iPak - detailed description
themes and scientific context
A science-art project conceived and curated by Ajaykumar, iPak - 10,000 songs, 10,000 images, 10,000 abuses is a trilogy of three playful, inter-connecting, evolving, generative, interactive and relational works - chaos, jukebox, and platform.
iPak fully comes into through your participation. The art work that Ajaykumar has composed is purely to lay a foundation for what he calls a 'polyphonic' narrative: one created by many stories yours essentially. chaos, jukebox, and platform evolve through your input. You can upload still images, videos, texts, music, sounds, and ideas, to create a dynamic, ever-changing, evolving, relational entity, a relational being in cyberspace.
The trilogy is an auto-ethnographic and polyphonic narrative which engages with the notion in art psychotherapy of 'art as medicine' of art as a re-generative force; that insight may emerge from 'madness' or 'unreason'.
Thematically, iPak, in part, began as an engagment with, and artistic response to recent scientific research that indicates that the marginalisation of racism causes mental ilnness. This research - such as that by Professor Robin Murray of the Institute of Psychiatry, London - which indicates that racism engenders mental illness and that consequently black people are several times more likely to suffer mental illness. According to Professor Murray the very experience of living in the UK may almost drive black people mad.
While the starting point of the research is in the United Kingdom, there are inevitable resonances with many other countries faced with multi-cultural dynamics and migratory forces. For example, there has been an influx of immigrants from former colonies in other European countries such as Italy, France and Germany; as well as from Eastern and Southern to Western and Northern Europe.
In the United States, the histories of Native Americans, of 'people of colour', as well as of 'multi-cultural' immigration, has also been impacted by racism, and consequent engendering of mental illness.
Many other countries are multi-ethnic, multi-tribal societies with particular inter-ethnic, inter-tribal frictions.
In part through globalisation, increasing migration around the world also impacts on marginalisation and racism.
Extending this idea further: within almost all societies there is marginalisation of individuals and groups for reasons of disability, gender, sexual orientation, creed, colour, status, etc. Here there is the speculation that all these also may engender what may be called 'mental illness', 'madness' and 'un-reason'. Given the universal nature of such a phenomenon, this may be considered to have global significance.
Therefore, iPak is made viewable firstly in English, and then, it is anticipated, in several other languages.
chaos, jukebox, and platform outline
Each work - chaos, jukebox, and platform - involves varying synergies of still images, videos, animation, poetry and other texts, sounds and music. These are a combination of those initially created by Ajaykumar, as well as those eventually submitted by you.
This project is open to anyone interested in iPak's themes. Whether or not you have experienced racism and/or 'mental illness', or other 'disability', you may upload works in response to these themes: on art as re-generative force; on the notion of marginalisation such as racism engendering mental illness. The creating and submitting of work to this site may itself be perceived, in some sense, as 'art as medicine'.
more about chaos
more aobut jukebox
more about platform
the significance of iPak's title
The title itself is several plays on words. For example it borrows from portable devices such as Apple - iPod with its early capacity to store and play 10,000 songs and images, and Hewlet Packard's iPAQ pocket PC; it plays with 'Paki' a term of racist abuse in the United Kingdom; together with the emphasis on the ubiquitous 'i', evoking our generation that self-obsessively focuses on 'I'.
iPak involves a deliberate use of 'lo-fi' recording equipment, such as mobile/cell phones; and playing with some of the machinery, forms, and practices that are defining the current 'nowâ' and 'I': the 3G cell phone, iPod, iPhone, mpeg, jpeg, downloading, texting, 'collaging'.
Ajaykumar created many of the images for the original database of work, using a mobile/cell phone as a deliberate aesthetic, and images created by you using such phones are particularly welcomed.
iPak's past, present and future
iPak continues the artistic and intellectual journey Ajaykumar began with the internet art work pages of madness.
more about pages of madness
Both pages of madness and iPak are part of a long term research: a series of works entitled M-I I-M.
more about M-I I-M and philosophic investigations underpinning iPak