Radiating Body - Sheshadev Sagria
The anthropocentric philosophy argues that human beings are central or most significant entities in the world, but the preacher of it excludes many of its own kind, the concept of human is intertwined with various form of hierarchy, but being a resident of Hindu dominated country like India our confrontation with the idea of “Human” begins from the lens of caste system, an oldest form of stratification, which divides people into rigid hierarchical groups like upper caste(pure, more human) and lower caste(Impure, less human). Our understanding of the human is based on Manusmriti, which is an authoritative book, a written configuration on caste divided group occupying place in the hierarchy, which excludes people from the idea of “the fully human” owing to their, body, labour work, disease, and unique ability as lower caste. Decentralizing the Brahminical ideology is a posthuman discourse, the core form that has strengthen the Brahminical idea of human from ontological perspective is archive, such as book, museum, film, art, medical data, media, and many which builds a contextual information in order to build a reality by hiding something that is against the idea of reality.
Recently I participated in a residency which took place at Studio CAMP in Mumbai, an urban city where most of the people from my villages migrate to work as a manual labourer, during that time one of my friend was working there in construction site, we reconnected in that space differently by talking, sending images and visiting each other, which compelled me to believe No matter how hard we try we will always get the wrong idea of labourer, unless we are somebody who works as labourer. Our understanding of the reality of labourer identity is being shaped by different form of information generated through research, writing and speculation which gives an information regarding the particular living condition. Those materials act as a contextual information and builds a wall between onlooker and worker. During the residency my intention was to develop an alternative narrative regarding my friend being a migrant labourer while disregarding every other information that exist on the labourer body by humanist perspective.
Can we imagine a construction site as a lab? Where a body transforms into something else.
Do constructing worker possess an extraordinary ability?
In this process of finding alternative narrative, I was an onlooker and a friend to a person who works in construction site, also I became a receiver and he became a messenger or sender, who sent photographs of city and construction site, which compelled me to see the city the how he sees the cityscape, visited the construction site multiple time and collected different form of marks, light, dust, and witnessed how wall is becoming skin, and its body leaving behind its scaffold and radiating like and invisible light, it was a radiating body after all, which organs are emitting organs on to other to become other.
My intention for the posthuman research residency is to develop the idea of alternative narrative and make this discovered radiating body more palpable, by using various way of post humanistic approach. And explore the question “how we become what we become” in this world. This residency would help me to explore in-depth regarding the archive and how it is contributing and strengthening the idea of humanism and how it creates a contextual information. I am intending to develop a Diorama on the idea of my friend being Radiating body, which I am visualizing a time frame how it is becoming. Which I will develop through a pseudo-scientific approach, and create a contextual information concerning the Radiating body.
A context that that I had developed on Why its radiating?
Mumbai isn’t new to heatwaves, rising temperatures and skin pinching sun ray, there are certain work system that invites people to work around and under this environment, construction workers have adapted to high temperatures in the summer months, accepting this as normal and living. That body which spent its entire day at a construction site could be one of the reasons why its radiating. Bodies who have no choice
but to work while being directly exposed to the sun. Will that body radiate if it works in rainy or other season, or in night, the body might become something else? Being exposed to fumes, gases, and vapors from construction material is what making that body radiating.