As i was near the Pao market in Mapusa, this sound suddenly became apparent to me and i was attracted to it, it is the sound that the sugarcane juicer makes, these machines run all day and the sound is the result of a bell attached to the fly wheel. I liked how continuously and steadily it rang and gave the space a rhythm, a sound and because of its constant ringing, it becomes somewhat invisible. But it is very much there and it plays day in, day out. I had of course, heard this sound before, in fact these sugarcane machines use a bell all over India, as a looping audio advertisement for sugarcane juice. Only this time, perhaps, it was because i was on the look out for a starting point, that it resulted in me making these films.
There are 8 of these machines spread across the market and they are beautiful things, most of them run with all the gears and cogs exposed, due to a lack of health and safety standards in India. But it is because of this exposed machinery that they have an industrial era charm to them, and this coupled with a continuous spinning and ringing makes the apparatus reminiscent of clock work.
Here are the 3 films I screened in Mapusa Market, Goa on the 31st of January 2014. I request you to watch these full screen on Youtube as the plug in does not allow full screen and ideally at 720P HD quality.
This film is an illustration of this idea of simultaneity, the idea that everything is bound by the single thread of time and all that happens along it, happens all at once. This idea becomes more apparent in a bustling market place like Mapusa Market, as there is a lot of activity happening in a rather condensed space.
To illustrate this abstract idea, I have layered the sound of each machine to gradually build up to a cacophonous crescendo. It is an imaginary juxtaposition, this collective sound would only be heard if all of the machines were together at one place, which in reality would never happen. But although far apart, it is true that these sounds coincide everyday around 9:00 am till about 7:00 pm. It is just that they lie spread out and we can’t actually hear them all at once, this film makes that happen.
The shots used in this film are all from the perspective of the shop or the juicer himself, the camera sees a rather pretty looking silhouette of the machine, the camera cannot see light and dark together, it only wants to focus on either light or dark. This worked for me as it created a beautiful shot. It does not look as impressive with the naked eye. Here again, the clockwork like movement and ticking/tinkling of the bell, gives the film a temporal feel. The world outside seems to continue relentlessly, with apathy and without regard, just as time does, this relentlessness may also refer to the nature of the market, apart from it being a vibrant cultural space, it is also an intense battleground of trade and commerce.
Sum of many parts
The idea for this film, started as a spontaneous sketch as i was editing the other two films. I thought well, I can construct a fictitious machine, by individually showing the various revolving parts from different machines. This film is an audio-visual unification of all the 8 machines into one imaginary machine.