From the Artistic Director



Organizing Committee for Yokohama Triennale

In directing and curating Yokohama Triennale 2020, the Raqs Media Collective made a request to start with the sources. They claimed that while titles and themes propel us to narrow down and mold our thoughts within a set of fixed parameters, the sources encourage us to do the exact opposite: open up and share with others so as to elaborate in their own ways. In short, their curatorial concept is to start with the sources.

Hence, we herewith present this sourcebook, which is a compilation of words, text, experiences, and visions that Raqs Media Collective see as resonating with their thoughts. It is meant to be shared and reverberated throughout their curatorial journey, while they converse with artists and collaborators, among others, “as catalysts that provoke us to think, to ignite, to learn, and unlearn.”

In “Sharing Our Sources,” an introductory text to the source, Raqs Media Collective makes various references to light and luminosity. As they explain how the radiation that appeared in the analog televisions in our living room was, in fact, remnants of the Big Bang, they imply how the glow can go far in time and space. They also discuss how luminous organisms glow while they take in toxicity. Light, in this case, provides us a way to live with and care for things that may threaten us yet could not be wholly excluded from our lives. Most importantly, as they describe how “life is a luminous autodidact,” and introduce the lives of humble individuals and historical figures as sources, it is not about their power and knowledge, but about their ways of caring for life and friends that they see as worth sharing.

The Sourcebook is a set of open sources shared by Raqs Media Collective. It provides some thoughts to start conversations that would eventually become what they call a “thicket,” or a thick and dense space of rich and enchanting ideas, thoughts, and many more.

With this book in their hands, we hope that the readers will embark on the journey with Raqs Media Collective to find their own luminous ways to care for life and friends.