Celebrating Diversity, Equality, Love & Light: Magnetic Fields Festival 2018…

Image credit: Vishakha Jindal

An ode to interconnected spaces where layers of interaction between structures and light seamlessly blend artistry and sound, Magnetic Fields Festival is a celebration of craft, intelligence and self-expression. Creating an experience seeped in visual and aural mystery, the core theme of the contemporary arts and music festival this year is illumination: an exploration of light and its defining properties — speed, reflection and colour.

In a 17th century Mahal in Alsisar, Rajasthan where dust rises and settles in the palace courtyard; their ochre swirls gathering leaves on the ground, there revellers gather every winter to celebrate diversity in music and art. “Yahan pag pag pe paani, aur kos kos pe vaani badalti hai. Yehi Rajasthan ki pehchan hai,” said a middle-aged Rajput man, one winter afternoon, in Pushkar walking amidst local herders bartering cattle, horses and camels. Like a ballad unravelling in parts where some tales end, and others begin, the desert reveals itself amidst lone khejri and sangar trees.

In Alsisar, every night a story unfolds. While trails of fading frescoes lead to dimly lit dungeons that bear witness to experimental musicians interweaving esoteric sounds with dark harmonic structures, on rooftops — as an annual festival tradition — stargazers partake in viewing the Geminid Meteor Shower (featuring up to 100 meteors per hour) that will peak on December 14 this year.

In the desert camp, storytellers from diverse media of expression including film, technology, stand-up comedy, adventure sports and entrepreneurs will share tales of their journey and discuss their views and interpretations of what the future holds for us as a part of Magnetic Words keeping in mind the theme ‘Magnetic Minded’: a state of open-mindedness to ideas, however controversial they might be.

Amongst the new attractions this year, communal long table feasts – an intimate Indian culinary experience which will be presented by Gather & Eat by Anisa Nariman and hosted by Abhimanyu Singh Alsisar have also been added to the roster. A three-day treasure hunt titled ‘Ghost Signal’ by Compasswallah – a historian of science obsessed with World War II and radio-waves will take place where players will be handed a specially designed radio receiver after solving initial clues which can track down the spy transmitter on the move throughout the festival.

Helical Dreams — a live art installation in collaboration with HH Art Spaces from Goa and Art Attack from Lisbon will evoke the mystery of the desert, its vastness, Gods and even ghosts where viewers will be offered an immersive experience delving into dreams and illusions. Lost in the festival is a hidden place, a tent of sorts, a structure created with improvised actions, drawings, dance, light projections and sound. With constant manipulation in real time to offer a transformative experience between the art, artist and audience, the installation will explore those moments where artistic languages collide.

At the Saavn Sundowner, Golden Diskó Ship an audiovisual project by Theresa Stroetges, a multi-instrumentalist and video artist based in Berlin who performs live as a one-woman orchestra will take stage on December 15. “For my live performances, I use a laptop, some electronic devices, a guitar, a vocal microphone and a floor tom. Since Golden Diskó Ship is an audiovisual project, I make a music video for each song which will be projected onto me and the wall behind me when I perform live,” says the artiste, “I think there are just too many interesting things to do out there to stick to one format or style. Having several ‘different’ musical projects and exploring the beautiful grey zones between styles and art forms provides me with constant inspiration, freshness and excitement. Collaborations with artists from various fields like performance, video, dance, poetry, film and visual art have been extremely mind opening experiences for me.”

The visual lab supported by Border Movement will continue to weave its magic with textures, spaces and fixtures. Building cohesive sonic and visual units, the team will explore and experiment with the aesthetics and theme of the festival thereby creating interactive sound art with palace facades and traditional architecture.

The festival weekend will also witness the exclusive audio-video preview of ‘Flesh’, a 7-track dark-techno labyrinth inspired by the myth of ‘Surpanakha’ created by Aqua Dominatrix. Supported by Moebius on visuals, the show will attempt to portray the mind of a sinister, multi-dimensional and enigmatic character through shape-shifting visuals.

And, Sunday night, amongst other extraordinary showcases, the event will end with performances celebrating diversity, choice, equality and love – in true Magnetic Fields Festival spirit…

written by Akshatha Shetty

NEWS - 13. December 2018  

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