Small synthesisers whose sound and light emissions fluctuate in response to human touch, glass slides of blood stains used to create art prints, shlokas from the Bhagvad Gita re-contexualised in a video work, images of artifacts sourced from museums — all this and much more formed the core of the exhibition titled The Undivided Mind-II, the second edition of the Art & Science Residency hosted by Khoj International Artists’.
In its first exhibition of the Art & Science Residency, Khoj Studios was converted by some artists into a mini-spaceship.
The second and the current edition which features Jaden Hastings (USA), Lalinthorn Phencharoen (Thailand), Paribartana Mohanty (Delhi) and Shreyasi Kar and Bidisha Das (Bangalore) has explored the crossover between art and science by creating a diverse laboratory where sound, video, text, drawing, biology, physics and chemistry co-exist.
Hastings calls herself a ‘bio-hacker’ and is a bio-medical researcher with multiple Science degrees and also a degree in Fine Arts. She says, “For this residency at Khoj, I have used my blood mixed with pigments and metallic oxides. Once projected on Giclee prints, they look like abstract art imagery. A video showed the movement of blood cells played to self-composed music. This is to interpret that protein cells are unique to each one of us, almost like a metaphor of our life cycle”.
Phencharoen has been interested in the relation of art and science, she especially creates artworks with combination of essences from both sides of the brain, rational and irrational or objective and subjective conditions. She says: “My work is an installation that portrays my ideas and methodologies through documentation of myself, or my story, simultaneously using text, scientific drawings, specimens of earth and water collected from around Khoj, are part of my laboratory.”
Mohanty is a Delhi-based artist working in multiple mediums of video, performance and painting. At Khoj, he has created a video titled The Miniaturist which takes its reference from the famous physicist J Robert Oppenheimer reciting shlokas from the Bhagavad-Gita in the aftermath of the nuclear holocaust.
Shreyasi Kar and Bidisha Das are collaborating to create an eclectic laboratory that has several mini-labs inside it — a bio lab, an electronics lab, a sound lab, a photo lab, all using plants as the basis of experimentation. They say, “Our aim is to explore the relationship between man and nature and reflect on how plants react to human environment. Our current work is inspired by the work of the polymath J C Bose”.