Residency: June through September 2019
Kanad Chakrabarti is an artist and writer based in London and New York. He uses the film-essay to interrogate the ambiguities inherent in technological capitalism, for instance the ecological, post-colonial, and bio-political legacies of nuclear weapons testing. During the Cold War, the military-industrial complex essentially captured Western democracy and media on a vast scale, generating anti-Communist hysteria (in the U.S.) and fomenting regime change (in Southern Europe and the Third World). Can such histories inform our speculative imaginaries, as we prepare for a future of corporate leviathans, empowered by ubiquitous AI, that abet surveillance societies operating under permanent states-of-exception?
Chakrabarti explores contrasting strategies to answer these questions: installations, writing, websites and simulations. His goal in translating a time-based medium into physical or network spatiality is to force contradictory, disruptive or non-linear readings to emerge. Political concerns are reflected in a practice that resists market-based modes of production, preferring a nomadic, research-orientated, pedagogical approach.
Kanad Chakrabarti has exhibited internationally, including: Queens Museum (2018) and Spring/Break (2017); Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2015 at ICA London (2016); Whitechapel Gallery (2016); Nottingham Contemporary (2016); CCA Glasgow (2016); SongEun ArtSpace (2016); Minsheng Art Museum (2016); LIMBO Margate (2015). Research collaborations include the Politics-State-Space Cluster at Durham University (2018) and the Mathematics Department at University College London (2015). He took a BSc (1994, Computer Science) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a MA (2015, Painting) at the Slade School of Fine Arts (supported by an UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship). Born in India, he has also lived and worked in London, Moscow and Istanbul.
The 2019 season of the LES Studio Program is made possible, in part, by the generous support of New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. New York State artist stipends are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislator.