An Evening in the Operation Theatre

His passion for videos began with car trunk sales of projectors,negatives and other “stuff” junked by cinema owners in the sleepy town of Newcastle in East London.

Written by Suanshu Khurana | Published: February 2, 2012 12:31 am

UK-based multi-media group Light Surgeons arrives in the Capital with their cutting-edge instruments — bright laser lights,music and animation

His passion for videos began with car trunk sales of projectors,negatives and other “stuff” junked by cinema owners in the sleepy town of Newcastle in East London. Christopher Allen,a media-design student,would also pore over cult sci-fi films on rented VHS tapes. Soon,he and his friends were creating a documentary of their own,The Chimera Project,which captured the passion for football that Newcastle is famous for. By 2001,these audio-visual dabblers had matured into a collective called The Light Surgeons — “We work with different forms of light,hence our name,” says Allen.

This evening,the group,which counts U2,The Rolling Stones and Warner Brothers among collaborators,will present a multi-media show with Tim Cowie as part of the UnBox festival in Delhi. “Our intention,always,has been to make something that transcends cultural boundaries,and create projects that are cross-disciplinary. Our aim is to bring a musical approach to cinema and a cinematic approach to our music,” says Allen about the performance organised by the British Council and Delhi-based organisation,BLOT!

The group has brought two recent productions to India called Super Everything and LDN Redux. The latter presents a portrait of London,exploring the city as an organism,while the former,created in collaboration with Malaysian musicians and visual artistes,traces the themes of identity,ritual and place through a journey across the country. “It is all about treating a city as an organism and an idea,rather than the mediums,” says Allen about using photography,videos and graphics to tell these stories.

Allen adds that working with fashion designer Alexander McQueen was one of his most rewarding experiences. “We created the visuals for his after-show party in Paris and the theme was ‘Vertigo’. There were a lot of Hitchcock references,” he says,adding that he was treating this trip to India,their first,as “a research mission to explore who we can collaborate with”.

What Else is in UnBox


Germany-based Electronic Dance Music DJ Oliver Huntemann brings to India the “reactable technique” – a table with cubes that manipulates sound. Huntemann will conduct a workshop on February 4 in Sura Vie at 6 pm,and follow this with a performance at the same venue.


Bharatanatyam dancer Jayalakshmi Eshwar narrates the story of the origin of aircraft in mythology,science and imagination through a dance recital,Antariksh Sanchar,at The British Council on February 4,8.30 pm. The performance is an amalgamation of various forms such as chhau,and aerial yoga and modern dance.


BlowUp,a photography show,stresses on the need to showcase artwork in public places so that the man on the street can access these. From February 2-5,the exhibition will be held at India Habitat Centre’s Experimental Art Gallery and,on the last day,it will move to the Hauz Khas Deer Park.


Go for the Food Walk in Hauz Khas Village and experiment with an array of eateries available on February 5. The Food Labyrinth,comprising installations of food with music and art that talks about heritage and sustainability,will be held on February 3 at Max Mueller Bhavan.

Somya Lakhani

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