Digital Musics & Sound Art

eye contact with the city

Price: Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (IN)


Cyberarts 2011 - International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica 2011

In my first week in Bangalore during the IFA Bangalore Artist Residency 2010, I met an old dog on the street; it looked at me, and I looked straight into its obscure eyes. This momentary contact instigated me to unwrap the surface of immediate actuality; that’s how I encountered the essential indolence in the urban character of Bangalore, which led me to develop a keen interest in examining the life, landscape and legacy of the city.

The audiovisual experience that I gathered in the three months of residency is dominated by imagery of urban growth; the enormous metro-rail construction is ceaselessly whipping a large part of the metropolis, hurting not only its natural urban landscapes, but the recollection of its auditory heritage is also intruded on by the constant sound of infrastructural development. A simple question can be raised here: why is the metro-rail needed at all? Just to save a few minutes? But Bangalore seems to belong to the group of cities that believe in no-rush.

This is why the work I produce in this residency is an investigation into slowness in the context of urban constellation of Bangalore. Slowness is an attitude that involves a keen sense of time and history; the found sound that I retrieved from the collected used-tapes at the flea market and from personal archives provided me with an insight into the auditory legacy of the city and samples of sonic layers for the work, while the close, slow-motion video of traffic and streets allowed me to capture the essential trajectory of the city in moving images where an overwhelming sound of construction returns now and again leaving bits and pieces of damaged audiotapes recovered within cyclic sounds of machine. The purely constructed audiovisual immersion that is reproduced in this site-unspecific installation can be viewed as my impression of the city through the wink of an indolent dog-eye on a sidewalk.