The Protean Self (Oct 3 @ 6:30PM)

Taking inspiration from Proteus and the meandering Charles River, local artist Gupi Ranganathan questions how we quickly adapt to changing conditions in our environments to ensure that we flourish healthily as human beings.

protean: having a varied nature or ability to assume different forms; displaying great diversity or variety

self: a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action

Quinobequin: Native American name for the Charles River; means meandering

liminal: relating to a threshold or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition

meander: a self-avoiding closed curve that intersects a line a number of times

meandering: an act of following a winding course

watershed: an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas or an event or period marking a turning point in a course of action or state of affairs

With the arrival of the Covid moment in 2019, scientists, researchers and practitioners around the world rushed to find ways to fight the pandemic and protect the human population. We restricted travel, practiced physical distancing, wore masks, tested and continued to vaccinate to protect ourselves, and stem the Corona tide. The moment continues to the present day and the near future with the Coronavirus continuously forming variants to increase its population. More recently, we have also been experiencing drought in Massachusetts.

Can we go anywhere from anywhere? Much like the meandering “Quinobequin” Charles River that has changed its flow over centuries, life as we knew it has changed and altered our flow and course. We engineer and evolve continuously to change and adapt to our new experience that questions our relationship as human beings with nature.How do we see and contour ourselves in relation to our environment? What does it mean to meander and be protean in our changed context? What is our current climate? Have we reached a watershed?

I ponder this new experience of movement and change in the space-time continuum through movement in a betwixt and between space and time, where the paths of moving marks intersect in a landscape made of cellular and subcellular structures that changes and evolves through the 4 seasons, where grids are created and broken up. I use the mathematical concept of meanders of orders relating to particular units of time: 2, 3, 4, 7, 11, 12, 14, 15, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31, 52, 60 and 61 to create my images reflecting on the microcosm and the macrocosm. How do we shift, evolve, and transform? What is our relationship to space and time?

The inter-woven 30 minute presentation: The Protean Self includes two videos: Liminal Meanderings and Watershed, made up of hand-drawn and painted images, digital images, videos taken with an iPhone, recorded sounds, and features a collaborative dance.

Capacity is limited, be sure to reserve your free tickets below

Oct 3, 2022
06:30 PM
- 07:00 PM
Cambridge Public Library: Main Branch, Hive Room
Cambridge Public Library, Broadway, Cambridge, MA
Presented By:

About the

Cambridge Science Festival, the first of its kind in the United States, is a madcap celebration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). A multifaceted, multicultural event, the Festival makes science accessible, interactive, and fun, highlighting the impact of STEAM in all our lives.

The Cambridge Science Festival was founded by and is produced by the MIT Museum.