Where is the Future now?

Behind the glitter of spectacular distractions, a tendency toward banalization dominates modern society the world over, even where the more advanced forms of commodity consumption have seemingly multiplied the variety of roles and objects to choose from. The vestiges of religion and of the family, along with the vestiges of moral repression imposed by those two institutions, can be blended with ostentatious pretensions of worldly gratification precisely because life in this particular world remains repressive and offers nothing but pseudo-gratifications. Complacent acceptance of the status quo may also coexist with purely spectacular rebelliousness — dissatisfaction itself becomes a commodity as soon as the economy of abundance develops the capacity to process that particular raw material.

- Society of the Spectacle, chapter 3, 59

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Concept Sketch - Preliminary

Started thinking about how the 'hit' could directly alter a course of action. Its almost like the undoing of something. The breaking of something set. I pictured a man walk monotonously and upon a certain number of hit, you are able to change his course, and change it again and again.

And what if that basic a narrative were to apply to a herd. Something like a Simon Says situation. Taking that further, what if there were a group of people marching (with great purpose) and upon an allotted number of hits 3 people leave the group to Jay walk on the other side. And then more join them...

and some more, until the previous action has no basis left.

Yet a new group has been formed and you need to go through the whole thing all over again to break that new 'conformity'.

It illustrates a helpless situation, at the same time, hoping, in small amounts, to give the viewer a sense of accomplishment of having achieved something only to realise it was futile.

This narrative im hoping to drive through one of the developed loops from my previous approach :

There is a box within a box within a box within a box.
Breaking every conformity results in yet another..

Though there is still something missing... it still stands as an extremely generic narrative. How can it be pushed further into something more visceral.
Not just men and boxes... ?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Working on the loop

A box within a box within a box within a box.
Having decided my strongest loop and metaphor to construct a narrative, i have gone ahead constructing the preliminary loop for the interface.
4 layers to be peeled off the box.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Relooking at my content. When it all made sense.

I went back to my proposal to look at how i'd broken down my project into the criteria specified earlier, hoping that its clinical nature would bring some clarity to my content.
I needed to streamline it.. So i re read the brief.

Today, in a world of fast developing technology, where one can’t decide whether a phone is

a camera, a compass or a gardening tool one begins to question the origin of objects,

products, tools that feed and manipulate everyday routines, lifestyles that of basic human


Are we creating a near artificial army of products that is making life so easy that it stunts the

basic natural evolutionary processes of man?

What is the basic need for development? What is the basic need for

consumption/consumerism? What drives competition? And how will all this play out?

More importantly, what drives us, as individuals? What is the core reason for being today?

These are questions I wish to use to direct the viewer through the scenario.

As an illustrator, I would like to use image building to create a space and an image that is

relevant and that resonates with our everyday lives, our routines, our goals, our aspirations

and talk about the loss of simplicity in the face of it.

On the other hand juxtapose this idea to a fictionalised character, namely “Box” and its

evolutionary process alongside us and how he/it may attain a certain spiritual side that we

have nearly lost.

I had begun by questioning material and commercial culture. Our relationship to objects and things that we use and why we so conform to them. How would you look at a coke bottle without its name and brand identity, through its sheer shape . Sure you recognise its shape as a bottle, but it doesnt speak out to you anymore. In a way you don't trust it. But that line of questioning was preliminary.

It moved beyond just speaking environments toward philosophy, political ideology and social positioning of oneself, thats where depiction became a challenge and very nonspecific and impersonal to a great extent. I as a 22 year old am not that politically sound and nor do i have the experience or the right in one way to talk about these issues at a generalised level.

I was never getting into specifics of what the box actually is. In one way it is for the viewer to realise it for themselves. The box is differently constructed for different people. Again. It is constructed by them.

At the same time aesthetically, i need a complementary action to my breaking the box. Conformity. The conformist and the nonconformist. Every broken conformity leads to a 'nonconformity' which leads to a conformity. A box within a box within a box.

This is what i want to say very simply put at a basic level.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Created a 15 sec stop motion to see how the illustrations could be treated / what they evoked / how people would interact with them / interpret them or even understand them for that matter.
They didn't or as a matter of fact i didnt.
Well.. better now than later :|

Ramesh's Feedback

The imagery isnt really painting any picture. It moves from one abstract to another and one cannot expect the viewer to digest all that.

The subject has the capacity to hit a point. What is that point? Do you want to hit a point?

There can be two approaches. One which is explanatory and the other that says something specific. Both are valid.

Its okay to not have tangible, real things to show to say what you want to say.

If its absurdity you want to play with, then go absurd all out. Don't hide or be scared.

Its not that you can't speak through abstraction, its just that, in your situation, you need to have two complementary things to say if you want to put 2 and 2 together.

The act of breaking a block is strong, violent and that needs to be justified by a visual or a connection equally strong.

What do you want to say? And whatever it is, say it strongly, set a bracket for yourself. Be a little more specific in the realm of abstraction and drive the point home!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rough Concept Sketch

About Comformity

The following read is from a business magazine. It is addressed to individuals working within corporate structures.

Conformity and group size

Are they one of us?

Need for structure

Social approval


Social norms

So, that is the power of conformity, as it occurs every day, between every single one of us (even hermits are conforming with other hermits!).

The Power of Conformity: is not in itself a good or a bad thing. For example, creativity is built on some of the pillars of nonconformity: ignoring social norms and authority, eschewing social approval, rejecting structure and cultivating dissent. On the other hand many of societies most basic institutions—government, finance, transport, education—would collapse if people didn't conform.

This list gives you all sorts of ways to think about your own and other people's conformity. You need to be creative to think about how these processes can help you achieve your aims, whether it's in business, your personal life, online or elsewhere

Whatever your goals are, remember that conformity affects everyone, whether we know it or not. Understanding how and when puts you one step aheadof the pack.

· Research shows group members equate creativity with conformity.

Creativity is a much coveted asset for avery simple reason: an idea that transcends orthodoxy has the power to bring wealth, fame and status. Commercial, scientific, educational and artistic organisations, therefore, often talk about how they want to foster creativity.

Unfortunately groups only rarely foment great ideas because people in them are powerfully shaped by group norms: the unwritten rules which describe how individuals in a group 'are' and how they 'ought' to behave. Norms influence what people believe is right and wrong just as surely as real laws, but with none of the permanence or transparency of written regulations.

Thinking inside the box

The purpose of norms is to provide a stable and predictable social world, to regulate our behaviour with each other. In many respects norms have a beneficial effect, bolstering society's foundations and keeping it from falling into chaos. On the other hand stability and predictability are enemies of the creative process.

Camels are horses designed by committee

So of course schools kill creativity, of course politicians are fighting over the middle ground, of course most TV programmes are the same and of course all our high streets are identical. People are social animals who work in groups and, especially with the advance of globalisation, the number of groups that govern or control our world has shrunk. These groups naturally kill creativity, or at least redefine it as conformity.

Creativity within groups isn't impossible, though, it's just that it has to fight all the harder to get out. Coming up with something truly new often means having to steer a path away from the herd, towards new horizons.

If you really covet creativity, then there's one rule you'd be well advised to follow: go it alone.


Something i found...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Train of Thought

Bharath and me were talking and we began speaking of how people speak of these 'boxes' everyday.

Q. Why do you want to get a haircut? - umm.. because im going for a job interview - because i want a job - because i need to feed myself - because i want to get rich - because i want to live life - because i want to be comfortable.

So it got me thinking as to what the box actually is? Does one box conjure many others? Or do we use one box after another to validate the previous?

What is the box here? Is it justfications you've given yourself for an act depending on the social climate around you / you're in? How much is governed by external influences? Most of it.

The box is now man's burden and man, it's beast of burden.

Man is becoming part with what he created.

How much baggage do we carry around with us today? Voicing opinions, what we wear, what we do? What are all the things we conform to? What would happen if that conformity were to break?

People walking through doors, each door asking for a reason for why you do what you do? obstruct to emphasise on your choice?

Can it be preplanned? but then whats the fun?

Is my role here to reveal these boxes to people?

Can i get people to generate stories?

Can i generate these stories and play them back or have people to refer to them when they view the artworks?

So i did a few trial rounds:

I'm wearing a tie because it is a fashion statement - because i like to dress out of the ordinary - because people will look at me - because i never got any attention as a kid - because i was not smart - because you are required to be smart - because you need to be pretty, cute, talented and all those things to get attention.

I'm wearing a tie because im going to school - because its formal - because its a christian missionary school - because we need to appear mature and focussed - because they are misguided - because appearances make a lot of difference - because they want to look good - because people are too obsessed with what others think of them - hey but wearing ties is uncomfortable and i can't focus.

I'm wearing a tie because i like ties - because they remind me of my favorite band - because the lead singer of my band loves wearing ties - because its the look - because punk rock has a certain image - because its the formal and the "i rip the system" together - because they dont like authority - because they think rules are shit - because certain rules are not for everyone - because one person can't decide whats good - because its not an individual thing, its global - because people like it better when lots of people impose rules - because people can't see one person with power - because they are jealous - because they can't have that power - because they are losers - because they can't speak for themselves - because they are too stuck to rules

I live in a room which is box because - a triangle is wierd - because the box has a better surface area to fit things in and keep things on - because its provides and optimum usage of space (provided whats going in there) - because a wasteage of space wouldn't be wise - because nobody likes unnecessary negative space - because its not valuable - because its junk - because something doesn't fit in there.

But not all of them think like this,, i got some random ones as well...

Im wearing a tie because im going for work - because im late for work - because there was a traffic jam - because there was a cow sitting in the middle of the road - because she ate a jelly fish - because she was hungry.

Conclusion: Cannot predict responses and they can only be orchestrated to a certain extent.

Thinking it out loud! WHAT IS IT IM MISSING??

There is still a hollow feeling everytime i try to explain my subject to someone.

I know what the box is.

I know why i have chosen it as a metaphor.

I have defined it as a form and a character and i have pitched it against another, man.

I have defined that there is a relationship between these two characters and it is not always of equal (?)

What is my context though. It was really hard for me to understand that word. I thought i had defined it earlier. Context. Under what Context do i speak? I have a background, i have content but What is the platform upon which i firmly stand, the platform that would define how i would say it?

I had used the word cynical earlier, but what do these words truly mean. We use them but do we fully understand them?

So once again, what is the context that would define how i say the things i say.

eg: i speak of love but how do i speak of it? with hatred? and how would that tone of voice define how i treat my images? Does personal experience define how i see my subject?

What do i feel about the relationship between box and man? I say it disturbs me.

What about it disturbs me? What is the current nature of their relationship that i have a problem with.

Where would i position myself when i speak of the box? Am i inside the box? Am i standing on top of the box? Am i standing to its left? Playing with placement? Inner space of the box and the outer space of the box. How are the two different?

So what do i want the viewer to take away from the exhibit? What is their relationship to the box like? Or what would they like their relationship to the box to be? To be in a state of consciously being able to make that choice.

That aside, a lot of people are comfortable being consumed by the 'box', what do i say to them? And what do i say to those who accept that they have been consumed. Then what? What is in it for them?

Sometimes the box is victim and at times it is man. However this brings me back to questioning, is the box conscious at all?

The box is not conscious. We make it conscious. We pretend that it is conscious and we as humans like doing that. We say facebook is bad for you.

People blame computers and technology. People blame institutions. People label other people, bracket them.

On the other hand, the box can be viewed as nothing more than a reference point / guidelines / the rules of the game. Norms and laws to make life easier and there is always the bunch who tries to break them. The adverse outcomes of progress? the academic and the ones who say "to hell with all that". Inner space and outer space?

So what is my context? My platform as an artist speaking about this subject.

The box is crippling us. rephrase. You are being crippled by the box. Rephrase. You are crippling yourself.

You went from being a 4 legged animal to a 2 legged animal to fend for yourself. You were a hunter and thats how you evolved.

With the introduction of the box, you have regressed, thereby minimizing your survival instinct. Put yourself first? Break out of those comfort zones. Break out of those boxes.

However corny, I am standing on a platform where i see a more fulfilled life. A sense of adventure. You are fee. Also to consciously choose how you place yourself in relation to the box. You have the power to get creative and there in attain a certain spiritual side that one may have lost not knowingly...

This becomes my context. Would i now look at my subject through the eyes of a cynic?

The context is followed by my background.

Synopsis. Simply put.

Man has made the box.

The box works for man.

Man has made the box with the intention to stack store duplicate multiply draw etc.

Box is man's symbol for a simpler more efficient life.

Somewhere along the line, man ordering the box to do what he wanted has slowly become the box ordering man to do what it wants.

The box is now man's burden and man, the beast of that burden.



I was talking to Bharath and Ramya about my project and a few areas of blank space were highlighted. Something that would help link the form and everything i've read and written about the box.

We were speaking of structure and that being something i lacked currently. Even context. An added texture that i could supply to my idea.

Context. Specifics.

Is it a time that i am speaking about? Is it an event that i am illustrating by constructing these metaphors.

My current narrative / images are very generic and applicable right from the french revolution to the bhopal gas tragedy. So how can i give it more focus and leave it amorphous to great extent.

Coming back to something i had thought of some time ago. Familiar and the unfamiliar. Go with it.

Also all this while i kept looking at it as me not seeing myself in it / not having a personal side to it. I felt the whole idea becoming to generic.

But actually the whole thing right now was more personal over anything else. The box and all its attributes and characteristics is something only i have observed and appropriated. It was my personal interpretation to everything around me. What was missing was what makes this idea universal. Context.

Sketching ideas

There are various routes im exploring.

Is the installation a single experience that sums up my content in nutshell?
Is it a constructed narrative that the viewer can walk through?
Is it completely screen based with ineteractivity?
Is interactivity necessary at all?
Can i get the viewer to generate content and play it back to them in the exhibit?
What are the various permitation combinations i can work with?

Exploring various forms that can best represent my content.

Monday, September 20, 2010



Am i now aiming to work in 2D within spaces? Is an interaction necessary? If so then why? Unfold. Augment viewing artwork.

Grouping? Clusters to construct narrative.

Construct narrative. Work on titling.

What are the various possibilities of presentation?

How do i integrate a one clear concept into the presentation. Extract Motif.

How can i establish space? To view under a context?

What is my second trigger? Audio. Video. Animation. Interactivity. Object to image relativity.

How do i balance out the ambiguous? The abstraction. How much can you reveal to the viewer? Challenge viewing?

Structure. How can structure define the above?

Can the illustrations work as support to another interface?



Birthing. Who nurtures who?






Talking to Baba

You should know the turning point in your narrative.

What is the frame that tells the viewer the switch? have i identified that?

Can i identify that?

What is the half truth told to you in the dark?

The product can be A B / C grade but the box always has to be A grade because thats what communicates.

Piggy bank - Daan Peti - Vote Box - Bribe Box

transitions. Talking about boxes then and now. How they have changed in form and in meaning.

Playing with the ideas of form.

Talking about a play between the illustrations. What happens when you split up the image? What is the relation between the two elements and what humour can be brought about there? It would be a video installation.

What happens when people sit within the box. Similar to the idea of the spectacle. Create mad chairs for the viewer to sit with their heads in a box and view.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Referencing Monty Python Title Sequence

Been considering creating one action - animation for the illustrations, single level interaction, an element of play.
One form, to reveal another is also another option im thinking of. A box within a box within a box. One image zooms in to the next to then reveal another.
Matt suggested i look at Monty Python and its quite a good reference.. although form and format of presentation is still a big question mark!

Illustrating Content

Found images / photocopies with pencil

Working on Illustrating content, an attempt to derive visual metaphors, a step between Text and 3D. Understanding Content.

What are the concepts that im working with?
Spectacles, Distractions, banalization, ordered systems, Frivolity, Abundance, Simplicity, Efficiency

I have completed 30 so far, the target is a 100.

Feedback : scroll and check Review 2.5

A chat with Vidha

"I had a dream the night i read your blog. I woke up with a feeling. It may not directly concern your project but i felt " What if the earth were to feed off us?"

It led me back to something you read, when is the time to say enough, or that actually we are way past it."

There was a man who bought a fish. He put it in a bowl and day by day the fish grew bigger. He kept transferring it from one bowl to the next until the fish was too big and he had to let it go into the sea. He realised he should have done that a long time ago as that is the law. That a fish belongs in the sea. He could provide for it no longer.

Just a thought."

"The Medium is of an interesting choice. The quality of the photocopy and the treatment of the found images adds to the subject. Working with excess.

Something i remember when i think of this - "An artist's job is not to make visual but to make visible", it applies to this in some way. "

"The treatment of the frame is very constant. I don't know about the process or your reasoning but i find everything to be revealed to the viewer. What if the viewer were to look for a point of focus, they were made to feel intelligent in a way, that you didn't have to tell them where to look and that they found it, which led them on to the next image. "

"A third dimension can be enough to change a viewers perspective. What of the 3rd dimension can you bring in?"

"Titling can bring in poetry of some kind. There is a museum in Japan for artefacts collected in the Nuclear explosion. There were many artefacts from the war that were mangled. eg A shoe that had melted into a ball, almost like a sticky mass of tar and it was titled as though it were in its original state. "A black shoe from so and so district." and automatically the viewers imagination could fill up the events in between. Who the shoe belonged to, to how it got to that state, what was the state of the person who wore it?"

"As singular images they are strong. Abstract in one way, but they tell stories. As a series you are forced to make connections because of the repetition in elements. This gives you scope to play around with sequence."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Directions - Instinct and intuition?

"The middle of every successful project looks like a disaster" - My aunt sent this to me this morning... its the thing thats been driving me all day.
Found another book that was called "Trust the Process - an artist's guide" .. it had chapters like - The Leap of Faith - Blank Canvas - In the Dark etc. so im hoping what im going through right now is legit :)

I have, out of a surge of desperation and anticipation, taken to putting down this cloud of information in my head into illustrations and visuals. Using only found materials and images, photocopying them and creating quick collages that reflect in really abstract ways, the ideas in my head. It is the first step to giving my information a face. Im hoping that these series of images will then help me transition into visually thinking about the space.
I may display this series as a preliminary exhibit along with text to put my information in some perspective. A form of narrative exploration, and mapping in a way.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

No Sense of Place- Joshua Meyrowitz

This is only the preface to the book, and that is all i can read within the time that i have.

Friday, July 30, 2010

How does one construct?

How do you begin to visualise and illustrate within spaces. How do materials and how you treat them affect the nature of one's experience. Displacement, irregularities, comparisons and other such devices in building metaphors. Also keeping straying away from the root of the idea in mind while constructing the experience.

I went for a video installation yesterday to understand how an artist thinks their narrative through. Beginnings middles and ends? Supporting texts. Letting narratives unfold through symbols and motifs, juxtaposed images, sound and the end of it, does it confuse the viewer or add to the experience?
Trying to be conscious of these decisions, though would still like to speak to the artist :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Setting the basics right

What is the Box in theory?

The box is representative of a fake consiousness.
It is a distraction from the true intent of things.
It is representative of an ordered system that has lost touch with human reason.
Its rigidity leaves little room for the inorganic in human nature, (wisdom)
It represents a landscape of developing homogeneity and simplicity. (but the way of the box is complex)
The box constructs other boxes to disguise delusions constructed by its predecessor. It also has the power to destroy its own delusions.

What is the intent of my project in one line? (in process)

To portray the evolution of our environment based on current lifestyle trends and choices, in relation to us and where we position ourselves within this scenario.

focus further?

To illustrate our interpretation and relationships to various artefacts / commodities around us.
To portray an exaggerated image of the dialogue between the box and man.

focus further

To illustrate a state of banalization and frivolity that seems to govern modern society and the spectacles that are created thereby manipulating (social interaction ??)
Who is controlling whom?

Everybody talks about social constructs. So how is mine different?
Don't know yet

What aspect of this landscape am i willing to tap into?
I will let you know shortly :)

Referencing Joseph Cornell

Joseph Cornell’s boxes, so particularly arranged, tap our mind’s insistence on putting two and two together to create narratives even where none exist. Some correspondences are easily deciphered, but the boxes’ power and pleasure lie in how they never fully give up their mysteries.

Cornell's most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These are simple boxes, usually glass-fronted, in which he arranged surprising collections of photographs or Victorian bric-à-brac, in a way that combines the formal austerity of constructivism with the lively fantasy of Surrealism. Many of his boxes, are interactive and are meant to be handled.

He uses the form of the box to almost frame a story, or a contained landscape. The box is often compartmentalised to fragment the narrative, to take you from object to object and construct a whole. You may needn't have to understand the symbology of it. It still has the power to speak to you. In essence i see them as story telling devices.