Before an installation came a design. When does the artwork begin and end?

This prototype for Bending the Universe represents months of research on the past and future of our Universe. From the first glimpses of matter to the terrifying and beautiful cosmic journey that could end life as we know it, this Prototype resulted in a simple symbol system for matter that allowed participants to immerse themselves in a story of time. Click here to see the final results.

In my work as a participatory artist, this prototype shows that the very essence of art has been turned on its head in my practice. Where does the ‘art’ actually lie? Is it in the act of engagement? Is it in the design of the engagement? Is it in the objects the come together to make the engagement possible? Or, in the case of most of my work, is it in the objects that emerge from participants as a result of the project?

I believe, in my case at least, that the essence of my work lies less in the objects themselves, and, instead in the act of orchestration that made the outcomes possible– for me and for others. So what do we do with the fall-out, the evidence that the experience actually happened? We photograph and document, to mark the journey, dots between invisible lines that tell a story of what it means to impact our world.


Written by anjalisdeshmukh