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Singing Cloud
Object built with thousands of microphones with 48 multi
channel audio, 2008-09
9min 30sec audio loop

180x24x60 in | 457x61x152 cm







While I Sleep

As part of its new exhibition/experiment, Le Laboratoire has invited the artist Shilpa Gupta to explore universal themes: fear and prejudice. This project, prepared with the psychologist Mahzarin Banaji (Harvard professor) explores the power of images and situations as expressed by the behavior of individuals.

Shilpa Gupta, "While I Sleep is an about the multilayered alterations that take place in human perception when there is a drop in consciousness of ones self, or our collective vision. As Prof Banaji says, 'There is a fundamental fracture between what is in our heads and what we know about it'.

Having always been concerned with 'what we see' and 'how we see' am also interested in misunderstandings and structures via which information gets transacted – especially in a highly mediated landscape as the world today, especially in an atmosphere where at one hand we seek to collapse distances rapidly, where as the other, there has been a simultaneous rise of suspicion and heightened security.

A large part of the human action operates via the sub conscious, some physiologists claim up to 90%! And so in a seemingly largely seemingly democratic world where nation states have set progressive constitutions in place, pledging equality to all irrespective of gender, race and religion, people continue to harbor values of difference governed by deep rooted prejudices which dangerously be in fact be quite invisible even to ourselves (Banaji)

The exhibition explores these gaps in consciousness be it in the individual or the nation state where desire blinds itself metamorphosing into desperate greed, curtailing the natural movement of people socially, politically and economically."

Singing Cloud is a large amoebic shaped form suspended from the ceiling, the skin of which is made out of thousands of microphones. It seems partly a disembodied creature or partly a cloud, as in a state of sunken stillness. In an unusual occurrence, in a moment of hysteria, there has been a reversal, and the microphones growing on its skin, as though collected for their dis-functionality, have begun to whisper and to sing by themselves in the absence of a listener. The sound shifts and floats across a multitude of voices, over modes of travel which marked movement of people, the coming together and the clash of histories, where deep desires and unresolved memories rise and fall. Sleep seeps in as in a desire to turn itself blind

I want to fly,
High above in the sky

Don’t push me away

We shall all fly
High above in the sky

I want to fly high above
In your sky

Can you let it be
Only your power
And not your greed

A part of me will die
By your side
Taking you with me

High high above
in the sky

While you sleep I shall wake up and fly



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