Sinha's video works run the gamut from abstract études exploring light and sound to more cinematic / open narrative type works for fixed media and performance. The result is a catalog of works that has a wide range of contexts---audiovisual performance, single- and multi-channel video, and video installations---all of which use sound squarely in the middle of the viewer’s/listener’s experience. Text, computer based and analog video, motion graphics, dub and glitch audio, improvisation, and hand-crafted world music repertoire are all used in tandem with contemporary and tech-based creative practice. Sinha creates work that abstracts identity beyond a collage, that dissects and looks for new ways of interpreting it in the interests of building on tradition instead of diffusing it. The result is an oeuvre that can be parsed through multiple viewpoints. It expresses the ideas and experience of the disasporic communities in North America (communities that are confronting and crafting their own ways of dealing with cultural heritage and its expression in new environments), or can be apprehended as studies and meditations on sound and light outside of these cultural influences.
For other examples of video works and source materials, visit the vimeo page. Scroll down for excerpts of current works.
the white dog - 1st Movement
the white dog is a single channel video work created based on Sinha’s audiovisual performances using field recordings and video material collected by the artist on trips to Kolkata, India, home of his extended family. Structured in 4 parts, the white dog is a deeply personal open narrative/documentary work---a meditation on sound, image, and identity, distilled through the in/between-ness of Sinha’s experience as a south Asian Canadian artist interested in how tradition can influence and inspire contemporary expression. the white dog is a fixed expression of the artist’s improvisational shruti performances, which use these materials in a performance context.
he sat on the glittering precipice (excerpt)
he sat on the glittering precipice is a multi channel silent video installation created from source material of 24 pictures taken of Sinha’s terminally ill father’s bedroom window and sound recorded in his room over a 24 hour period. During this time, Sinha remained awake, trying to be mindfully present yet aware and at peace with the process of his father’s passing. The resulting video and audio were processed into a 24 hour loop, from which the ...precipice installations are made.
harmonium - 4th Movement
Video work created as Banff New Media Institute/Quebecor Fellow, 2008. This project also has a life as a live video performance.
Debashis Sinha’s “skin” ...(provides) a dreamy, almost ethereal marriage of soundscape and imagery. It’s the kind of film you might dismiss if you knew how it was made beforehand, but whose process becomes fascinating after seeing.
---Kenton Smith, Uptown, Winnipeg 2010