Anisha Baid – My Room

Anisha Baid is an artist and writer from Kolkata, India. Her practice and research involve an investigation of pervasive technologies through an examination of their design, diversity of use, and their relationship with ideas from science fiction. She works with found and archival material – often sourced from the internet to construct narratives that move between fiction and documentary. Having grown up on the personal computer, her inquiry is focused on the interface as the medium for human-computer interaction. Her work attempts to poke at the flat-scapes of the computer screen to decode computer labour through the interface – a technological tool that has converted most spaces of work into image space. Most recently, she has been researching and working with Text-to-Speech and machine generated voices, investigating the phenomenon of talking computers. She is also invested in understanding digital image cultures through the lens of photography and works extensively with appropriated stock images and commercial imagery. Anisha studied media art at Srishti Institute of Art in Bangalore and has been working in the editorial team at PIX Quarterly, a journal of South Asian photography.

My Room presented here, emerges from thinking about boundaries – in digital and architectural space – through the process of drawing. The interface and its active frames are used to create illusions of space, which are soon disrupted to reveal their flatness or surfaciality. Often described in the metaphor of a “window”, the computer screen comes to us from a historical lineage of framing devices that have contained varying registers of virtuality within their four borders. This virtuality is described by the media theorist Anne Friedberg as an immaterial proxy for the material.

This work engages with the tensions between the phenomenal space of vision and presence, and the virtual space of representation. Lines drawn on a flat plane manufacture an inside, and an outside. Windows exist as apertures in otherwise solid walls, containing the personal and keeping the public at bay. The work is an invitation to occupy this virtual space and think about it expansively. Is the space of your computer virtual? Is the space of your body real? How do you feel and occupy it differently, from this space of light and shadow?