Niels Peter Skou
Kolding School of Design
The text used for the narration of “Passing Through” is part of a speech Serbian scientist and inventor
Nikola Tesla delivered in 1893 at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Though today less known than
figures like Edison and Einstein, Tesla was more or less the father of much of our modern technology, since
he among other things developed the foundations of the European electrical system based on alternating
currents and the principles of wireless radio communication.
At the time he was deeply influenced by the Austrian physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach, believing
that the world should be conceived as a whole where everything is interconnected influencing each
other. And that energy is a force that runs through everything be it inorganic matter, organisms or human
consciousness. According to this line of thought every single action has universal consequences, not unlike
what the father of modern chaos theory Edward Lorenz in the 1960’s termed ‘the butterfly effect’.
"Like a wave in the physical world, in the infinite ocean of the medium which pervades all, so in the world of organisms, in life, an impulse started proceeds onward, at times, may be, with the speed of light, at times, again, so slowly that for ages and ages it seems to stay, passing through processes of a complexity inconceivable to men, but in all its forms, in all its stages, its energy ever and ever integrally present.
A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in Nature. In no way can we get such an overwhelming idea of the grandeur of Nature than when we consider, that in accordance with the law of the conservation of energy, throughout the Infinite, the forces are in a perfect balance, and hence the energy of a single thought may determine the motion of a universe.”
This is our film entry for the Heritage film festival at Ahmedabad. The Festival will happen during the World Heritage Week between 19-25 November 2012.
The film is about the silver filigree work of Cuttack. It is a small attempt to highlight few major issues.
Cuttack, the former capital of Odisha, is located about 28kms to the north east of Bhubaneswar, the present state capital. With more than 1000 years of glorious history, the city serves as the cultural epicenter for the Odia community.
During Dussehra the cultural vibrancy of the city come out in its true colours. The city glitters with deities decorated with gold and silver, which is a unique tradition to portrayal the local art. With all its uniqueness, the silver filigree work has a different relationship with cultural tradition.
Silver filigree is locally called 'tarakasi'. It is a silver craft, which has received the appreciation of people from all over the world. It is one of the exquisite traditions of silver craft.
This art form was also covered vogue magazine because of its unique craftsmanship & diversity. There are of course same sort of identical art forms found in Indonesia, which shows that the trade relations with these countries in the 12th centuries and 15th centuries had an immense influence on this silver filigree work of Cuttack. In recent time a Persian touch is distinctly visible in the art form.
The artisans involved in producing such beautiful art work have inherited the art from their forefathers. They have been following it for several generations. But in recent days the art is going through a hard time, which has raised questions on its survival. Increasing silver prices & higher shipping charges is making the business tougher. The younger generation of the community is least interested in the craft.
It has certainly brought a doubt in our mind about this exotic art form of Odisha.
Today I ask myself, " Am I going to see this art after 20 years ? If yes then where am I going to find it ? In a museum or a jewellary shop.