offers us periodic piecemeal victory and hope to keep us engaged, keep us locked-in, prevent our “sidereality” to come alive.

Catharsis is only achieved from a liberal pollination of desires and use-values for our “sidereal time”. Camouflaging a personal theatre on the inside with boredom and disengagement is a tactic of defense from the onslaught of reality TV and the tabloid newspaper. The everyday and the mundane hide a performance space of passion, adventure and poetry in private envelopes of time.

This “sidereal time” and its voice can transform into anything it seeks. Desire, confusion and recklessness are tools which can be used towards this. With time made open to an alchemical manipulation and transformation, space invariably will be persuaded to take on other contours as well. And spaces will dream with all the things that they contain. This brings us to the Wheel of Time - the packet within which all else floats. The Ouroboros. The reason why time can be cast in no permanent mould - except nostalgia maybe, for some time.

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans,” Double Fantasy, John Lennon

As we live, we witness our experience fracturing; into the time that we sell to earn our keep and the time we don’t. Time spent working and leisure-time. For many cognitive laborers, a separation such as this doesn’t exist. All time is work time, what is the “sidereal”?

“If all time is eternally present, All time is unredeemable,” Buirnt Norton, T.S. Eliot


Conversations @ On the Sidereal will explore and present varied notions and perceptions of “time” - from vantage points of diverse practices, science and philosophy.

Do join us for tea at 6:00 pm, events start at 6:30 pm

18th July, 6:30 p.m.:

  • Introduction to the project (Prayas Abhinav + recordings of an interview with Dr Kusum Dhar Prabhu)

  • Participating artist presentations: Kiran Subbaiah

Knowing The Moment:

  • Poetry with Hemant Divate (postponed to later in the week)

  • Presentation / talk by T V Santhosh

19th July, 6:30 p.m.:

  • Participating artist presentations: Eelco Wagenaar

Performances by:

  • Vyom Mehta

  • Hemant S K

20th July, 6:30 p.m.:

  • Participating artist presentations: Tahireh Lal, Umesh P N

  • Architecture and Temporal Spaces: presentations of projects by a few architects + designers [, coordinated with the help of Nisha Nair]

21st July, 6:30 p.m.:

  • Participating Artist Presentations - Amitabh Kumar, Prayas Abhinav

22nd July, 6:30 p.m.:

  • ’Scientist’s notions of time' by Prof Sunil Mukhi from TIFR

23rd July, Architecture and Temporal Spaces, 4:00 p.m.:

  • Talk by Kaiwan Mehta

26th July: Open Studio, 6:30 p.m.:

  • Come see and discuss the work that the participating artists made in their time @ Guild. The Exhibition will be open from the 27th July to 28th August, 2011.


‘On The Sidereal’ is a project at The Guild Art Gallery in Mumbai from 18th to 26th July. The public exhibition is from the 27th July to the 28th August, 2011. The participating artists are Amitabh Kumar, Eelco Wagenaar, Kiran Subbaiah, Umesh Kumar PN, Prayas Abhinav and Tahireh Lal.

The project is curated by Prayas Abhinav from the Center for Experimental Media Arts (CEMA) at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore.



The Guild : http://www.guildindia.com

Center for Experimental Media Arts (CEMA) at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology: http://cema.srishti.ac.in


The Guild, 02/32, Kamal Mansion, 2nd floor, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400 005 India.

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