Manifestation of digital addiction

Manifestation of digital addiction

novel art

Manifestation of digital addiction

She was first noticed with in 2009 for her installation One Thousand Tears, a piece that examined detachment from our deepest emotions. Then her video-based work, Discomfort - a collection of five short films, documented people using their wrong hand to do things everyday.

Now 36-year-old Suchitra Gahlot’s has come up with his new work , Shut Up, Internet!’,  an installation of 60 suspended jars that contain 40,000 emails dating from 1995 that have been torn to pieces. Bits of paper fly to a controlled turbulence within each jar. The jars are arranged in a linear fashion and suspended from the ceiling.

There is something hypnotic about watching shards fly furiously in the same place, the flight sequence is programmed to stop and start again. For a brief few seconds, the viewer is able to catch glimpses of notes, a word here or there before taking flight again. And as Suchitra says, these seemingly self-contained cells of chaos are reflective of the artist’s own struggles with digital living.

“Shut Up, Internet! came as a compulsion. It’s an 18 year relationship that’s finally come to bear. I belong to a generation who were at the cusp of the old and the new. We watched it come into our lives and as we watch, its taken over our lives. I don’t resent the internet but I do despair when I find myself enslaved to it. The installation is a manifestation of a digital addiction that I have always wanted to control but never managed to,” says Suchitra.

The installation examines the cacophony of digital living and how we live in a permanent state of responsiveness to every beep or buzz. “The installation itself is a response to the information deluge that we encounter every day. Years of enjoying the internet have also brought with it a tremendous impatience; now one can barely spend any time with something of interest before hopping on to the next enticing hyperlink. As an artist it is my attempt to find pockets of reflection and silence.”

The shreds of paper were once Gahlot’s personal emails. “I was indiscriminate in the selection of emails. From my own inboxes of 40,000 emails, the ones that matter are only in double digits.”

In the current installation, like her previous works as well, Gahlot’s exhibits her interest in human behaviour and relationships. “My work deploys from humanism, the feelings I attempt to articulate with various mediums are mostly universal. Everyone loves, fears, loses, dreams, cries. ‘Shut Up, Internet!’ is no different in that sense,” says the artist.
The installation is on display at Shrine Empire, Friends Colony West from September 9 to October 5. September 9 to October 5.

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