My work lies at the intersection of the visual arts and various urban archives. cityinflux.com brings together my photography and painting. I have attempted to document the often ignored spaces/episodes that form blindspots within the cityscape of Mumbai. These areas contain glimpses of the unofficial city that appear aberrant, useless, obscure, or otherwise tangential to urban order. My work deals with directing the eye to access just parts of the visual narrative playing out in front of me, or in the case of others, a moment in its entirety. The apparent dead space that forms the backdrop of the images of the city is what interests me. Viewing these episodes by manipulating the media online highlights and exemplifies the conditions under which these temporary moments are exposed.
My residency at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London will build on previous collaborations between myself and faculty members, Dr Sadhvi Dar and Dr Amit Rai. Dar and Rai have begun the research on the relations between weekly markets, gentrification, piracy, and cultural forms of nostalgia in the city. This entails carefully diagramming the various flows traversing street markets: the exchange in illegal goods (e.g. fake designer goods and forgeries), product experimentation (e.g. fashion, curios, cottage industries), and expressions of fetishised street culture (e.g. immigrant and 'chav' youth cultures). These markets lie at the periphery of mainstream or legal consumerism and dominant politics. I will be working with Dar and Rai to produce an experimental digital ethnography of the market place – its populations, products, practices and cultural forms.
As part of the residency, I will maintain a website and a blog linked to the School’s website (http://www.busman.qmul.ac.uk/). It will provide details of all seminar events, workshops, exhibitions and also commentary on the work produced during the programme. Academics from within the School will contribute to a dialogue or, polyphony of perspectives, interpretations and approaches to engage with the artwork produced.