- This event is over.
The current state of transition in the developing city of Bangalore and around its centuries-old system of inter-connected, man-made lakes can be best described as ‘churning’: what has sunk to the bottom, riles up; what is banished to the peripheries, scurries inwards; what was floating on top, loses buoyancy, and is sucked downwards; and on and on, in continuous, repeated and re-forming, vigorous motions. Churning is a movement, action and force particular to the nature of water (and other liquids), often producing new compositions. In the context of this project, it refers literally to the production of (toxic) foam (in the lakes). Along with the foam, what is churning is the materiality, ecology and economies of water and with it land, property, boundaries/boundedness, responsibilities, livelihood, governments, traffic, toxins, metals, grass, fish… In the eye of this mega churning, at the micro level, the experience of circumnavigating the ‘lake’ on foot is that of surface tension: a contra-force particular to water at rest that helps to maintain its appearance of placidity (so much so that an ant can walk across it !).
Shifting perspectives, between these two oppositional movements/forces, ‘Surface Tension’, the project, is a walk along the changing perimeter of Bellandur ‘lake’, mapping the topography, observing and narrating the material relations that produce the image of urban development around it. The footage created during the walk is being uploaded, in its entirety, on PADMA (Public Access Digital Media Archive : initiated by CAMP- Mumbai, 0x2620- Berlin, the Alternative Law Forum- Bangalore and Majlis and Point of View- Mumbai) and will be made publicly available with annotations and transcriptions. The annotations take the form of a lexicon of urban development around the lake followed by Haikus, a Japanese form of poetry that creates sonorous descriptions and careful documentation of moments of environmental changes.
This performative presentation is an invitation to all, with a shared concern for the polluted commons in Bangalore, to collaborate, adding to and annotating the footage on the archive, from multiple perspectives, examining existing and imagining new urban relations around Bellandur lake.
Special thanks to Sindhu Thirumalaisamy, with whom this project began. The footage of the walk can be found here.
Prerna Bishnoi studied video production at Srishti and did her MFA at Trondheim Academy of Fine Art. Her practice is at the co-influence of filmmaking, writing and performance. She is interested in the relations between urban space, architecture and the production of imaginaries. She is concerned with the conditions of work and play, which often guides the communities and spaces she does research in. She currently lives in Trondheim but roots her practice in both India and Norway.