‘Technology, Exchange and Flow: Writing Workshops at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale’.


Dr Joanna Griffin and Dinaz Kalwachwala speaking Creative Encounters with Science and Technology Legacies, Imaginaries and Futures at Kochi-Muziris Biennale 18th and 19th February 2017

The project emerges from the three-year HERA Joint Research Programme project ‘Technology Exchange and Flow: Artistic Media Practices and Commercial Application’ (TEF). It examined the relationship between artistic media practices and industrial/commercial exploitation of audio-visual media at key moments of technological innovation, such as contemporary gaming and early television. The research highlighted how experimental media practices crossing into mainstream adverts produced proactive viewing. These findings were shared at the exhibition ‘Play and Prosume’ held at the Vienna Kunsthalle and, following the award of an additional impact grant, at a two-day knowledge transfer event called ‘Advertising the Sublime’ held in collaboration with two major film and television archives, The Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision and Eye Film Institute, Netherlands. The feedback from audiences at these events impacted the collection and preservation policy of the archives.

Since that event, new postdoctoral research by the CI concerning a body of television material in the archives of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), revealed a similar pattern of exchange and flow between mainstream and experimental media producers, facilitated by new technology (portable video cameras). The CI conducted a one-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in India to investigate these links and convened a symposium at the previous Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 titled ‘Creative Encounters with Science and Technology: Legacies, Imaginaries, Futures’, which was supported by the PI. The television material is the product of ISRO’s well-documented satellite communications pilot project in the 1970s that aimed to steer the new technology of television to rural under-privileged audiences. In the light of the CI’s new research concerning the involvement of creative practitioners in the ISRO project, including filmmakers, some of whom also maintained avant-garde experimental practices the intention of the Follow-on is to share and extend the findings of the TEF project to the two contexts identified in India to bring active co-production with audiences to the fore.

The proposal will articulate collaborative frameworks of ‘exchange and flow’ consistent with the altruistic concerns of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale and the ISRO television archive. It will impact on both institutions in the ways they conceptualise and collaborate with audiences in the future. In sharing the results and experiences of TEF and its Knowledge Exchange results this project is expected to have significant local impact as well as scalability and transferability to other contexts.