Guwahati, Assam- 2007:
In 2007, the Desire Machine Collective started ‘Periferry’, an art project located on an abandoned ferry barge docked along the River Brahmaputra. The Collective was co-founded by Sonal Jain and Mrigank Madhukaillya in 2004. Through Periferry, it created a network space to examine the challenge of contemporary cultural production in a background of local-global negotiations. Periferry aimed to promote experimentations in art, ecology, technology, media and science and to create a public space, physical and virtual, for critical reflections.
Due to British colonial interests, Brahmaputra was a historically significant trading and communications route. With advancements in road connectivity, the remnants of the former river economy now languish in the form of ferries moored on the river banks of Assam. Between 2007-13, Periferry ran as a coherent art program on MV Chandradinga, one such ferry barge. The project included spontaneous interventions that examined primarily the question of creating public space and drawing connections in a landlocked region. The ferry, therefore, became a civic space in which various groups of local and international people including artists, activists, writers, theatre groups, and communities around the river banks, could meet and exchange their views.
Periferry’s research displayed the overlaps between art, environmental science, architecture, urban design, and cultural thinking and connected empirical and analytical material with self-reflexive and critical tendencies of contemporary art. From 2007 onwards, it hosted many practitioners from diverse geographies in its residency programmes, workshops, seminars and projects.
It provided a space for experimentation and new media approaches to public and community arts, that bore relevance to the immediate local context and aimed at the empowerment of the local community.
Periferry was nominated for the Visible Award 2015 Cittadellarte – Pistoletto Foundation Fondazione Zegna & Tate Liverpool.
Text Courtesy : Space118
Image Courtesy : World Wide Web