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Where art meets science

Where art meets science
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Is survival on earth becoming even more precarious than in space? Can our cities survive for long if they continue to grow irresponsibly? How can policy makers intervene to make our cities self-sufficient? Many more such pertinent questions are being raised through The Undivided Mind, an exhibition emanating from a two-week residency that explores the crossover between two seemingly unrelated fields of Art and Science.

The works created during this residency by the CAAS Collective (a trio of Susmita Mohanty, Barbara Imhof and Sue Fairburn) and Rohini Devasher will be open for public viewing at Khoj Studios on February 27.

The aim of the exhibition - which will comprise of posters, collages, photographs, info-graphics and videos - is to draw a parallel between the earth we inhabit and outer space, bringing into focus questions about environment degradation, sustainability, recycling and efficient use of limited natural resources. Hence, this exhibition explores the ways in which scientific processes and discovery can be coupled with visual art production and vice-versa. CAAS, in fact, aims to convert Khoj Studios, the venue of the exhibition, into a mini space-station as part of its project.

Susmita Mohanty says “The space stations are super-efficient and self-sufficient for the astronauts to sustain. A city like Delhi sources almost everything from electricity to water from elsewhere. CAAS is a thought which believes that every city should be self sufficient like a space station. We need smart cities in the future if we have to survive. We want people to conceptualise, visualise and materialise how to tread the planet lightly.”

CAAS Collective or the ‘City As A Spaceship’ collective comprises of Susmita Mohanty (spaceship designer and aerospace entrepreneur), Barbara Imhof (space architect) and Sue Fairburn (scientist and design researcher).  Rohini Devasher is an emerging visual artist who has participated in several past residency programs at Khoj. The works on display at Khoj will focus on data collected through CAAS’s interactions with people of Khirkee and the neighborhood.

Sue Fairburn noted, “Through our collages that juxtapose various living environments on Earth and that in space, we want to create a dialogue that earth and space are not exclusive of each other.”

Barbara Imhoif, a space architect stated, “Living in space is not just about science, it’s also about a harmony in cultural diversity, human emotions, feelings of isolation and dependence. Comparing this to our life in cities, a CAAS City can be an inspiration, an alternate view, for a future city and a way to project and achieve our dreams and visions of an equitable and environment-friendly urban life.”
Rohini Devasher is a Delhi based artist whose art practice is rooted in science and whose recent work has involved research and fieldwork in amateur astronomy where myth and fiction blur the boundaries of what is real and imagined.

She said, “For the show, I hope to continue this imagination of new analytical and fictitious spaces with the projection of the strange, and the poetic into the scientific. I am interested in investigations of natural systems using modes of ‘field work’ and ‘expedition’. I have found these to be particularly useful in the observation and understanding of the relationship between humans, their environment and how this is constructed.”
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