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

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.