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Farah Mulla

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your practice?

My practice occupies the interstice amongst art and science. As a creative researcher, I'm curious about how things work within different systems of organization. Sensory overlaps are a huge part of the experiences I generate. I love occupying and playing with these thresholds. 


When and how did you first become interested in the meeting of Science and Art?


I love science! Taking things apart and putting them back together is a process that's ingrained within my practice and my curiosity to know how things work. I honestly wouldn't remember the first time I got interested in science and art but probably around the time when I was trying to build a cloud or record sunspots meticulously as a child. Registering atmospheres is also something I've found myself drawn to.


What are the roles of sound and aural experiences in your work?


The sound, noise and silence are amalgamating agents, interstitial tissue building invisible but sensorial architectures. The sounds are curated in ways that lend the other senses agency. The expression of the medium varies with each work but its at the core of my practice.

Do you describe yourself as a ‘Sonic’ Artist? Would you say there is the visibility of sonic art practice in India?


I describe myself as a researcher whose curiosity of the sonic experience takes expression in different formats, art is one of them. India is rich in its sonic heritage. From architectures designed for optimal acoustics to its diverse knowledge about sound and musical heritage. 

What Sonic Art pieces/practitioners most inspire you?


Inspiration resides within the ideas that poke my perceptual boundaries. It always comes from the most unexpected sources and not necessarily from a particular medium of expression.

What is the project that you worked on for the CATALYST art grant?


I've ended up working with the concept of intimacy, digital loneliness and the role tactility plays within the human circuitry. These faculties play a huge part in our being and how we interact with the environment. Anthromorphosizing is a uniquely human ability where we project human-like qualities into our environments. The work reflects/ projects this quality on a hybrid species of whale that was discovered due to its unique call. Having been the only whale known at the time it came to be known as the loneliest whale in the world. Moiréd patterns float around the room as spectrograms, enabling us to witness a sound that can only be felt and not heard. Being heard is an indispensable aspect of intimacy. The sonic bench translates these vocalizations into touch, connecting us digitally to a familiar feeling of disconnect in our ever-growing digital deserts of loneliness.

How has living/working in Goa affected your practice? Are there any specific ways you are hoping to develop your work in the local context?


Goa has been a super kind, generous and nourishing environment to live and work in. I love the homeostasis between people and the environment where I live. I haven't had the opportunity to engage in a deeply local context yet but I'm sure it will nudge my practice and curiosity. In the meanwhile I let the environment be the muse.

What role do the community and collaborative experience play in your practice?

A shared experience is the easiest way to understand and respond to the environment and a conducive environment is key to producing work responsibly grounded in awareness. Which translates into practice.

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