In 2019, as part of a project titled Saros 132 realized within the framework of Five Million Incidents, 2019-2020 supported by Goethe-Insitut / Max Mueller Bhavan in collaboration with Raqs Media Collective, I planned an expedition to the KSO. December 26, 2019 at 08:07 am, the cities of Kodaikanal, Ooty, Dindigul in Tamil Nadu, Mangaluru in Karnataka and Kozhikode, Thalassery in Kerala, among others witnessed one such spectacular celestial event, an Annular Solar Eclipse, where because of its distance from the Earth, the Moon was smaller than the Sun and so we saw an ‘annulus’ or ring around the Moon, which gives this kind of eclipse its other name ‘the ring of fire’. And on December 26, 2019, I was at the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory standing once more in the shadow of the Moon.
What would a reading of the categories of Event and Site open up for how we observe time and ourselves within the solar system? The history of observation is also a history of methods of imagining and understanding time. Time, both dynamic and precise, as lived, imagined and understood through the history of observation both personal and abstract. The work that is in progress as a result of this research ( text, videos, drawings and prints) hopes to bring into conversation the geometry of the Earth, Moon and Sun, but also the geometry between event (the solar eclipse) and site (the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory) in some sort of spatial and temporal conjunction.
An eclipse of ideas; of direct observation and experience on one hand; and information and data on the other, each representing specific ways to try and understand the Sun, the Moon and our position relative to them, philosophically and scientifically.