electronic media artist
MORSE RIGVEDA X, 158, 4-5
(2012, 1:33’ loop, HD video, ≥27” flatscreen, mono)
I spotted this compact fluorescent light bulb in a garage in Varanasi. About to burn out, it flickered irregularly. I imagined that the flickering was only seemingly random and in reality was morse code. With the ongoing Dev Deepawali festival, I envisioned the light bulb joining the chants of the pandits on Assi Ghat. I interpreted the message as a hymn. I had read the diaries of Alice Boner that very morning. They begin with a quote from the Rigveda X, 158, 4-5. I decided that this had to be the light bulb’s recital:
"Give sight onto the eye,
give thou our bodies sight that they may see:
May we survey, discern this world.
Thus, Surya, may we look on thee,
on thee most lovely to behold."
Years later, I created a second piece inspired by the same light bulb, a video rebus in triptych form entitled CFL - Coded Fluorescent Light (published 2019).