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THE IDEA FOR this series comes from the polymath Jagdish Chandra Bose (1858-1937) who did pioneering work in the fields of physics, biology, biophysics, botany, archaeology, and science fiction. He is known as one of the ‘fathers’ of radio science.
In 1895, Bose made the first public demonstration of radio waves in the Kolkata Town Hall. He used microwave frequencies to remotely ring an electric bell and ignite a small charge of gunpowder from a distance of 75 feet.
In a later essay — titled ‘Adrisya Alok (Invisible Light)’ — Bose wrote, “The invisible light can easily pass through brick walls, buildings etc. Therefore, messages can be transmitted by means of it without the mediation of wires.”
Not just walls and doors, the signal also passed through the body of William Mackenzie, Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, who was seated in the audience.
Bose’s wireless experiments came two years before Guglielmo Marconi’s demonstrations of radio wave wireless telegraphy (Marconi being one of radio’s other ‘daddies’). Unlike Marconi who was keen on patenting his invention, Bose refused the patent because he believed that ideas should be shared, and imagination free to roam.
In the context of this curatorial outing, ‘invisible light’ becomes an important metaphor for an unbridled transmission of ideas.
Under the heading of Invisible Light, different themes will be introduced; Jagte Raho is our opening theme. As we go along, more themes will be introduced. That is not to say that Jagte Raho will have concluded once a new theme is introduced. The themes will coexist and interlace, and on any given week, one of them will activated by a new post.
Jagte Raho (Curatorial Note and Chapters)
Committing a Dream (Curatorial Note and Chapters)
Gitanjali Dang is a curator, writer and overall shape-shifter. In 2012, she founded Khanabadosh, an itinerant arts lab.