An Indivisible Margin of Error. - Temporary


Created for the When is Space exhibition at Jawahar Kala Kendra Jaipur.

Displayed from  January 2018 to March 2018.

Projections in Gallery. X box controllers. Vinyl text.

In 1603, a guild of astronomers gathered in the town of Matsyapur.

Under the shadow of an annular eclipse, they arbitrated the cause of inscrutable errors that had plagued each of their observations. Errors, that upon closer examination yielded a periodic margin repeated at various bewildering scales.

In search for this margin of error, it was decreed that nine observatories would be built, each at a different place and each assigned the
burden of a particular calculation. Their observations would then determine, with unerring certainly, how small the measure of such an error should be.

This unwavering quantum, which they believed was the smallest error possible, was to be called : truti. A measure, minute enough to be a building block of all celestial movement and creation.

It is now known that five of the Matsyapur observatories occupied sites, where Maharaja Jai Singh II later constructed his magnificent structures, making use of the original delineations to chart the locations and inclinations of his yantras. Three other observatories, much smaller in size, were appropriated form their original sites and can now be found at the Welsh Owain Castle as part of the Godfrey collection.

Only The ninth observatory, remains unrecorded, with little recollection of where it was built and to what purpose. It is this ninth observatory, the one so effaced from memory, that we seek to recreate here.

An apocryphal reconstruction that mirrors the only attempted search for this Observatory by the Magistrate of Matsyapur in 1862.