"Being able to grasp something that is in constant motion, hard to see and far away is a constant challenge technologically and conceptually, but our ability to make that leap can only help us make better local/global decisions."

- Kirsten Mosher 

8688 is an exhibition that challenges our perception of opposites. It is only by looking as far past ourselves as possible that we can understand what makes up who we are. The title of the exhibition references the number of miles between Los Angeles and Mumbai/LA and Bombay[1], and turns Project88 on its side (a conceptual gesture evoked by Shuddhabatra Sengupta of Raqs Media Collective, who by doing so, found “double infinity”). Many of the artists in the gallery programme, such as Neha Choksi, Sandeep Mukherjee and Andrew Ananda Voogel, as well as the curator Diana Campbell Betancourt, draw inspiration in their work from the space between LA and Bombay. While these cities inform the show, they do not define it, but rather serve as departure points to consider the potential and insight found in widespreadness. The “88” in Project88 and 8688 connects to the idea of the uncanny connections, twinning, or even coupling between opposite sides of the Earth, also known as antipodes. Fittingly, Bombay based artist Shreyas Karle investigates and deconstructs the power of twin poles in his antigravity series featured in the exhibition. 

8688 launches the first chapter of Kirsten Mosher’s long-term project Soul Mate 180°[2], exploring the idea of the Geographic Soul Mate as an intimacy created by acknowledging distances, as well as a relationship with the other side of Earth not as a polarity or opposite but as a fluid, shifting continuum that extends within and beyond the planet. One way that the relationships forged between opposite sides of the planet can be seen is through the harnessing of the time difference between Los Angeles and Mumbai in the 21st Century neoliberal global economy. When the workday ends in Mumbai, one can pass on the unfinished tasks to a colleague in Los Angeles whose workday is just beginning, as explored by Lucy Raven, who connects the contemporary post-production film industry and bas-relief in ancient Indian architecture. Works in this exhibition are forged by fires connecting LA and Bombay to the centre of the earth (David Horvitz), suspended from the ceiling to seemingly defy gravity (Pae White and William Forsythe), and projected onto the floor to reveal the seascape on the other side (Kirsten Mosher). Newton’s Third Law tells us that every action has an equal and opposite reaction; the choices we make on our own Google maps coordinate have effects that can reach our antipode. 

- Text by Diana Campbell Betancourt 

[1] Inspired by the documentary film Los Angeles Plays Itself, the choice of the words Los Angeles vs. LA, and Mumbai vs. Bombay evoke the kind of city conjured up in the imagination. These city names are used interchangeably and deliberately throughout the text and the exhibition. 
[2] Supported by a 2016 LACMA Art & Technology Grant.