Decomposing Landscape


To capture the essence, if not the historical particulars, of the regions on the decay

We have arguably entered the Anthropocene – ‘a new geologic era, defined by unprecedented human-made disturbances over earth’s ecosystems’. In this era, the climatic balance of the natural landscapes in many developed as well as developing and re-emerging economies are endangered. Many parts of the contemporary world are going through intensifying process of land development to facilitate rapid urbanization and industrialization. As a result of this speedy development, these pastoral landscapes are developing into industrial zones deeply affecting the environmental as well as socio-cultural climate. Consequently, these areas are decaying as bucolic terrains to become homogenized industrial sites making the transitions complex to grasp on the background of their rich culture and locative history. Ongoing project Decomposing Landscape creates a discursive situation instead of a traditionally immersive experience in media art, in order to facilitate an in-depth and contemplative observation of such transitive landscapes for affective engagement and public action. With a media anthropological approach, the project frames the slow decay of these sites with the help of digital convergence, staging augmented environments for site-specific interpenetration between sound, video and still images. The final outcomes of the project include an Ambisonics sound composition, a multi-channel sound/video installation and works for VR. The project is being developed through a meticulous collection of materials from various representative locations starting with an initial phase of fieldwork (2009-2011) that was supported by Prince Claus Fund Amsterdam. These collections form a digital archive to be used for realizing the work(s).

The multi-channel sound composition (developed during an artist residency at ICST, Zurich University of the Arts) has received the First prize in Computer and Electronic Music category of Computer Space festival, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2014, and released on Touch, London, March 2015.

Decomposing Landscape was included as a reference work discussed in the PhD dissertation Audible Absence (2017), Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University, and was performed as part of the PhD defence at Studio Loos, Den Haag on 8th March 2017.

Talking Field (2017), the multi-channel audio-visual work stemming from the project was screened at ISEA2017 and International Image Festival, Manizales, Colombia, June 2017.

Resonating Field (2017) – premiere exhibition from the project – a multi-channel sound (16 channels Ambisonics) and video installation (4 channels) took place at the Quartair – Contemporary Art Initiatives, The Hague, 6 – 15 November 2017 under a state grant.

Echoing Field (2018 -) – work for expanded VR stemming from the project is completed.

Publication: The Primal Soundscape (forthcoming 2020)

Other exhibitions:

Echoing Field (2018), Weltkunstzimmer, Düsseldorf, September – November 2018, for multi-channel sound (8 channels Ambisonics), video installation (8 channels) and VR.

Echoing Field (2020 – 2021) – multi-channel sound (16 channels Ambisonics), video installation (8 channels) and VR, at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.