Video lecture with materials from CAMP's ongoing Wharfage project,
involving state records, seafarers and "free trade" between parts of the
Persian Gulf, South Asia, and Africa.
Unlike the explorer whose frontier is "where no one else has gone", the wooden-ship-captain who says he goes "where no one else goes" also whispers, "anymore", hinting that things change with time. In this story, Iraq was a destination fifteen years ago, as Somalia is today. Such horizons for "free trade" are produced by certain groups doing, openly, what others have deemed temporarily atleast, unprofitable. This takes skill and a capacity, a "power and resistance at sea".
At the same time, the orientation of ships and traders towards certain destinations has its "price". How to deal with unexpected intimacies? Remember, Sara Ahmed wrote, that the words contingency and contact have the same root (Latin: contigere = to touch). Goats crowd the insides of boats, charcoal catches fire. Ethiopian discotheques, sinkings off Oman, and boardings by the US navy are recorded on Gujarati sailors' cellphones. Even if the goods are all Chinese, one state "feels" another.
So there is one ship here, which could be described as brutal, bottom-feeding, capitalism as usual. And then there is another one, which has a range of peculiar and persistent properties. It is: made of Malaysian timber, brought home in the monsoons, classified as a "sailing vessel", a vigorous offspring of the traditional arab "dhow" and gujarati "vahan", fed on cheap diesel from Iran and break-bulk cargo re-exported from the Emirates. These two ships tell us about the balance of forces between nation-states, tax-regimes, labour-pools and ecosystems, for ex. in the diagram below... a matrix that is nevertheless perturbed, excited, by each passing ship.
"Free ports" run by a "Liberalisation via Revolutionary Guard",
ruling families since n cheap diesel
atleast the 1800's c s
" p e i
i k r o
r r v n
a i s
m c c
"Semi-states " " s
where most daily goods Seafaring "minority community",
come by sea and ship-builders since antiquity
Ishara Art Foundation
At first, a project on the creek in Sharjah, from where a large number of ships leave for Somali ports.
Beginnings is an exhibition tracing some of the conceptual and artistic origins of CAMP. At ARGOS, Brussels as part of new beginnings at ARGOS itself.
Ashok Sukumaran, Simpreet Singh and Shaina Anand perform the housing histories trilogy live on 20 21 22 September during the opening week.
Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center
Ashok gives a talk at the MMB, as part of the State of Nature series.
A 100-foot long branching sequence of cutouts drawing from the photo archives of The Hindu, a 140-year old newspaper. Cutouts here are a way of reframing existing photographs as new organisms and to create a new boundary or border for the image.
On three screens, a city-symphony filmed by automated CCTV cameras in Amsterdam pushing their optical and motor 'patrolling' capacities to an extreme.
In advance of CAMP's solo at De Appel and in collaboration with LIMA - a screening of two of the studio’s earlier acclaimed projects that examine surveillance, society, and cinematic apparatus.
New work at the Chennai Photobiennial, drawing from the photo archives of The Hindu, a 140-year old newspaper based out of Chennai.
CAMP presented at the Inhabited Sea roundtable at IIT Bombay. "An initiative that seeks to create a new imaginary for the terrain of Mumbai."
Save the date for this event with Aajeevika Bureau. The format is, watching 60 projected photographs over two hours, while talking about them. Several photographers will attend.