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Some of CAMP's many possible meanings.

still from one of the encounters produced between village girls during the project

Map of the lighting installation for Glow Positioning System

Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran are the organisers of CAMP, a collaborative project linking and discussing independent artistic and media projects across the city of Mumbai. CAMP is an acronym that changes every time its website loads, with meanings stretching from 'Commons Art as Meta Practice' to 'Campaign Around Magical Promises'. Through CAMP we want to create platforms beyond the binaries of commodity markets vs. "free culture", or individual vs. institutional will, to think and to build what is possible, what is equitable, and what is interesting, for the future.

CAMP manifests itself through weekend and longer-term projects exploring issues relating to media, their histories and distribution. The activities offer a critical point of view on the notions of access, participation and collaboration that are often found in both commericial media practice as much as in those led by the ideals of open source and networked cultures.

The artists' individual practices are reflected within CAMP. Shaina Anand is a filmmaker, artist, and media activist, whose work has explored ideas of localised media distribution in urban situations. In the project Khirkeeyaan, which took place during a residency at Khoj, Delhi, she set up highly localised networks of CCTV cameras and screens whose purpose was to provide a temporary television link-up between local settings. The work induced everything from amateur television-presenting skills, to karaoke sessions, to spontaneous discussion of issues pertinent to life in the city.

Ashok Sukumaran trained as an architect and artist, now does speculative technical and conceptual projects. In the work Glow Positioning System he installed a 1200-foot ring of different types of lighting that encircled the General Post Office intersection in Fort, Mumbai, controlled entirely by a small hand crank in the centre of the area. As members of the public turned the handle in its shaft, the light would race around the square's architecture. A hand-crank mounted on the pavement provides a way for the audience to "scroll" this landscape. It allows the physical length of the view to become a chronological one- to be viewed at a speed determined by the user. The ring responds to panoramic desire, the age-old search for an image to immerse ourselves in.

Anand and Sukumaran were participants of Gasworks' project Disclosures, which comprised of numerous events, residencies and commissions. The project culminated in a series of encounters in April 2008, providing a critical exploration of the legacies and potentials of open-source cultures both within media arts and visual arts practices.

Links

CAMP website

Shaina Anand's project website Chitrakarkhana

Khoj