17 October, 2017 – The National
“Unstill Life (With Cerussite and Peppered Moth) is an ambitious multimedia piece inspired by a crystal of the mineral cerussite, which is a minor ore of lead. A flickering projection of the peppered moth – pale insects which darkened to camouflage themselves among factory soot before returning to their original hue when industrial cities were cleaned up – is paired with an innovative part-3D printed sculpture.
“[Cerussite] activated us and told us different stories of how geology, biology, social histories, histories of accidents and all the things Manchester has seen in 200 years in a very active way… People should take away that there are all sorts of time and forces that are working around us and we are working on them. It can be playful, threatening, dangerous. That’s what’s life is – being active, making, thinking. I hope people get a sense of that in a playful way,” says Jeebesh Bagchi, of the two-year project.
In 1992, Bagchi became a co-founder of Raqs Media Collective along with Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta. Working from New Delhi, the collective operates in new media and digital art, as well as documentary filmmaking and photography.
Almost with a glint in its eye, the collective’s Communard Biscuits is curious to say the very least.
A thoroughly unappetising meeting point of art-and history, Communard Biscuits is the end result of a scan of a square hard tack biscuit on display at a Manchester Museum and from the Paris Commune of 1871. The scan was 3D printed in dough many times and the grey, dusty-looking biscuits are piled up and displayed. The biscuits are edible in the strictest sense of the word, but visitors would be better off taking a cookie if they are worried about getting peckish…”