DIFFRACTION: CONNECTING ART, INDUSTRY AND INNOVATION
PLACEMENT: Watershed and HP Labs, Bangalore

HP Labs India in Bangalore was established in 2002 to create a lab with a focus on the needs of the world's emerging economies by understanding relevant social, cultural, economic and technological drivers.

 

Ansuman Biswas will spend six months at HP labs exploring some general issues around technological innovation in an emerging economy and also sketching out the possibilities for specific projects.

 

Interdisciplinarity, collaboration and dialogic practice will underpin his method and also inform the content of the research. Rather than rigidly defining an area of interest beforehand he will engage in a conversation with HP Labs to examine what place an artist might have in a business or a lab, and to discover what might be of mutual benefit. A portion of the time will also be spent networking with other people and organisations in Bangalore, for example Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, and the Indian Institute of Science.

 

Some of the implicit cultural and conceptual dynamics that are of interest to an artist will be explored through practical projects with scientists and engineers. Ansuman's role will initially be as an observer, gradually becoming more of an engaged participant. The precise form of this participation will emerge out of the developing conversation. He will make tangents and interventions but also be available to feed into, and reflect on, initiatives suggested by other members of the Lab.

 

A particular focus will be on the relationship between orality and literacy. Drawing, writing and musical technology innovations will be considered as core drivers of change in all economies. He will also be studying the emergent properties of distributed networks. Of key importance will be the conceptualization and practical development of collaborative architectures. These themes will be drawn together and assessed in terms of their relevance to a broad base by a consideration of the place of new educational technologies in a semi-industrial economy.

 

Although this placement does not support a full production phase conceptual investigations may lead to experimental artworks using speech and writing technologies, languages and scripts, music, text, and networked media.

 

The main outcome of the placement will be an ongoing, publicly accessible journal of research findings and works-in-progress.

 

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