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Nandita Kumar

Several works

2012, 2013, 2016

eLEMenT: EARTH (2012)
pOLymORpHic hUMansCApE
The Unwanted Ecology


The artist has constructed interactive dioramas inside three glass bottles, combining PCB boards and electronic components with images of plants and details of urban environments. The works visualize a future where nature and technology are in synch. Nandita Kumar raises questions about the human-nature connection and sustainable development. 

eLEMenT: EARTH: This soundscape in the bottle emits the sound of the Big Bang, the patter of rain, the howl of the wind, whale mating calls and birdsongs. The PCB boards emitting the sounds form part of a tangle of ornamental vegetation. The circuitry is charged partly by a tree in the bottle that is constructed of solar cells. The work reacts to movement around it, producing high-pitched electronic sounds that mirror human activity and our carbon imprinting on Earth.  

pOLymORpHic hUMansCApE: The tiny LCD screens in this interactive piece portray scenes of urban life. The screens react to movement, switching from restful scenes of nature to images of uncontrolled urban sprawl. The artist is intrigued by how urban environments shape our consciousness. She highlights India’s mega-metropoles, where uncontrolled urbanization is exceeding sustainable limits, resulting in slums and impacting negatively on our wellbeing.

The Unwanted Ecology: The work is based on weeds collected by the artist around her studio in Goa, India. Each weed in the bottle produces a sound at a particular frequency. A plant is deemed a ‘weed’ if it is unwanted and grows in the wrong place. Many weeds have medicinal properties that have been forgotten in contemporary society. The book accompanying the bottle contains information about the medical application of various weed plants.

Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Petri Virtanen

Nandita Kumar

Born in Mauritius in 1981
Based in Mumbai & Auckland

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3rd floor