Himali is a writer and artist based between London and Delhi. She uses metaphors from outer space and the natural environment to construct imaginary cosmologies of interferences, entanglements, deep voids, debris, delays, alienation, distance and intimacy. In doing this, she thinks through ecological loss, and the loss of home, seeking shelter somewhere in the radicality of love. Her speculations are performed in audio-visual, immersive environments.
the particle and the wave
An algorithmic measurement of the distance between the 1,265 semi-colons in Virginia Woolf’s, The Waves; imposed on a C Dorian scale to evoke music.
"We flash past signal-boxes; we make the earth rock slightly from side to side. The distance closes for ever in a point; and we for ever open thedistance wide again." -Virginia Woolf, The Waves
Performance with improvised marginalia.
Algorithmist: Dario Villanueva
Radar Level is set in the world's last geological minutes, in two ancient landscapes. One in the northern hemisphere in Mongolia at the site of the first dinosaur fossil excavation and the other beneath the southern constellation of Nambia, on its old waters. The split projection reverses between desert and water. Dissolving in these images are found photographs of humans in spacesuits before the space age, gearing up for the end of life, for a distant voyage, for protection or for colonial imitation. Just as the title itself is a palindrome, here, the extinction of the past looks like the extinction of the future. The sound is a combination of dinosaur sounds and outer space vibrations, both anterior to human existence, yet only known through anthropocentric, technological re-imaginings.
First performed at Kadist, San Francisco.
Camera aide: JJ Weihl
Using found video footage of a tangle of obsolete communication technologies, cut with static and glitches and overlaid with soundscapes that reflect the reception, transmission and relay, the video attempts to alter the modalities of microbial and geologic time at work in the Mediocene. It gives non human forms of life vibrance. It seeks other forms of life not in the futurity of the astral, but in the present-marginalised. The crust of communication sediment will be utilised as a metaphor to think about migration and the accumulation of loss and longing. A performance overlays three voices: a mollusk (an earthly manifestation of the spiral galaxy), a rock (an object-oriented sentience) and an invasive weed (an agent of decolonisation). This oral story/folktale, as a form of de-cannonization, is an imagined, already existent form of non-human language, coded with the ghosts and absences of those othered or forgotten. The piece draws on a variety of media in order to think about contemporary politics, the heritage value of media residue, arguing for archive, a transnational understanding of the anthropocene and invites, without erasure, a clearing for the blue.
Performance with spoken text.
Distance of the moon i-ii
[Dual channel video on 3D printed surfaces of the near side and far side of the moon]
The Distance of the Moon I: Georges Méliès’ silent film, A Trip to the Moon, from 1902, with NASA’s Apollo 11 mission recordings from 1969 spliced to fit; 10:28 min
The Distance to the Moon II
28 images of an extinct Earth; 28:00 min
The lover is the one who waits: stories from the Trans-Siberian Railway
First performed at the Agency of Singular Investigations, Moscow
12 Aluminium photographs shot in the Arctic, tracing a myth of an alien in an extraterrestrial landscape
a climax of disappointments
A series of photographs about the infinity of books, the love of reading, the ineffability of words, how they languish in the liminal and transcend meaning
3D print of asteroid Eros (courtesy NASA, in two halves) cast in terra cotta; 1 mi = 1 cm
Nearest to earth asteroid; one of the possible causes led of the extinction of the dinosaurs.
"Each of us when separated, having one side only, like a flat fish, is but the tally-half of a man, and he is always looking for his other half. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love" -Aristophanes, Plato's Symposium
distance of the moon iii
Single strand of moon thread, failing to measure the distance from here till there; 357 kms = 1/1000 distance to the super moon
"I thought only of Earth. It was Earth that caused each of us to be that someone he was rather than someone else; up there, wrested from the Earth, it was as if I were no longer that I, nor she that She, for me. I was eager to return to the Earth, and I trembled at the fear of having lost it. The fulfilment of my dream of love had lasted only that instant when we had been united, spinning between Earth and Moon; torn from its earthly soil, my love now knew only this heart-rending nostalgia for what
it lacked: a where, a surrounding, a before, an
-Italo Calvino, The Distance to the Moon
the paris follies
A collection of love letters to architectural follies.
Performative installation, Paris
Image: Safe Travels, iMessage; Cyanotype on Somerset paper
4 aluminium prints of a techno-biotic world