Projects > LOOK, HERE IS YOUR MACHINE. GET IN!

Look, Here Is Your Machine.Get In!

cURATORS

Anuja GhosalkarKai Tuchmann

Image Designed by Aliasger Dhariwala & Gavati Wad

About

EMBARKING TOWARDS A NEW VIRTUAL

We and our technology are not natural as yet!” – Bertolt Brecht “Lindbergh’s Flight”

While the pandemic has forced us to rely on online platforms to reach out, conduct business, or to make art “Look, here is your machine. Get in!” is a meditation on the potentialities and limitations of internet based communication and the ever evolving understanding of the virtual.

“Look, here is your machine. Get in!” are the two first lines of the libretto, that Bertolt Brecht wrote 1929 for his radio play “Lindbergh’s Flight”. Six years after radio was introduced to Germany, Brecht envisioned this performance as changing established concepts of theatre, performance, embodiment and space. Brecht hoped to turn the radio from a representation of spoken words into an automaton that allows everybody to speak up. His hope failed. The days leading up to the premiere of “Lindbergh’s Flight” coincided with the World Economic Crisis and the Nazi Party later capitalized on this crisis. They discovered in the radio, the potential for causing a modern form of violence––media violence. 

The curators invited artists and scholars to document the current moment we are living through by asking them to comment on Brecht`s experiment––in particular on the intersection of society and art, and technology. Their responses will constitute a unique archive of the 269 days of the pandemic (25th of March, the first day of the lockdown to the 16th of December, the day of the project’s premiere) and its effects on the public sphere and our cultural and political life. Through this invitation the curators Ghosalkar and Tuchmann continue their exploration of theatre’s specific relationship with real events in the world, that they started with CONNECTING REALITIES last year at SAF. 

The nine works of “Look, here is your machine. Get in” are situated between discourses of technophobic pessimism and transhuman calls for enhancement. Digital technology is understood as just a necessary agent in the vital project of imagining survival. This imagination, regardless of technologies used to arrive there, is at the core, of all virtuality. The virtual appears to  be mediated through technologies, however it is not exclusively so–– it is beyond the screen and ocular experiences. It is  a modality of thought, an attitude towards our being, that always is and was in coevolution with machines and nonhuman organisms. Deleuze once spoke of the virtual, as that which is real but not actual, ideal but not abstract, symbolic but not fictional. The curators want to occupy exactly this particular understanding of the virtual with our project and the works we curate.

The inequities intrinsic to theatre will not see  elimination in the digital realm. This landscape might even reinforce existing exclusions or perhaps create new ones.

If you want to embark on the new virtual you must fulfill the following terms of engagement:

  1. Check your internet speed. If this is under 30 mbps you cannot participate!
  2. Do not use your mobile, since this will interfere negatively with the virtual platform!
  3. We recommend you use Mozilla or Google Chrome browser to optimize your experience!
  4. We recommend you to use a Router UPS  in case of electricity cuts!
  5. Due to the same reason please fully charge your machine.
  6. You probably will not have trouble entering this machine if Netflix streams seamlessly on your computer.

Once you agree to these requirements, we are pleased to invite you, to turn your computers into a machine which allows for an embodiment that can make all the difference to how things are right now.

Artists

A.Mangai 

Dome of Doom
This multi-directional journey is about inward and outward reflection and its ruptures – its central response is to section 8 of Lindbergh’s Flight, an effort to “change the world bottom-up”.

Amitesh Grover 

Making Speech With Invisible Partners
This immersive installation in VR reframes the techno-optimism underlying Lindbergh’s Flight by questioning the assumption that someone could own airwaves. It invites the audience to listen to a broadcast – sent from the future. This work unpacks ideas of control and regulation of airwaves and calls for a charter for “freeing air” from the policing and symbolic order of the public domain, while ironically placing itself in the vacuum of a virtual space.

Ayesha Susan Thomas

Lindbergh’s Daughter: Ayesha Susan Thomas

Lindbergh’s Daughter navigates questions of love, death, and inheritance through the quieter, everyday intimacy of voice notes on WhatsApp and homemade experiments with solo art. Lindbergh’s Daughter is curious about the nature of a more female experience of existentialism (if such a singular could ever exist), bound by ritual, revelation, and a return to the earth – through the aural inheritance of meaning from father to daughter.

Ranjit Kandalgaonkar

The Myth Box
The Myth Box is an interfusion of a 3D object, line drawings, archival materials from the Bombay plague, rumor-mongering bats, miasma theories, misconceptions, and histories of diseases and infections flying through the air. This is presented in the backdrop of the ‘The Spirit of St. Louis’ – the unique custom-built, high-wing monoplane Charles Lindbergh flew for the first solo trans – Atlantic flight ever; making every kind of travel possible, even for a future virus.

Soumyabrata Choudhury 

A Migrant Walk
The video and performance work, A migrant walk is a “documentary caricature” of Bertolt Brecht’s radio play Lindbergh’s Flight. The present work asks, what is our experience of the impossible in history, particularly in the wake of the pandemic announced from March 2020? The answer to this question is as real as it can get, and without a tinge of the optimistic perspective Brecht was able to invoke: today the impossible is enacted by the migrant walk across thousands of kilometers mostly on foot and occasionally supplemented by the most primitive mechanisms of transport (cycle, rickshaw, auto, scooter, etc). Hence the Migrant Walk is the real caricature thrown up by the history of the great Lindbergh’s flight dramatized with the documentary fidelity and technical intelligence appropriate to their age by Brecht. The work does not pretend to overcome the present impasse but traverse it, in the very mode of its caricatural historicity.

Venkat Srinivasan 

Memory Manifesto
In a room called Memory Manifesto, an archivist responds to the prompt of Lindbergh’s Flight by meditating on the possibilities of a moment in time. It is a play on the idea of a manifesto and an even more enduring idea – that is the archive. The objects in the room act as provocations to bring forth thoughts of poets, writers, and build on the wondrousness around the existence of the archival object.

Yalgaar Saunskrutik Manch
Article 51 A[h]

Using poetry and music in the Ambedkarite Shahriri Jalsa style, Yalgaar attempts to understand the relationship between man, science, and nature in Lindbergh’s Flight. 

Zhao Chuan

Prophecies of 269 days
In this transmedial long poem, Zhao Chuan investigates the language games played in the aftermath of the 269 days that followed the lockdown on 25 March 2020 in India.

Zuleikha Chaudhari

Rehearsing Azaad Hind Radio/Instructional Work/Performing Kris Merken

This work for the “Look, here is your machine. Get in!” project is in three parts: Rehearsing Azaad Hind Radio (9 minutes extract from the video work of the same name originally commissioned for the Berlin Biennale 2018); Performing Kris Merken (6 minutes), and a 2 minutes instructional work for the viewers. This triangulated work offers a dramaturgical reflection on how technology, society, and theatre intersect in the twenty-first century.

Rehearsing Azaad Hind Radio reenacts selected broadcasts Subhash Chandra Bose made from Berlin on Azaad Hind Radio – originally 40 minutes, the work focuses on Bose’s attempt to construct a radio – culture for promoting nationalism.

Performing Kris Merken is an audition with Zuleikha Chaudhari – using texts from Bertolt Brecht, Heiner Mueller, and Achille Mbembe, the material contemplates the relationship between the virtual and the real.

BIOS

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CREDITS

Curated by: Anuja Ghosalkar & Kai Tuchmann
Technical designers: Aliasger Dhariwala & Gavati Wad
Technical Consultant: Roman Senkl

A.Mangai 
Dome of Doom
Research: Sibi Arasu
Design and Technology: M. Surendar
Artwork – GIF on clanging plates & Incarcerations: Nandita Sanjeevi (Background Text – Asoka’s Edict. Urdu Translation: Shipra Nigam; Tamil Tr. and Voice: Ponni)
Brecht’s text on Ideology (Translation): A. Mangai
Tamil song ‘Concrete Kuruvi’ based on Brecht’s text: Arivu
Data on New Laws, Graph on Domestic Violence: Harsha Sunder
Photo image on the wall: Sarala Emmanuel
Performance Concept and Direction: Ponni Arasu
Performers: Mangai, Ponni, A. Revathi, Sadhashi, Tamilarasan, Tamilarasi
Camera: Surendar
Editing: Anand
Assistance & Subtitle: Muralidharan
Camera at Namakkal: Camera Unit – RCN TV
Camera at Batticaloa: Sarala Emmanuel

Amitesh Grover 
Making Speech With Invisible Partners
Concept and text: Amitesh Grover
Sound Design: Suvani Suri

Ayesha Susan Thomas
Lindbergh’s Daughter: Ayesha Susan Thomas
Concept, Direction, Voice: Ayesha Susan Thomas 
Masculine Voice: Esthappen S 

Ranjit Kandalgaonkar
The Myth Box
3D modeling: Dhruv Chavan

Soumyabrata Choudhury 
A Migrant Walk
Collective of Artists: Vibhuti Sharma, Vaibhav Abnave, Sukriti Sharma, Soumyabrata Choudhury, Prabhash Ranjan Tripathy, Monica Yadav, Debjyoti Sarkar, Dharm Prakash, Anubhuti Sharma
Editing: Saubhagya Saxena
Sound Designing: Suvani Suri
Sound Engineering: Lohit Bhalla 
Sources: Amartya Sen, “Listening as Governance”, Indian Express, Published on 8 April 2020. 
Alain Badiou, Migrants, and Militants (Polity Press, 2020).
“Bambai Main Ka Ba” – sung by and featuring Manoj Bajpayee; directed by Anubhav Sinha; lyrics by Dr. Sagar; Music by Anurag Saikia, T-Series, 2020.

Venkat Srinivasan 
Memory Manifesto
Sound: Nikhil Nagaraj, 12 Hz Sound Laboratories
Voiceover: Kavitha Narayanan, Sumit Kumar
Curation: Venkat Srinivasan
Thanks to Langston Hughes’ Harlem and all other mentioned archival and
soon-to-be-archival sources.

Yalgaar Saunskrutik Manch
Article 51 A[h]
Yalgaar Sanskrutik Manch Mumbai
Mohammed Khan        
Pravin khade
Swati Uthale 
Dhammrakshit Randive 
Siddharth Baviskar 
Poetry: Ramshankar Vidrohi, Baburao Bagul

Zhao Chuan
Prophecies of 269 days
Concept and text: Zhao Chuan
Performers: Ajay Ravi Verma, Diya Naidu, Salmin Sheriff & Zhao Chuan
Camera: Anuja Ghosalkar & Gao Zipeng
Video editing: Wu Meng

Zuleikha Chaudhari
Rehearsing Azaad Hind Radio/Instructional Work/Performing Kris Merken

Credits for Rehearsing Azaad Hind Radio
Commissioned and coproduced by Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 2018
With the support of Goethe-Institute.
Cinematographer: Desmond Roberts 
Sound Designer: Ish S
Costume Designer: Amal Allana 
Editor: Ganesh Prasad
Make-up: Pardeep Chahar
Backdrops painted by Satinder Singh
Assistant: Paromita Dasgupta
Costumes stitched by New Prominent Tailors
Texts: Radio broadcasts by Subhash Chandra Bose; What the Nation Really Needs to Know: The JNU Nationalism Lectures, and from Heiner Muller’s Hamletmachine.

Credits for Performing Kris Merken:
Texts: The MessingKauf Dialogues and The Radio as an Apparatus of Communication by Bertolt Brecht, Hamletmachine by Heiner Mueller, Reflections on Planetary Habitability by Achille Mbembe and Kris Merken.
Editor: Ganesh Prasad