Blurring the lines between art and technology

In this exhibition, Interdisciplinary artists create works that explore existing digital realities

Published: 15th December 2021 09:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th December 2021 09:16 AM   |  A+A-

Persuasion Lab’ by Manuel Beltrán and Nayantara Ranganathan.

Persuasion Lab’ by Manuel Beltrán and Nayantara Ranganathan.

Express News Service

Art and Technology have the potential to reshape the world. A visual testimony of this idea is ‘Un{stacked}–articulations of the algorithmic condition’, an exhibition that explores the intersection of art, technology, and data.

Organised by Khoj International Artists Association—a non-profit contemporary art organisation based in Khirkee Extension—‘Un{stacked}’ features five projects created as part of a hybrid residency programme they hosted this year. The exhibition—they also hosted a workshop on data and a rangoli performance—is on display till December 16 at Khoj Studios.

“It [the exhibition] is very particular to understanding the algorithmic condition. We have five projects and all of them are looking to understand the central network system, breaking it down, tearing it apart, and it is also a larger connotation for what a centralised ecosystem means,” shared Indranjan Banerjee, the curator of Un{stacked}. 

Beyond the usual

The projects on display probe into existing networked systems and also extend possible alternatives for an imagined future. The artists’ ideas are showcased by creating an immersive experience that breaks the discord between art and technology. 

 'Pixelated Elephants' by a4.achaar

‘Persuasion Lab’ by artist-activist Manuel Beltrán and lawyer-researcher Nayantara Ranganathan explores the making of political subjects through algorithms by observing political advertisements on Meta (previously Facebook). Thus, the project demonstrates the escalation in propaganda.

“We are trying to work with the idea of how targeted advertisements create fragmented realities,” said Beltrán. 

New media artist Nandita Kumar, on the other hand, focuses on democratising key knowledge about the environment through her project titled ‘Osmoscope’.

Kumar has experimented with graphic notations, wherein data and graphs related to water have been arranged to form a sound score. Her work is detailed through a web application as well as a book. 

For a better future

Padmini Ray Murray seeks to devise alternative digital ecosystems based on feminist characteristics through her project ‘A Fever Dream of a Feminist Internet’.

Her exhibit comprises a 3D Essay ‘Gathering Multitudes: A Bag of Stars’, an interactive workshop ‘Who Data Thinks We Are’ as well as a currently in-progress solar-powered server at Khoj Studios. Murray has thus created an experience that juxtaposes the virtual with the real. 

‘Pixelated Elephants’ is a work by designers Dhruv Saxena and Praveen Sinha (their collective is called a4.achaar). Their project entails material artefacts, augmented reality, and video evidence that present narratives from an alternative future world of journalism.

In another work titled ‘In the Times of Madafangwara’ by Swagata Bhattacharyya, the artist—through an Alternate Reality Game—demonstrates how misinformation, fake news, hate speech, etc., shape our present, past, and future.  The five projects, which are still works in progress, unveil hidden realities of our time, all while keeping the artistic essence intact.

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