suryanamaskar (2022)

Vidya Giri

The project will open in a new tab. As the animation sequence evolves over the period of an hour, viewers may wish to leave this tab open and return to the project to observe incremental changes over time.

suryanamaskar is a time-based digital sculpture that coordinates movements of the revered suryanamaskar sequence to the solar day.

The origin of the word suryanamaskar (सूर्यनमस्कार) is Sanskrit, consisting of सूर्य (Sūrya) which means 'sun' and नमस्कार (Namaskāra) which means 'greeting' or 'salute'. The connected set of asanas, or poses, are performed as a part of modern yoga practices where attention is placed in the flow of the movements and corresponding inhales and exhales.

This project connects the cyclical sequence of the 12 asanas to our circular system of the solar day where the sequence repeats once per hour, 24 times per day, and continues on with the progression of time. The piece is thus connecting the depicted virtual body to the physical movement of suryanamaskar, allowing the body to find connection with the physical world and the sun, just as we can.

The body in the piece is presented as a metallic gold automaton that floats in the sky, untethered by gravity and reality. The automaton performs the movements: emotionless and relentless and repeating indefinitely over time. The discipline and movement is precise and mathematical, and continues on without any obstacles, presumably forever. The automaton is disconnected from the external world and thus ignores the context of the real world and the origins of the suryanamaskar sequence.

In this way, the piece reflects on the disillusionment of the new normal and the routines and steps we build to keep our manufactured environments in check. Much like the emptiness of the automaton’s suryanamaskar sequence, we should aim to consider the crucial context that holds significance to those who survive on in the real world.

Artist's Bio

Vidya Giri is an artist from Houston, TX. Her art is reflective of her background, balanced between cultures, environments, and disciplines. Her work has spanned between virtual spaces, video projection, and painting on real and digital canvases. Additionally, her work often contains digital elements and thematic ties to her home of Texas, her adolescence in Southeast Asia, and her Indian heritage. Her current explorations revolve around collecting as a form of reflection and the parallels between natural and human-made identities and the environments they encompass.