Desire Machine Collective

Archival and Museum Fellowships
2016-2017

Grant Period: over one year

Desire Machine Collective (DMC) is an arts collective comprising of Mriganka Madhukaillya and Sonal Jain. Based in Guwahati, the collective has been actively engaged in art activities that reflect the political, psychological and intellectual effects of capitalist power structures. Research is an important part of their practice and it crosses boundaries between art, environmental science, architecture, urban design and cultural thinking. DMC has framed this project at the Assam State Museum as an extension of their Periferry project. One of the objectives of Periferry is to create an alternative public cultural space for artists interested in notions of self, identity, borders, nationality and cross-cultural encounters. DMC hopes to use the museum space as a centre for such creative encounters, build a discourse around the museum and its collection, and reinterpret and regenerate its collection.

Titled Museums are Closed at Nights, for this fellowship, DMC will bring back into public discourse certain objects and artifacts, activating them with a ‘second life’ by inviting artists, historians and public intellectuals to engage with them in different ways. Their objectives can be summed up as follows: Re/search (the collection), Re/view (the collection, to bring multiple perspectives), Re/create (different narratives), /Re/member (that which is forgotten), and Re/use (the collection and use the museum space in new ways).

The outcome of the project will be to create a common and active space by a reconfiguration and reinterpretation of the collection, through engagements like artistic contributions, installations, exhibitions, workshops, presentations, talks and video screenings. 

One of the objectives of the Archival and Museum fellowships is to build a network of collaborations in fairly unexplored regions like the Northeast of India and we hope that these fellowships are a step in that direction.

This fellowship was made possible with support from the Tata Trusts.