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  • Writer's picturePosthuman Art Network

Vinit Dharia

Professionally trained as an Architect, Vinit's practice explores alternative modes and methods for production of discourse in the field of Architecture/Arts driven by certain philosophical aspirations and political motivations. Oriented towards working with different ways or acts of representation, he is interested in an engagement with seemingly dialectical categories such as digital-analogue, representation-real, shape-form, machine-human, body-mind, object-subject, etc while simultaneously subverting them. He values/fancies occupying the gaps between such seemingly paradoxical positions. Vinit received a postgraduate ‘Master of Arts in Architecture’ degree in 2020, with the specialization ‘Architecture and Aesthetic Practice (AAP)’, under DAAD Scholarship programme, from the Städelschule Architecture Class in Frankfurt, Germany. Prior to this, he has worked as a Project Architect, Teaching and Research Assistant, Artist and as an Assistant Curator in Mumbai, and received diplomas in Art, Theory, Criticism from and Film Appreciation Studies. Assuming a trans-disciplinary position, he works with various mediums and modes of representations (ranging from drawing, painting, film, to photogrammetry, AR/VR/XR applications) in order to explore the questions of his interest. Currently Vinit is invested in working on independent and collaborative projects that deal with topics such as: the Subject, Psychoanalysis, Mechanisms of Dialectics and their limits, Ignorance, Blind spot, Post-Orthography, Post-Humanism, Phenomenology, Alternative Formalisms, Virtual Reality, and so on.

Project Proposal:

In today's hypermediated society, with ever advancing science and technologies, there is constant overabundant production of knowledge. Yet the contemporary landscape remains rendered with many occlusions, obscurities, ambiguities and false horizons, where navigation becomes furthermore perplexing. Maybe because the more knowledge there is, generated by the nature of it, the more Ignorance. Ignorance occupies a crucial position, central to the very state of being or becoming, of a subject, an animal, a machine or any apparatus of capture as a whole. It reveals that all knowledge and perception is always partial or incomplete, as there is undeniably an invisibility ingrained in all that which is visible, thus disallowing and restricting one’s grasp on the Total reality, and impeding one’s complete immersion into ‘Truth’, if there is such a thing. Knowledge and Ignorance both seem to be intertwined and weaved together in complex ways, forming a terrain composed of many ruptures, knots and varied shapes and forms of Ignorance(s) breeding in the form of ungraspable obscurities. In this context, the dominant understanding of Being or subjectivity has mostly been dualistic, where one is always split, between a positive drive, chasing knowledge, forms, meanings, signifiers and truths, using which one affirms their existence; and a negative drift towards ignorance, void, nothingness, inaccessible and the impossibility that allows an opening. All thought remains limited to this dialectical mode of operation, between the binaries of being-nothingness, presence-absence, known-unknown, visible-invisible and so on, where ignorance is always understood only in negative relation to knowledge, and never otherwise. However, the ever unfolding contingency, uncertainty and complexity of the contemporary context forces one to transgress this very human condition shaped over the years by Cartesian logic, Enlightenment, Dialectical method, Essentialism, Anthropocentrism, etc of being based in thought/knowledge and provokes one to properly confront the void and start thinking from the point of view of ignorance/absence. An urgent intervention is required as the condition of ignorance one floats in today, can induce a vulnerability that could be easily exploited. For instance, the capitalist discourse today works with a strategy of ignorance, molding a culture of Fake news, Post Truth, Doxastic logic, Affect based Populism, Selective memory, Information suppression, distraction, etc. where any claims to practical reason, attention, open dialogue, truth, or justice are denied. Alongside Epistemology (the philosophical study of the nature, origin, and limits of human knowledge), today we have new emerging fields such as Agnotology, that study deliberate, culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, typically to sell a product or win favor, producing a condition where more knowledge of something leaves one more uncertain than before. Within this philosophical enquiry and socio-political background the research emerges as a critical investigation into the phenomena of Ignorance aimed at exploring and rethinking its influence on the form and space, its implications in arts, architecture and in general all representation and thought.

This discursive aspect of the research shall be coupled with a formal project driven mode of experimentation. Based in the medium of Virtual reality, multiple experiments shall be conducted using a 4-step framework: 1.Enclosure, 2.Immersion, 3.Navigation and 4.Disruption. The workflow would be as follows: Operating within the framework of world building in virtual reality, an immersive environment shall be constructed, the architecture of which would be fabricated using digital tools / techniques such as 3d scanning, photogrammetry, kit-bashing and 3d modeling. Within this Enclosure which sets up an ontological limitation, a Subject shall be immersed and allowed exploration and navigation, using a very specific format/mode (first person/third person view, determined by parameters such as the field of view, focal length, speed, movement path and controls, etc) It would establish a frame, a point of view, or a structural logic of understanding using which the subject would orient itself. This subjectivity that would get produced shall serve as an epistemological limit. Finally there shall be a Disruption. A contingent unexpected event/element would be introduced (using algorithms, scripts, augmented reality, etc) to disorient the moving Subject. This Foreign element would not be something new or external, but something that was already immanent or virtually present within the setup, situated within the Blind spot, concealed by the very limited and partial mode of Subject’s navigation. This shall make the Subject obtain a disinterestedness within its immersion and provoke it to reconstitute its subjectivity by assimilating newly encountered contingent complexity. The Subject then would be also able to re-evaluate the nature of Enclosure it is immersed in. There are infinite ways in which this framework (where one is made to confront ignorance) could be translated into a formal experiment to produce different outcomes, some of which this project shall aim to explore.


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