Forensic Artifacts of a Democracy in Crisis
Forensic Artifacts are objects that contain data and evidence of something having occurred. Over the past 30 years since the watergate moment the Babri Masjid was demolished by fevered Hindutva mobs, reduced to rubble in hours by bare hands, the Indian secular democracy has been crumbling. The disappearance of this monument has hypernormalized the erasure of and violence against the constructed other. Fueled by disinformation and hate speech in a state of low digital literacy, media artifacts morph into weapons of violence as carriers of polarizing politics, communal violence and state propaganda.
Forensic Artifacts from a Democracy in Crisis is an excavation into this emergent reality by Mrinalini Singha (SMACT ‘24) exposing counter-narratives to the pervasive sedation at play.
The exhibition is an assemblage of the works WhistleBlower (2023), Mystery for You (2023), Slumber’s Hook (2019), two documentaries made on Alt News in a Post Truth India (2019 and 2021) and the Igniter (2016). The works cover a breadth of mediums from, documentary to tangible interactive artifacts, archives to generative large language models, games to projection mapping. Through this variety of mediums, Forensic Artifacts from a Democracy in Crisis provides the audience with lenses of investigation for collective reflection and further conversation.
These works were made:
In collaboration with Alt News, Haoheng Tang, Vishrant Tripathi, Kunal Lokhande, Pravekha Ramachandran, Arbaz Ahmed & Blind Sun Drift.
With Guidance from Judith Barry, Marcelo Coelho, Nida Sinnokrot, Renée Green, Gediminas Urbonas, Azra Aksamija, Pratik Sinha, Prahlad Gopakumar, Hitesh Chaurasia
And support from Gearóid Dolan, Bill McKenna, Suwan Kim, Ashmi Mridul, Hyun Parke, Graham Yeager, Sofía Naranjo, Ranjan Anantharaman, Omar Bennouna, Manaswi Mishra & the ACT Community