Dear Dead Doctor

Essay-Performance, work-in-progress

The many blank pages at the end of a personal diary of my paternal grandfather, A.M. Śivarāman (1902-1976), call out to me to reach out to him for the first time. He was the first doctor of allopathic medicine in his family; an identity which my father and sister would also assume, until it breaks with me, a dancer. But what if this is not the first rupture here? In order to study western medicine, what if the doctor had had to disinherit extant Indic knowledges of the human body-mind? What if his progeny were to re-inherit these knowledges through an artistic-scientific engagement with yoga and temple dancing traditions? What if his great-great-grandchild was conceived as a parthenogenetic-proto-progenic-being? Dominant Euro-American conceptions of artificial intelligence are based largely on a materialistic science that only conceives consciousness as a consequence of matter; what if this address to the doctor offers a rebuttal? Spanning across a better part of the twentieth century, the life and time of the doctor offer a surface upon which to ask and answer questions that at once unpack personal histories and planetary futures.

2020 Supported by the Serendipity Arts Grant - Theatre
2021 Research residency at the Academy for Theatre and Digitality, Dortmund.