Inner Lines is an ethnographic and documentary experimentation, and has been deployed since 2014 by Desire Machine Collective. Realized as an artistic multimedia installation, Inner Lines leads us tactilely through a water world of rocky mountains and stunning panoramas of land, river and sacred spaces along the river Brahmaputra in Northeastern India.
The conception for Inner Lines began with the issuing of the ‘Inner Line Permit’ from the Indian Government to allow inward travel into protected zone of indigenous communities in the Northeast India, where the Brahmaputra river traverses through China, India, and Bangladesh, and pours into the Bay of Bengal.
Examining the river’s water issues through a variety of documentation, Inner Lines raises questions of a capitalist society, where the planet’s materials unavoidably become a resource for human consumption. The video culminates with a romantic view of children happily bathing in the river basin under a wide and sunny sky, upending the dystopian imagery that came before it. Inner Lines ponders about the absurdity of human impact on the natural world.
Desire Machine Collectibe is a collaborative founded in 2004 by two Indian artists Sonal Jain and Mriganka Madhukaillya, whose interdisciplinary practice examines ecology, technology and activism through experimental multimedia art, public intervention, curating and writing.