Web: an Interactive Installation
Code, projection, sound
On 5th September, 2017, Gauri Lankesh, a journalist-activist in the state of Karnataka in south India, was shot dead as she was entering her home in Bengaluru. In the days that followed, there were protests across the country over the murders of journalists and rationalists and anger over the government's inaction in finding the killers. Her murder followed a pattern seen in the killing of three other writers and rationalists in Karnataka and Maharashtra.
The story captured the attention of the Indian news media, who spent the better part of a week covering the murder and the protests. Social media too erupted with highly partisan and at times downright vile rhetoric. When people did not have facts to go by, they resorted to speculation, which further served to affirm deep-seated biases.
This installation is a commentary on that rhetoric in the news media. It uses audio clips culled from the television news as well as quotes from reporting and opinion pieces written about the murder of Gauri Lankesh in various online newspapers. The installation depicts the onslaught of words that couch these ideas and biases. They seem to pounce on the viewer as he walks past, responding to his movement. If he stands still and observes, however, they coalesce, into words, sentences, symbols, and then disintegrate into a web that enmeshes him.