Periferry International Residency, Open Studio Day, 2008. Courtesy Desire Machine Collective
Desire Machine Collective (DMC) is a collaboration between artists Mriganka Madhukaillya and Sonal Jain that began in 2004. Taking their name from writing by philosopher Gilles Deleuze and psychoanalyst Félix Guattari, they describe their work in film, video, photography, and multimedia installation as “an attempt to produce systems that resist the standardizing drives of commodification.” To these ends, DMC spearheads Periferry, a media laboratory that has taken up residence on a boat on Guwahati’s Brahmaputra River, which runs through Tibet, China, India and Bangladesh before emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
Referring to its location on a ferry in addition to a play on the word periphery, the Periferry platform is continually passing between marginal and more central geographic regions. As the vessel moves, the resident artists participate in conversations about art, culture, and the critical potential of new technologies, as well as stage collaborative experiments with local communities. Transnational and constantly in motion, Periferry’s dynamic project cannot be easily reduced to an art object; instead the project creates a unique space for collaborative practice and cultural resistance.
In July, the Museum as Hub supports a three-week research residency with DMC. For their presentation, they will explore notions of artistic sovereignty, proposed through the Periferry project, with an invited group of practitioners and initiatives in New York.