Airplane Dance

We called each other island for short. Actually I think it was just me that called her island. Or eyelee, short for island. We did end up walking there and it took days and days and days but it was only a couple of weeks ago that we finally did it. I am going to show you that island someday really soon. I never saw her again. Ever. But the first time was on Marine drive in Bombay. She was with her mother and I was with my friend. We cruised each other, strangers on the street. It was so long ago that I’m forgetting, I think it was someone else I called island. I carry these traces in my body and my body becomes the film and I offer that to you.

My name is Amber Bemak and I got your email from J.M. After seeing my video work, she mentioned your name as someone who I might want to meet. I am also a queer, feminist and political video artist, so I was really interested to see your website!

Dear Amber, what a nice bolt from the blue. It’s truly rare to find this combination of queer, feminist, video artist and all the other hats we wear. I would absolutely love to meet up with you. Where do you live in Bombay and how come we haven’t met considering you’ve been there for 2 years!!!! Looking forward to exchanging thoughts, work, stories....

Hey sexy, will you have a date with me? Saturday night in Bombay with the crazy incestuous lesbians of the city? Don’t know why, but I feel so free to experiment with you about everything which I may or may not have done before. I just sent you a skype invite. Please accept so I can see you masturbating with the video camera.

When you say you may or may not have done some things before, that feels very mysterious and I am interested in that. I want to know what you've done before, and maybe we can do some new and old things together. Its very early here, the sun is just rising. Also out my window on clear days I can see the Himalayas and on the mornings when I can see them I feel like it's a present that day. (I think I told you that? Maybe...)

Miss you dear. I should be headed for a swim now – so sad, there won’t be any coral, fish, salt water or you…..

Dear T, I miss you too. I feel in some ways like I am starting totally new, again.

Airplane Dance is a trace of a failed collaboration between two artists. Their relationship takes multiple forms over a period of years and finally dissolves. The film pictures this collaboration, which took place along the India-Pakistan border, in the ocean by the Andaman Islands, on the kitchen floor of an apartment in Kathmandu, and on the endless salt pans of the Great Rann of Kutch. It uses editing as an alchemical process; making new rhythms from scraps, and transforming failure into treasure. Serving as an artifact of a project that never happened, the film orients and reorients to fragments of a constantly shifting process. Airplane Dance is a contemplation on relationality, queer longing and desire, and the relationship between body and landscape.

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