a collaborative project with farmers in the Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTAK)
Collaborators: Azis T.M, V.T. Jayadevan, Shivdas Poilkavu, M.P. Pratheesh, C.F.John
Water in water bodies such as wells, ponds, rivers, or oceans is like a consciousness that embodies an aesthetic, filled with both symbolic and functional meanings, bearing a glow of truth within. But when water comes to us through pipes, it is reduced to a mere commodity. It becomes unwater. And the same is true of Food or Art. In its right context it bears the sensibility and consciousness of the soil, the seeds, their sprouting, nurturing, blossoming, preserving, and sharing – a sharing of life. But when Food or Art is taken out of its context it becomes an abstracted entity and a commodity.
Aesthetics of Inter-Connectedness is an attempt to understand, participate in, and facilitate an organic cultural process rooted in soil and in life, seeing aesthetics as life processes, and Art as a practice that includes all spheres of activity. It seeks to enliven both the functional and symbolic spirit of the land and of life, exploring new forms of connectedness for contemporary living. A vision of life as abundance – an abundance of Life. Not a wasteful or accumulative affluence, but satiation and sharing, where we remember and learn again from teachers who have come to us in different forms – soil, rain, trees, plants, birds, animals, elements, farmers, artists, poets, and weavers of all kinds.
This is an invitation for a gathering of creative visions. An interdisciplinary engagement to create a cultural weaving, placing love and imagination at the heart of our existence. A space for shared thinking, contributing toward spiritual, political, and creative processes for sustainable living. With the increasing alienation from soil and life processes that we experience today, I think only a true engagement with soil and the ones who work with it and help sustain our bodies can allow all other works that we do today to become whole and complete.
This effort is part of a search to understand a meaningful engagement with Art in the present day, when our thoughts and forms of living have become increasingly abstract, diminishing our capacity to engage with the immediate and physical. It is almost absurd: what is alienated and abstracted have come to feel immediate and real for us, dishonoring the real processes that sustain our life. Aesthetics of Inter-Connectedness is an attempt to dissolve Art as a professional preoccupation, in the belief that art should instead spring up from the context of life and serve it rather than construct decontextualized objects or thoughts for indulgent consumption.