4K Video, 2023
In the Pendulum (2023), Vatanajyankur’s body was objectified into 5 human-machine devices that collectively collaborate, interact and confront with one another in order to continuously sift the rice seeds with flat bamboo baskets which is a traditional process of winnowing. Vatanajyankur describes the collaborative actions of her 5 selves as an ‘attempt’ to imitate her human bodies and minds as the steady and consistent factory tools that follow the accurate and synchronized orders. Yet the distinctive differences between human and machine offers accidental synchronizations, allowing the 5 pendulums to work and endure together ceaselessly in newly improvised patterns. Performed co-operatively together, her bodies were placed in a randomly zig-zag pattern which allowed the edges of the basket to tackle each other and create sounds of an uneven clock-work.
‘The Pendulum’ is a video and sculptural installation indicating the 5 identical objects in Newton’s Cradle. For Vatanajyankur, it is a reformation and transformation of ‘The Scale of Justice’. While ‘The Scale of Justice’ required an invisible power to control the balancing system that collapses miserably resulting in never ending wars and violence, ‘The Pendulum’ offers equal control and power to the individuals to create synonyms and symbolizations of balance as a group.
‘The Pendulum’ examines the ongoing slippage between human and machine which raises critical questions regarding roles of human and machine identity that are blurring at the accelerated rate. As humans are dehumanizing themselves in order to become more like machines yet fails due to the physical and psychological differences, then who do we eventually become?
The Harmonious Version
This version is suitable to display cohesively with 'The Scale of Injustice' and other works that are displayed together in one space.
Background and Installation
As part of her Field Work series, Vatanajyankur conducted extensive travel research throughout India and Thailand. She spent four weeks in India living with cotton farmers and experiencing their economic, technological, and psychological struggles first hand, then continued to observe the experimental testing of rice farmers, biologists, and various specialists throughout the outskirts of Bangkok. Vatanajyankur synthesises this rigorous ethnographic examination in her performance videos, envisioning a future where industrialised humans become merged with parts of machinery. Testing her physical and psychological endurance, she manipulates her own body through arduous positions and repetitive actions. Vatanajyankur embodies the machine, remodelling herself into a cyborg-like being.
Sprouting from a pool of soil, the central screen depicts the artist as a scale, extending into the redcarpeted floor. Adjacent is a domino sequence of five elevated screens, germinating across the sidewall as the artist pendulates and passes rice from one to another. The artist formulates a visual language of contemporary consumption and desire, revealing tensions between the mechanised human and the humanised machine. With this ambitious set of works, Vatanajyankur poignantly explores today’s age of technology, also forming a determined quest for self-knowledge. Transcending the mechanised body, she challenges corporeal limitations, revealing the intrinsic human capacity for complete metamorphosis. The artist dynamically confronts the impositions of capitalist technology, investigating broader notions of power and transformation.
Full Screen Version
This version is to be displayed on 1 single large screen.
5 Channels I Clock Version
This version is created to be installed on its own within a quiet space.