‘Technology, Exchange and Flow: INDIA

Principal Investogator: Prof Michael Punt. Co-Investigator: Dr Joanna Griffin, Project Partners: Kochi Biennale Foundation and Leonardo/ISAST

An AHRC Follow-on Funding Award for Impact and Engagement project to: (1) make a film reconstructing lost television material from the Indian Space Research Organisation’s television archive, (2) run writing workshops at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018 addressing audience and user-led initiatives in India, and, (3) produce new  writing by non-academics with support from Leonardo journal.

Download the writing workshop publication: Exchange & Flow: An anthology

Exchange & Flow book cover

Watch the workshop video Exchange & Flow.  Shortlisted for the ‘Doctoral or Early Carrer Award’ in the ‘Research in Film Awards 2019’. Find out more at www.ahrc.ukri.org/RIFA.

What do audiences do with artworks? Exchange & Flow documents a five-day writing workshop held at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Fort Kochi, India, that explored this question by bringing creative artists and audiences together. Through an open call, twenty-five writers were brought together to examine reciprocity between artworks and audiences. The film shows their journey through creative workshops that aimed to stimulate speculative thinking and elucidate the experiential, embodied and shared nature of viewing.

Download the Kochi Declaration for Audiences (KDFA)

Kochi Declaration for Aufdiences poster

Kochi Declaration for Audiences poster

Project Summary

The project emerges from the three-year HERA Joint Research Programme project ‘Technology Exchange and Flow: Artistic Media Practices and Commercial Application’ (TEF), which 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 ‘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 Dr Joanna Griffin 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). Dr Griffin conducted a one-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at CEPT University in Ahmedabad, 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 Transtechnology Research. 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 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 project is to share and extend the findings of TEF 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 aims to 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.