the incidents within this project realize the desire for post-human transformations and heighten our encounter with other sentient life.
with an aim to perforate the barriers that separate human from the non-human, living from non-living, this project is an invitation to speak into the future and listen to the signals that surround us.
the project was originally conceived by Anish Cherian within the framework of Five Million Incidents (2019-20) realized by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan in collaboration with Raqs Media Collective.
Visiting the school where my mother taught one day over two decade ago, I saw her students my brother's friends climb a large old tree. All trees in Avadi back then were old. Once on top, they would stick a safety pin into the tree, the pin was connected to a listening apparatus and was pressed against the ears of the boys. These elated boys called me evidently curious to join them on the tree. What I remember now of what we heard from these trees that day came to me today as a constructed memory, one with obvious holes in the story. But discovering that one could listen to All India Radio through these trees forever remained an unusual and magical experience.
I now imagine it to find newer ways to describe the tree. It was not a helpless being we exploit or have to care for. Imagine how its image has been restricted for so many years because of the will of humans. Our liminal understanding has limited the existence of these non-human beings.
This project is therefore the animation/activation of the Ashoka tree at Max Mueller Bhavan to transform into a technological entity capable of sending and receiving forces.
By the experiments by George O. Squire, Ikrath, and radio enthusiasts the tree becomes an antenna capable of receiving radio signals. The transformed tree stands at its site invoking the need to desire before beginning ones transformation.
Witness the event
beneath the tree there is more hope for a breeze is an incident within the frameworks of Five Million Incidents, that calls to witness the transformation of the tree beyond its taxonomy. by transforming the tree into a radio its becomes a site for a post-human desire. through a series of curated and developed text by artist Anish Cherian and collaborators, Ajith Cherian and Padmanabhan such as; the cell membrane, animal inside, blade of grass and neuromancer; the tree asks the viewer to desire their own post-human transformation.