Otolith I

Otolith I is dispatched from a future in which extended sojourns in microgravity have exiled a strata of the population to planetary orbit and catalyzed a bifurcation in the human species. One of the new mutants, Dr. Usha Adebaran-Sagar, narrates an archaeopsychic geography of the recent and distant past, reflecting on a world available to her only through media and the journals of her ancestor, Anjalika Sagar. Staging an encounter between the anxiety and depression of the 2003 protests against the impending American invasion of Iraq; a real-life meeting in 1973 in Moscow between the Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to travel into outer space, and Sagar's grandmother, Anasuya Gyan- Chand, who was President of the National Federation of Indian Women and the intervals of interiority conjured by personal archive films, the film evokes a non-metaphorical weightlessness of alien intimacy. Otolith I hovers above the rubble of interrupted struggles such as the Non-Aligned and Tricontinental movement and the ruins of emancipation in order to ask: can the future become uncertain once again?

Text By Brian Rogers 2010

In November 2002, The Otolith Group initiated a collaboration with artist Richard Couzins that resulted in the collectively directed work Otolith I. Otolith I was commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and The Mir Consortium: The Arts Catalyst, London, Projekt Atol, Ljubljana, Association Leonardo/Olats, Paris,Multimedia Complex for the Actual Arts, Moscow and V_2 Organisation for Unstable Media, Rotterdam. Otolith I was filmed in February and April 2003. In February, The Group participated in and filmed the demonstration in London protesting against the impending invasion of Iraq by the Coalition of the Willing. In April, The Group participated and filmed experiments undertaken within the context of the Microgravity Interdisciplinary Research Campaign hosted by The Mir Consortium at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, Zvezdny Gorodok/Star City, outside Moscow.

Otolith I, Video, colour, sound, 22min, 2003