ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born 1981 in Pamplemousse,Mauritius
Lives and works in Goa(India) and Auckland(New Zealand)
Nandita Kumar is a new-media artist who creates immersive environmental spaces. She explores the elemental process through which human beings construct meaning from their experiences, by creating sensory narratives through the usage of sound, video/ animation and performance, or through smartphone apps, customized motherboards and solar/microwave sensors. Through her installations, interactive sculptures, paintings and animations, which seamlessly integrate new media and materiality, Kumar reflects the striking contradictions within the industrial and natural landscape.
Nandita has shown in varied festivals and exhibitions throughout the world including ZKM (Germany), KNMA (India), LACMA (USA), REDCAT ( USA), ISEA ( Australia) , Jeu de Paume (France), The New Zealand International Film Festival, Film Anthology Archive NY, Indian Art Fair (India), Rome International Film festival (Italy), Stuttgart Animation Festival, The Academy of Television Art and Sciences in Los Angeles and been included in Best of Sydney Underground Festival DVD. “Ghar Pe/At Home” (2011-2012), a community art project she curated, has been documented online by Asian Art Archive (Hong Kong). Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Yishu, Asian Art Archive,The Asian Age, Hindustan times, The Indian Express, Take on Art (India), Australian Art Collector. Nandita has received the “Best Original Music” for her film Birth of Brain Fly at the Cinema Mundo festival in Brazil and has been screened twice on TVS Sydney. She has also been a speaker at Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney) and TEDx.
She holds a joint Bachelors Degree from MS University, Baroda(India) and Elam School Of the Arts, Auckland University, (New Zealand) and has completed her Masters Degree in Experimental Animation at California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles(USA).
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
The Quintessential Machine
The machine at the dawn of its age, was at once progressive and exotic, becoming a novel social experience by the late 19th century. Hurtling towards the future with efficient mechanical speed, citizens of modern towns and cities found their bucolic cognition of nature eroded and replaced by new social structures. Nandita Kumar explores the impact of innovative technologies on human lives through her practice. She combines self-powering’ tech that produces frequencies, video and sound, with imagery of the natural world, drawing each other in harmony with one other.
The Artist’s practice excavates key innovations in human history that mark alterations in man’s understanding of the earth and its place in the universe – urging our scrutiny of destructive human impulses since the 19th century and our stake in securing a future that is sustainable and organically integrated within natural ecologies. She employs technology as though it were a natural element in an extended ecosystem. Her works as a result are hybrids, rooted simultaneously in human nature while a pervasive electronic layer is integrated seamlessly.
In this exhibition, “eLEmeNT: EaRTh”, “pOLymORpHic hUMansCApE” and “eMotiVe sOuNDs of the eLEctRic wRiTEr » are aesthetic constructs of technology at work: sensors, printed circuit boards, speakers or LCD videos in the former two and a whole “emotional” plotter in the latter. These « machines » express, interpret and critique the self-appointed dominant role of humans over nature, creating autonomous artificial environments. As part machine, part artistic intervention, they function to challenge our uncritical reception towards technological advancement. These hybrid artworks imagine a future of possibilities where the essence of the machine and the optimism it once birthed are inextricably linked with the Earth’s primary natural elements (fire, water, earth and air). But with an added fifth element, the “quintessence,” which the machines seem to embody, aspires to a better world, a better future where human outlook encompasses benevolence and generosity towards all sentient beings.