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

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. 

Referencing the Holocaust Memorial Installation

According to Eisenman's project text, the stelae are designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason.

The memorial is a maze of 2,711 unadorned concrete rectangular slabs that cover a city block. The slabs tilt slightly at varying angles, and the ground rises and falls. Visitors must find their way through the labyrinth, designed to disorient them at every step. 

This could be an example of an installation that works within a scenario and creates an experience of it. The scenario being that of the holocaust and the experience is created through metaphors, through a selected form.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Free writing and constructing landscapes

I am reading the Harvard Design Magazine : Can designers help Non formal Settlements where they talk about the existence of squatters and slum developments as tight clusters or strong units which are hard to restructure or even relocate. They have a lifestyle of their own and the current approach being taken is to help organise that life in the existing state, improve basic facilities without restructuring. 

Currently i am exploring everything possible that hints towards the idea of the box.

The box is a landscape (i keep repeating this :) It is a form that i associate to a developing way of life. Life according to and within the box. What is it like? Distopic, Utopic? What are the trends that are currently defining this form / landscape? 

BOX = efficiency

So what are the characteristics of this new landscape? What are the various aspects that make up a lifestyle? 







Free Writing off the top of my head 

Scenario 1

The Box

Clustering was the new way of doing things. Independence was another. 

The more self sufficient you were, the more powerful you felt. 

Personalised technologies, services. 

Mobile applications, your personalised application to quit smoking.. 

Your personalised cab, it addresses you, knows you when you call it.

GSM services track you, interact with your movement constantly updating schemes and prices.

Advertising doesn't sermonise any longer. It isn't one way. It includes you. It speaks to you and your experience with your product.

Household applications respond to you, as though they lived in your house. Switches, faucets, lights, the toilet seat.

Housing has divided into formal and non formal.

The increase in population has led to a rise in urban spaces. 

Existing metropolitans have become strongholds and the sister cities are the new suburbs. Townships. Satellite towns

The formal spaces comprise of business centres and luxury living. Residences are self provisionary with shopping arcades, plexes etc.

Nonformal living has become more organised. Micro organisms in themselves, they are autonomous, yet share basic common responsibility. 

The slums were never demolished and the squatters never discouraged, only made more efficient. "Pirate urbanism", they don't confrom to zoning or service regulations and are 

managed by populist governments. These hubs give rise to many non formal industries. Some pockets less developed than others.

Environments were flushed. People grew less consious of technologies that facilitated everyday living. technologies and interfaces had become intuitive reacting and changing

as per the users intuition. 

Low cost housing, bloc apartments and communities had allowed for "limited living". The lack of space already put restrictions on child birth. 650 sq the average space the upper middle

class was allowed. These social brackets were more defined due to the lack of space. Space was rationed depending on income or else was considered illegal.

Gregory Stock: To upgrade is human

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I've been walking around the city trying to identify these "boxes" or gather a visual pool of "trends" or artefacts that speak of any kind of future thought or point toward that developing lifestyle. 
Our environment is in constant conversation with us. These conversations feeding probably what most people want or are in agreement with. They are generated by us for us. 
Most visual material out there speaks of the present moving toward the future. Images very rarely reflect the past and these images constructed are dynamic. Most visual material within advertising tends to look like something out of a science fiction story. That probably is what i began picking up on. The most obvious pool coming from the most competitive markets. The more relevant to you, the more competitive. 

What happens when these images are placed and organised into one coherent form. 
How could it change the context that these are viewed in.
Can these physical boxes illustrate individual "landscapes"? 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

To make sense of things. Slowly

I am trying to make sense of everything that i have been seeing around me. I tend to over think things sometimes and its getting hard to find tangible examples to illustrate the idea of the box. I need to become loose in my approach

What is the box again? Why is it a box?

The box is a form im using to portray a developing lifestyle. What is this lifestyle then? What is it constituted by? Im trying to map out or even break up that word "lifestyle" to help me present it better. I can't illustrate it as a whole and the box as a form and as a character is my lens.

What attributes of this shape can i use to break up this landscape? 

What are all the current trends that point to a certain future scenario or that would help me write one? 

Based on what politic or mindset am i categorizing certain photographs under "box"? 

-Religious symbols and temples as institutions and strongholds protecting culture, traditions, lifestyle and beliefs

-Wall Murals as a means of urban identity. In a gray landscape, the need to remind people of authentic culture and identity. Bringing the lost back in. I don't know whether this is a good way of doing it.

-Authorised Public transport as a paid public service to make commuting more efficient. Competitions between rickshaw drivers and new private taxi's against the backdrop of the metros and rising oil prices. Meru Cabs "rely on us".

-Mobile communication and various competing and developing schemes created to make communication easier, faster, cheaper or just more exciting, Uninor (what is their strategy??)

-Social Networking Sites to keep in touch, making "the world a smaller place to live in" or a "global village", being able to bring in people into your lives, or being able to reach out through expression. 

-Personal identity through various social media as a means of expression, to reach out or to create independent platforms or reinvent yourself. Virtually.

-Block housing as a form. To optimize on space and provide shelter. Also identity less. 

-Gated Communities to create another customized space for individuals. To create comfort and security from what is outside. To Escape. "the Dream Home". "The Truman Show"

-The Education boards as various means to one end. Which board is more valid if they all follow the same rigid content? 

-The television as an accessible dynamic source of information and the way it does it. News channels to soap operas, lifestyle shows follow the same format and Presentation.

-Advertising as broadcast and non inclusive. Very one sided sermonizing. Take it or leave it. Competitive. Unless there isnt a depreciation in their sales they see no reason to change the format. 

-Security at apartment blocks and colonies as a measure to ensure the smooth running of what goes on within. To eradicate bad elements. Stricter measures, from id proof to frisking.

But how do i categorise these phenomena that im seeing. What overarching category or umbrella can i place them under. Some are larger obsrvations than others. What do i do with those? And how can any of such examples act as iconic images or artefacts to symbolise specific categories?

From the Society of the Spectacle

The fetishism of the commodity — the domination of society by “intangible as well as tangible things” — attains its ultimate fulfillment in the spectacle, where the real world is replaced by a selection of images which are projected above it, yet which at the same time succeed in making themselves regarded as the epitome of reality.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What about boxes? Metaphorically speaking.

Boxes are things that make things come together

They are compartmentalised

Boxes restrict you (positively and negatively)

Boxes have sides to them

Circles are uniform but boxes... ? they have facets

Boxes help you organise

You can hide in boxes

A box can hold surprises

Boxes are hollow.. but they have deep thoughts

Boxes could mean closure

Boxes can open. Boxes can shut

Think of your life in boxes.. when you pack up..

Boxes can help differentiate

Schrodingers cat

New cement Buildings

It is closed and dark from the inside

Pandora's box

Artificial in form


Things around you today give you the impression of a box. Feeling claustrophobic, apartments, technology.

For some reason there are no curves in technology. You don't associate it to machines. Its manmade. Is that why the mac is so endearing? It reminds me of a soap, its soft. Is that why it stands out?

Cities are filled with boxes that i'm just dying to topple over.

Children love looking into boxes. They mostly have positive thoughts about them. It makes them curious.

James Geary, metaphorically speaking

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Anti Box

17th July

Man was a hunter. What in his evolutionary process from a quadruped would have him evolve into a biped? Possibly, as a hunter to see farther and to chase. It is a simple and direct association to man and nature.
In terms of spirituality, it was for him to be better tomorrow than he was today.
So what prompted this entire simplicity to complicate itself where one cannot remember or even forgets to question why they were stuck in the present rut - lifestyle? He fell in Love? :P Progress? We live in world governed by norms (they are to facilitate) that act as strongholds, either negative or positive

What is the reason for being today? This is a subjective question, although the basic format to the way people live makes me wonder how much control our constructed environment has over us?
Why is it important that I identify this?

Can identifying that the box exists everywhere make us aware of this lifestyle that we have developing around us. How can "full consiousness" of this lifestyle help us make better choices for ourselves? Could a slight awareness of personal well being in this chaos change the way we look at various systems and the way we interpret them - education, career choices, status.
Could being aware of the box help you think out of it?

So then what is the form of the "anti box"? Of all that, that is not boxed in, that is breaking out of the system, however small in scale.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The 6 sides


The box is an idea as well as a character within my narrative.
What is it? What are its ideologies? If it were a person, how would i describe him/her?  
Where do i see it around me? 

(concepts that i am working around)
The box is a developing idea or lifestyle that emulates / facilitates the survival of mankind.
It lives / exists / by the idea of efficiency / predictability. 

can somebody please help me define this..  :)





artificial force

force ?


eradicating the unpredictable.


minimise survival instinct ?


6 sided