Saturday, August 30, 2008

ajantrik . killer of sheep

ajantrik got me thinking about the machine. or rather it mirrored ideas that were slowly forming in my head regarding the machine. perhaps it was the cyborg project in the second year where the distinction between the mechanical and the natural is being explored in this city through random associations. it could also be the argument for the home as a prosthetic worn to navigate the city. a body extension. then there was the deleuzian concept of the abstract machine and the concrete assemblage. desire that can only be made tangible through the material at hand. this is reconstituted, reassembled in constantly shifting forms, taking on new meanings constantly. these assemblages mime the body, its movements- provide mechanical extensions to us. our relationship with these assemblages goes way beyond the practical. they become brothers, sisters, parents, children. they get animated. maybe love can only happen then. when the concrete is sought to grasp the abstract machine. and then when these machines break down the pathos is one of losing the loved one- or a part of oneself. pathos merges slowly into nostalgia as rust eats metal and moss gathers on the walls. kausik’s work and ghatak’s film breathes new life into this residue and somehow resuscitates in them desires unfulfilled. the chaplinesque comedy of the machine’s movement is always sad. bittersweet.

as an aside - what happens when these relationships mediated through mechanical – i.e. tangible form are replaced by the digital? what is the concrete then?

in ‘killer of sheep’ a 1970s film about the black middle class experience in los angeles, there is no attempt at a story in the conventional sense. a series of ordinary moments of unusual beauty are strung together to draw a portrait of a time and place we have never seen. the beauty is that of everyday life and therefore always touched by some violence and sadness.

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