Survival of the fittest: join artists for 12-hour live drawing session inspired by Charles Darwin

The virtual drawing marathon takes place 23 October on the South South platform

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Courtesy of South South Project

Courtesy of South South Project

Eight artists will participate in a 12-hour interactive drawing event later this month alongside members of the public. The initiative, known as I draw, therefore I think, includes contributions from artists such as Goa-based Nikhil Chopra and Emmie Nume of Uganda. The virtual drawing marathon takes place 23 October on the South South platform, which launched earlier this year.

“We’ll briefly bring together artists and audiences on a single virtual drawing board [on the Miro platform],” says the Indian artist Jitish Kallat who has organised the event. Zoom conversations hosted by the artists and their galleries will also feature (registration here).

The project is based on naturalist Charles Darwin’s drawing of an evolutionary tree in 1837 along with the words “I think”. Kallat says in a statement: “Did Darwin first write the words ‘I think’ and then proceed to draw when words could not capture his emergent thoughts? Or did the drawing precede the words? Darwin’s sketch points to the core of the ruminative process—of discovery, observation and creativity—where ideas produce images and images, in turn, procreate ideas.”

Kallat tells The Art Newspaper that the South South project is essentially a curatorial thought experiment that began with a reflection on Darwin’s phylogenetic tree. “The Darwin sketch opens up some interesting questions about drawing and the creative process, even as it intuits his theory of evolution. This drawing is not essentially a theme but the 'central inaugural prompt' to think about drawing, but also to think about evolution,” he adds.

Last month, Kallat also invited more than 60 artists and gallerists to respond to the “I draw, therefore I think” concept; presentations by artists such as Chiharu Shiota, Adel Abdessemed and Simryn Gill are displayed in a separate online viewing room. 

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