Anish Cherian is a multidisciplinary practitioner. A graduate in urban planning, and architecture & design they uses an assemblage of mediums from painting, architecture, performance, creative writing, and technology to articulate his practice. In their current work boundaries between nature, human technology are blurred in affirmative communion, to record memories excluded from the archive and by extension the “official” narrative of our reality. These minor archives inform a speculative post-human world they create through drawings, listening sessions, stories, and music. They see collaboration and kinship between species and allies as integral in forming new languages and speculative possibilities. A recipient of the Legislative Assistant for Member of Parliament fellowship and Skowhegan artist residency, their works have been shown at KNMA, Max Mueller Bhavan in New Delhi, Museum of Goa and BeFantastic TechArt Fellowship 2021.
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What is the tree? For Deleuze the tree becomes the villain, the arborescent schema; limiting in its nature. However for me the tree becomes a medium for memories from a speculative future, folklores and mythologies, stories from our past, from the forest, from the fungal network growing below these forest, and voices of the marginalised. These figures and their historically leaky bodies - marginalised and delegitimised by taxonomies of exclusion that first alienated human from nature and certain bodies as not fully with human rights - are witnessed by the tree, an agent outside the anthropocene speculating a post human future, a source for desire. Years ago, a different question would go on to strengthen humanity's legitimization of their world and the cosmos. “What is life, and how should it be recognised?” wondered James Lovelock when asked to make a theoretical life-detection system to look for life on Mars. Space programs since then have employed empirical methods to detect ‘order among chaos’ to identify extraterrestrial life. In my recent works selected trees became sites of a temporal fracture through which stories and voices of leaky bodies (Rosi Braidotti) can be heard; caused by actions taken by the state that questions its definition of human. The legal spectacle around granting human rights to rivers Ganges and Yamuna, reducing the taxonomy of coconut trees to grass in Goa, India or recent findings that suggest a bacteria capable of changing the sex of an armadillidiidae [pillbug] exposing the anthropos to liminality. In 'beneath the tree there is more hope for a breeze' (https://www.desirecollective.com/event-1-beneath-the-tree) 'coming out party for the androgynous trees' (https://www.facebook.com/2261480197452117/posts/2782136958719769/) and 'under the shade of a tree' trees integrate with radio and geolocation technology to describe a world other than human, to look outside the world of categorisations and classifications that legistimises who is deemed to be human. During the program I am interested in developing a conversation between the tree and the delegitimized human, in an attempt to transgress the human condition. Taking these figures through The project will take the form of a video essay and will unfold as new becomings desiring a detour, a fracture, a transgression, an embrace, a metamorphosis of the norms that would entail who, what, why, when, and where is a human?