project

Periferry (Guwahati, India)

lead artist

Desire Machine Collective

since

2007

suggested by

Sadia Shirazi

About

The project Periferry serves as a point of departure for specific regional and historic concerns that find common ground. The project is located on a ferry, MV Chandradinga, made in 1978. The Brahmaputra River is a trans-national river. It begins in Tibet, where it is known as the Tsangpo, flows through India where it is called the Brahmaputra, through Bangladesh where it is know as the Jamuna and then Padma before flowing into the Bay of Bengal. In a region which lies between two major land masses, South and Southeast Asia, fluxes and migration have been the only constant and identity is not a given. It is ever-changing and needs to be revisited and re-negotiated constantly, especially in the context of the inter-ethnic space.

Periferry creates a network space for negotiating the challenge of contemporary cultural production, which has become a necessary component of organising social action. Working with multi-use spaces and structures that are adaptable, it has appropriated a redundant and dysfunctional space. In a state of disuse, space becomes liminal and opens up to new interpretations; this leads to the emergence of what Foucault calls ‘heterotopias’. Foucault describes the ship as the ultimate ‘heterotopia’, a fragment of space that contests or compensates for the spaces we usually live in.

The project is rooted in the community context and lays emphasis on participation, dialogue, and action. It provides a connective platform for dialogue across artistic, scientific, technological, and ecological modes of production and knowledge.

Who

Collaborating since 2004 as Desire Machine Collective, Sonal Jain and Mriganka Madhukaillya assume their name and theoretical disposition from Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. They were a part of the inaugural Indian Pavilion at the 54th International Art exhibition of the Venice Biennale and exhibited at Guggenheim Museum, NY; Tate Modern; Palais de Tokyo; MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome etc.