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I had mixed feelings about the CEC/CAC 06 during the event but this changed at the end of it. I say this because to many of the presentations and performances, whether is was Zazie's beautiful digital art or Igor Stromajer & Brane Zorman's HTML-code singing gig or Ashhar Farooqui & Amaar Abbas's experimental concert or Lawerence Casserley's performance of real-time electro-acoustic music with Indian instruments and Aparna Panshikar's vocals, one question popped up in my head, that was 'So what do you do with this?'
I didn't have an answer. When I discussed this with my course coordinator, Milindo Taid, he said that the question that I was grappling with was one related to design and then it started to make sense. As a student of design I'd begun to question the use of or the rationale behind a lot of things in life, but in this quest for purpose I was unable to the element of playfulness and the value of artistic creativity in a lot of the presentations. I realized I was amongst some very creative individuals, individuals who were very dedicated and passionate in what they did, basically work that is experimental and explorative, work that questioned the very premise of our way of life today, either directly or indirectly, work that pushed limits and work that broke barriers, I was amazed and shocked equally.
The unaccompanied presentations were a great body of work. It was a visual treat to be a part of these screenings. The presentations of the work sent for the Ars Electronica contest that happens every year were mind-boggling. People are really pushing the technological and creative envelope, wake up! The Manthan awards, conceived by Osama Manzar, I feel is a step in the right direction to recognize the creativity that abounds in India but rarely noticed.
In short, I was very happy to be part of CEC/CAC 06. It was a great platform for all those who attended to get together, to exchange notes and to learn, especially for us students. I met some very interesting people and got to see some inspiring work. It was astounding and honestly, I still do not understand quite a lot of it but I'm sure that what I've witnessed would inform/feed the work that I do in the future and for that I thank Shankar for his valiant efforts in organizing this event and for giving us a chance to participate in it.
Hope this event grows in stature and success in the years to come.
The conference began with disappointment in the mind of the organiser: the audience for the conference seemed too little. However the participants and speakers at the conference felt differently. The conference was one of its kind in India and a great learning experience for the participants. As students of the New Media Discipline attending their first ever conference from the institute, the Cec was an event where, the speakers were easy to approach. As a personal view, had the conference been on a large scale, the scope of interaction would have been much less. People from different parts of India and the world over came together and discussed their ideas, work and interests.
Zazie explanied in her workshop the method of her working. She gave short demonstrations of the softwares that she used and her process for creating 3D as well as 2D visuals. This was followed by a discussion of some of her past works and her method in doing them.
Lawrence was the "hands on" person working on the computer. During a short talk with him, he spoke about how even though most of his work involved the keyboard and mouse, he loved to move his fingers around to get unique sounds. He also bought a been from a snake charmer and played it in his show."
People, experiences, sharing, explorations, awe, revelations are my takeaways from the "Carnival of E-Creativity". First of its kind in India, this conference is all set to become a yearly affair where professionals and enthusiasts together share and explore and arrive at an understanding of design from both the local and global perspective.
Being students, this experience has been a revelation both in being awe inspiring and disappointing in many ways. Putting up the NID space was an uphill task and we took our time stumbling, rising and climbing some more. Murphy's Law was efficiently being proven, but after the final display was put up, there was so much excitement and pride in being a part of the NID community at the conference.
Some of my memorable moments at CEC:
Lawrence's bizarre music spawned mystical creations in my mind. The ability to create multiple sounds from a single source of sound was interesting. Also, there was astonishing improvisation and spontaneity in the live performance. He seemed to effortlessly interact with the fluid acoustics, stretching them sometimes, and pulling them back at other times. The experimental classical Hindustani musical piece was also interesting, the way he was able to manipulate Aparna's vocals to produce different connotations and moods.
Oppera Internettikka Bollywooddikka by Igor Stromajer &
The Carnival of Electronic Creativity and Change Agents Conclave were presented before the people during the last week of January this year from 27- 29 Jan 2006, by India International Centre and Academy Of Electronic Arts.
The first day of the event marked the introduction section among the participants and speakers, followed by a series of individual presentations. The prominent presentation was from the side of Hannes Leopoldseder, a Ph.D., and Professor. He visualized Microelectronics as the raw material for the next millennia. The individual speakers talked about different issues but more in concern with the expression of self through digital technologies. Mohit Satyanand headed this session with a prolific sense of being critical about the issues raised by the speakers. However there seems to be haste in asking the attendees about the future of such a conclave. It shows the lack of confidence and faith about the mission. Rather there could be attempts to define the field of Electronic Arts and Creativity and creating awareness in a country like ours.
There were similar sessions on the days to follow. Lawrence
Casserley, Curtis Bahn, Igor Stromajer and Brane Zorman made
their presence felt and showed some interesting work. Lawrence
Casserley is known to create digitally transformed sounds through
the use of existing instruments.
Apart from these there were students of New Media Design from National Institute of Design, India along with their coordinator Milindo Taid, out of which I was a part of the team as a student of the same discipline. We put up an exhibition of NID work of all disciplines in the Gallery Space in the IIC annex. The exhibition included interactive game play installation apart from posters and traditional Video Media. A movie was also screened before the all in the auditorium.
The CeC was an experience which gave an overview about what was happening in New Media world over and helped broaden our views. It helped us interact with a lot of interesting people who dealt with various perspectives.
Lawrence Casserley (UK)
Lawrence experiments with any sound and plays around with them in various forms, producing very original music. It stirs up creativity in the mind and increases a sense of spaces around oneself. It was very inspiring to watch him work on digital instruments while he merged very tactfully the sounds of the letter h in his first composition and with Aparna's classical music in his second composition.
Igor Stromajer & Brane Zorman (Slovenia)
Igor and Brane completely caught us of-guard with their stage antics and narrations of their guerilla-music performances in Europe and Russia. Their concert consisted of an opera which sang the code of www.bollywood.com along with a lot of mixing. The opera was telecast live on their website. Though initially it was difficult to relate to their music, we caught up after a while. The wild and wacky twin team had spelled their magic anyways!
We spent over two months preparing for the event, making display panels, interactive displays etc. It was an experience for all of us. The concept of organizing a conference of electronic creativity is certainly very exciting for the student community, because it opens up a lot of avenues for explorations, discussions and lead to productive design.
A few disappointments met us when a couple of participants didn't turn up at the conference. We were quite anxious to meet everyone who was invited. The conference was being held for the first time, and the audience wasn't very large, but there was quite a bit of enthusiasm in the air as we found when we interacted with people. A lot of people wanted to show and talk about their work, however it was. It was interesting to see how in India, in spite of the Internet Telecommunications boom, a lot of avenues remain unexplored and limited to films or small personal projects. We have a lot to learn and sow to harvest the electronic arts medium for our benefit and we have to approach it with our own style.
CEC- first iteration of what is intended to become an annual series of public events was an experience which was one of its kind. Being the first international conference which we new medians got a chance to attend, CEC was a much awaited event as well. It was an amazing experience to be there and attend various sessions.
The main events took place at two venues simultaneously, at the India International centre annex and at the auditorium at the main India International Centre with breakout sessions in the Gandhi-King Plaza and the Annexe rear-garden
There were unaccompanied presentations at the annex centre, and seminars and presentations going on at the IIC main auditorium.
There may be different expectations from different people from an experience like this
CEC was a festival of electronic art in all its forms
The agenda in the first meeting was "what is the need for such a conference?".
It was basically a part of the Change-agents Conclave (CaC),which was a more intimate conference, here there were questions towards the relevance, meaningfulness and the sustainability of the carnival of electronic creativity.
Lawrence Casserley (UK)
Aparna Panshikar (India)
Igor Stromajer & Brane Zorman (Slovenia)
Aditya Dev Sood (India)
Ashim Ghosh (India)
Ashok Mehta (India)
Nitin Donde (India)
Marc Lee, Estee Oarsed & Beat Brogle (Switzerland)
Madhureeta Anand (India)
Anuradha Pathak (Artist & Arts Researcher / Delhi)
Devyani Arya (Student / NID)
Shweta Grampurohit (Student / NID)
Basangauda Inamdar (Student / NID)
Pallavi Kulkarni (Student / NID)
Lakshmi Kumar (Student / NID)
Ruchira Parihar (Student / NID)
Ruta Potnis (Student / NID)
Arul Prabhu (Student / NID)
Gayatri Sathe (Student / NID)
Abhishek Shrivastava (Student / NID)
Eva (Student / NID)
Hitesh Gusani (MD, Cybertec Studios / Mumbai)
... & others