Zayyana Kamran

     ‘Summary’

Our inspiration for this project was the irregularity of the road running alongside Bilawal House which can be cordoned off at a moment’s notice due to political whims. We explored how the agency of common man is tested, when they are denied their basic rights. That road is a public property and none has the right to claim it. We incorporated this theme to our site, which essentially is a maze of tress and pillar at Bin Qasim Park. The intend to use this site was firstly it is on our way to Indus, secondly it provided appropriate setting of a network of greenery and pillars. Our medium was the blindfold, which we manipulated.

The complexity of the road blocked situation affects each class hierarchy. However, the affluent mend ways to get by someway while the working class suffers. Hence to depict this we used net cloth to blindfold the upper class while the lower class had opaque cloth, rendering them helpless.

In our video we put the choice of cloth according to their class. Our participants varied from guards of the park to a student, an office-goer, to a driver. Due to the time restraint we couldn’t add more people to our control group. Their task was to find their way across a network of trees. Each Participant was filmed for 5 minutes length.

We concluded that each person struggled, in trying to move about our designated area. However, given that the affluent class was wearing a net blindfold their sight was not  completely vanished. While the lower class, had a more trouble in trying to pave their way through the maze. We determined that the connection between the road and its users is in fact not binary; the prosperous class also gets hindered in this process. Hence during the process of road block, both rich and the poor suffer. We believe our primary audience is the people watching us during the filming and largely the class of Art and Society to which the video is shown to.

Inspiration and site

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Participants

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  Audience

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Video: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2aflkw_sequence-01-1d

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Final Essay Draft

The site –intervention was a collaborative effort between Rabia and myself. Our inspiration was the accessibility of the road running along Bilawal House, which can be cordoned off at a moment’s notice due to political whims. It signals, the collapse of the agency that a common man exerts, when they’re denied their basic rights.  The road is a public property and none has the right to claim it. Hence, one act of impending that road has come to symbolize many carping factors that denotes our society; power, authority, social hierarchy are just to name a few. We amalgamated this theme to our site, which essentially is a maze of tress and pillars at Bin Qasim Park.

The site choice, was a very cautious decision, firstly it is a public site, which co notates that it essentially be allowed for use by everyone, much like the road. Secondly, it provided appropriate setting of a network of greenery and pillars. Personally, I had to alter my route to come to Indus Valley School due to the closing of the road, and this park has become the imagery I see every morning.

At the start of this intervention, it was tentative, we made no prior assumptions to what we wished to achieve. It started off merely as a study of complexity of the road blocked and its effect on people from different social hierarchies. It is a popular notion that the affluent mend ways to find their way across many hurdles due to given privileges. We wanted to test this theory and apply it to the site of intervention. To depict this we divided our participants into two groups. Our participants varied from guards of the parks, to a student, an offie-goer, for the privileged group and a driver for the lower class group.

To assess how each class performs, we used blind as our medium, which we manipulated.  A net cloth was used to blindfold the advantaged group implying the prerogative that affluent enjoy. In contrast to the lower class group this was blindfolded with an opaque cloth. The task was to find their way across a network of trees. Each participant was filmed for 5 minutes length.

The finding from this assessment fascinated us, to our surprise each person struggled, in trying to move about our designated area. Even the upper class endured many challenges; given their blindfold was a net blindfold. This was far from expected as we had calculated that only the lower class was to endeavor obstacles. Hence we concluded the relationship between the road and its users in fact binary to our site project. At the instance of using the road, both the upper class and lower class is marginalized at the hands of 0.1 percent of population, Whereby, during the course of activity both group showed signs of hindrance, we believe our primary audience are the people watching us during the filming and largely the class of Art and Society to which the video is shown to.

The Marxist believes, we are who we are because of our economic situations. The lower class believes itself into thinking that they belong where they are, hence make no effort to question the rules of the powerful class. It is embedded in them that the rules are set for them, and they are meant to follow them. It was an interesting similarity that matched our lower class group. The driver made no objection as to why was he asked to walk blind-folded. The rest of the control group of the affluent class acquired the sensibility of the project and made quick intervals to improve it. I believe it is an unwritten agency that is attached to the upper class that makes it question what, why, whom is asking them to perform.

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Zayyana Kamran

                                             Final Essay

                                     ‘Site-Intervention’

The site–intervention was a collaborative effort between Rabia and me. Our inspiration was the accessibility of the road running along Bilawal House, which can be cordoned off at a moment’s notice due to political whims. It signals, the collapse of the agency that a common man exerts, when they’re denied their basic rights.  The road is a public property and none has the right to claim it. Hence, one-act of impending that road has come to symbolize many carping factors that denotes our society; power, authority, social hierarchy are just to name a few. We amalgamated this theme to our site, which essentially is a maze of tress and pillars at Bin Qasim Park.

The site choice, was a very cautious decision, firstly it is a public site, which co rotates that it essentially be allowed for use by everyone, much like the road. Secondly, it provided appropriate setting of a network of greenery and pillars. Personally, I had to alter my route to come to Indus Valley School due to the closing of the road, and this park has become the imagery I see every morning.

At the start of this intervention, it was tentative, we made no prior assumptions to what we wished to achieve. It started off merely as a study of complexity of the road blocked and its effect on people from different social hierarchies. It is a popular notion that the affluent mend ways to find their way across many hurdles due to given privileges. We wanted to test this theory and apply it to the site of intervention. To depict this we divided our participants into two groups. Our participants varied from guards of the parks, to a student, an office goer, for the privileged group and a driver for the lower class group.

To assess how each class performs, we used blind as our medium, which we manipulated.  A net cloth was used to blindfold the advantaged group implying the prerogative that affluent enjoy. In contrast to the lower class group who were blindfolded with an opaque clothe. The task was to find their way across a network of trees. Each participant was filmed for 5 minutes length.

The finding from this assessment fascinated us and much to our surprise each person struggled, in trying to move about the designated area. Even the upper class endured many challenges; given their blindfold was a net. This was far from expected as we had calculated that only the lower class was to endeavor obstacles. Hence we concluded the relationship between the road and its users in fact; binary to our site project. At the instance of using the road, both the upper class and lower class is marginalized at the hands of 0.1 percent of population, Whereby, during the course of activity both groups showed signs of hindrance’ The primary audience were the people watching us during the filming and largely the class of Art and Society to which the video is shown to.

The Marxist believes, we are who we are because of our economic situations. [1]The lower class believes itself into thinking that they belong where they are, hence make no effort to question the rules of the powerful class. It is embedded in them that the rules are set for them, and they are meant to follow them. It was an interesting similarity that matched our lower class group. The driver made no objection as to why was he asked to walk blind-folded. The rest of the control group of the affluent class acquired the sensibility of the project and made quick intervals to improve it. I believe it is an unwritten agency that is attached to the upper class that makes it question what, why, whom is asking them to perform.

During the conceptual visualization of this project, I built on the concepts That Santiago Sierra discloses through his art installation. Sierra, aims to unmask the power relations that keep workers invisible under capitalism. Most of Santiago’s work reeks of unfair balance of spatial consumer classes. In 2000, Sierra showcased ‘160 cm ‘Line Tattooed on 4 People’ at Tate Museum, London.[2] It is a video documentation of a ritualistic action that occurred in a space. It was essentially 4 prostitutes also heroin addicts; the lowest of the hierarchical strata structure of society. They were asked to take off their shirts, so only the exposed back was in the frame and a line was mercilessly tattooed across their back. The whole interaction of women with one another, also with the tattoo artist, was documented and presented in a gallery space. The insensitivity of the artist, startled people, and the discomfort was intentional to an already battered class. Santiago wanted the bystander to experience the unfair circumstances that the participants experience daily. Indistinguishably, our project comments on the helplessness of citizens of Pakistan at the hands of powerful. The lower stratum with limited income becomes prey to the tyranny of the powerful. The road has a low line barrier, so no trucks and public buses can pass through, regardless of the accessibility of the road or not. Hence, they deprecate much more than other classes, in more demeaning facet.

The site-intervention project was a compelling experience. It made me question my agency more than anything. Whereby, I had power over the execution of this project, the participants, and the direction of it. In another situation, given the accessibility of the road that runs along the Bilawal House, I’m part of the group that is exploited. I am succumbed to believe that I cannot do anything to break away from the rules set up by the ruling class. Our project inquired person to look beyond, the painted picture and see themselves as the object, which for me itself is a perplexing feeling.

 

NOTES

[1] Marxist method is not monolithic. Beginning with Marx, it has divided between an epistemology that embraces its own historicity and one that claims to portray a reality outside itself. In the first tendency, all thought, including social analysis, is ideological in the sense of being shaped by social being, the conditions of which are external to no theory. The project of theory is to create what Lucas described as “a theory of theory and a consciousness of consciousness” (George Lucas, “Class Consciousness,” in History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics [Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1968], p. 47)

*Cited from Catherine A. McKinnon, Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory, Signs, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 515-544, The University of Chicago Press, J-store, Accessed: 02/12/2014. 17:29.

[2] Andres David Montenegro Rosero; Ephemera (theory and politics in organization), Locating work in Santiago Sierra’s artistic practice, volume 13(1): 99-115, Ephemera Journals, article, pages: 108-15,Accessed: 02/12/2014, 21:10.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

McKinnon, C. (2008) Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory, Signs, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 515-544, the University of Chicago Press.

Rosero, A. (2013) Ephemera (theory and politics in organization); Locating work in Santiago Sierra’s artistic practice, volume 13(1): 99-115, Ephemera Journals, article, pages: 108-15.

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