Breaking down the barriers of time and space

December 17, 2016 12:17 am | Updated 12:17 am IST - KOCHI:

Artist Martina Seitl at the Let's talk Programme at Cabral Yard in Fort Kochi

Artist Martina Seitl at the Let's talk Programme at Cabral Yard in Fort Kochi

Swedish artists Christer Lundahl and Martina Seitl are on a mission to bring down the barriers of time, distance and space and connect people across the world through their ‘Unknown Cloud’ – which reflects the projects they have developed over smartphones and involving large groups of the public in an interplay between physical and virtual spaces and traditional and social media.​

“I know it is hard to achieve. But we are developing a technology through which people from different continents can communicate with the help of ‘Unknown Cloud’ as the medium,” Seitl said at a ‘Let’s Talk’ event held on Thursday on the sidelines of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016.

The project, still evolving, is expected to be achieved by 2057, she said. The test run of ‘Unknown Cloud’ was done at Diphu in Assam. The artists are displaying one of their recent artworks, ‘Symphony of a missing room’ that blends arts with science across locations, taking visitors of Biennale through an audio tour.

The first artist of the ongoing edition of the Biennale, Chilean revolutionary poet Raul Zurita, thinks that the story of language is one of magic and misunderstandings. “Words can both stave off mortality and extinguish life, but is inextricably linked to suffering and death,” he said, speaking on “What Language Means to Me”, at the Biennale Pavilion at Cabral Yard, Fort Kochi, on Thursday.

On Friday, Delhi Food and environment minister Imran Hussain led a high-level delegation to the Biennale and after a guided tour by Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) president Bose Krishnamachari, said both the Biennale and city were fascinating. Delhi MLA Somnath Bharti said the Biennale was a fusion of art, spirituality, philosophy and science.

Scope for collaboration

Sally Tallant, a regular at the Kochi Biennale since 2012, said she was amazed to see how the art event inspired and influenced infrastructure in Kochi. “It has rejuvenated the cityscape and has been embraced and owned by the people here,” Ms. Tallant said.

Both Kochi and Liverpool Biennales use their respective cities to narrate their stories, she said. “We work together with artists to take people on an artistic journey out of the museums and into the city. Architecture is a teacher that teaches the histories of a place. We try to do something similar in Liverpool. One of the things we can learn from the Biennale is how we can do things at the right scale of place – so that people don’t have to travel too far.”

The diverse portfolio of art education and outreach initiatives at the Kochi Biennale Foundation could be avenues for working together. “I am happy we are working in partnership with the KBF to exchange staff and learn from one another about how a Biennale can operate in a place,” she said.

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