Where the Mind is Without Fear
Anisha Baid, India
This video reflects on the aesthetic strategies of popular news media, and the messages it is designed to conceal. The video is a montage of abstract motion graphics and visuals utilized by every TV news channel to some measure set to a fast paced track of generic news music. The crawling ticker reads a variation of “Where the Mind is Without Fear” by Rabindranath Tagore, written by my brother. While the original poem by Tagore imagines an India where one could think and act freely without influence or fear of repression, this new co-opted version was written after a breach of privacy into my life. This attitude of surveillance and control as means to some ‘greater good’ is one that is reflected in nationalistic politics everywhere – an attitude largely pushed by these news media strategies.
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.