Archana Prasad

Building Collaborative Communities Through Applied Tech, Art, Design and Research

Community Art

Creative Common Ground
Born out of a long and almost failed search for an affordable and central spaces for the activities of the artist collective – Samuha, Jaaga is an experimental temporary architecture and collective model. With the idea to use empty plots of land to create temporary structures that would meet the needs of a creative community space, Jaaga involves designers, architects, technologists and artists working together. Using an interesting participatory Call to Participate, this project tries to involve a local, national and international community of creative thinkers to solve the need of the hour. We now have the skeleton up at Rhenius Street, Richmond Town, Bangalore. Come on over and explore it.


Stories and Histories of Neighbourhoods
This project is intended to create both a strong public awareness of the issues, concerns, stories and histories of places and people of a neighbourhood. Convinced that the internet is a very efficient means to disseminate information, Neighbourhood Diaries will create an archive of tightly edited, gripping short films (usually within 8 mins per film) that capture the essence of the sentiments and memory associations residents of a locale make with buildings and urban spaces. However, just built heritage is not our only area of interest. We would like to capture the local flavour in terms of socio-cultural hubs, myths and urban legends of people dear to their communities.


Malleswaram Accessibility Project
A Dept. of Science and Technology, Govt. of India funded Project
Jaaga in collaboration with the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), Govt. of Karnataka, will work for 4-5 months starting November 2011. The objective of this project is to take a stock of the existing environment for non-motorized transport and to assess the problems faced by the local people especially the elderly, children and differently abled in making use of the available infrastructure and to formulate a project with consultations and community engagement of residents and users of Malleswaram for the improvement of existing infrastructure. This is with the idea of transforming the neighbourhood from a traffic-congested commuter street into a more environmentally and culturally conscious, pedestrian and bicycle-friendly locality through a participatory process of planning and designing.


Hampi Crafts Project – India Digital Hampi
A Dept. of Science and Technology, Govt. of India funded Project
In collaboration wth the Crafts Council of Karnataka, under the auspices of the Department of Science and Technology, I will work on a three year project to document selected crafts of Hampi. We will present this as an immersive experience to the public in in 2013-14.


A Microsoft Research India Project on Rich Interactive Narratives
This was a collaboration between Jaaga and Microsoft Research India. Our role was to create content and make a demo that showcased the abilities of the new Silverlight based platform that was being developed internally by them. This tool enabled a content creator to make a single published rich media work that combined videos, audio, photos, text and technologies like DeepZoom, PhotoSynth, BingMaps and so much more all one one timeline! We worked primarily on the Hampi Demo. My role was that of the Creative Director.


Art & the City
Journal of Contemporary Indian Arts
Art & the City is an online journal on the state of the contemporary arts in four cities in India. It provides analytical writings by writers, practitioners and journalists. It is instituted by the Goethe Institute, Bangalore. I work on this project as the Executive Editor and was part of the founding team.


Audience Sensitive Performance in Copenhagen, Denmark
“Walking together. Eating together. Resting together. Working together. This three week process of cross-pollination and collaboration of people and cultures raises nuanced questions about the individual and the collective. Of cultural contexts in a globalised earth, and the interplay of the imagined and the physical. It points at the fine balance between the cityscape and our bodies. Of arriving at doing without knowing, sometimes alone, sometimes together.”


Public Sonic-Video Performance Art Interventions
The rapid urbanisation that Bangalore is witnessing is a cause for much concern as well pride. Amongst the cacophony created by this process of change, the city appears to have lost its voice. It seems to have lost the ablity to connect with the people who reside within it. This project is a collaboration with sound, video and movement artists in a bid to create a live performative dialog with the city and its people. We hope to create an awareness of the citys’ spaces and their significance to its people through our efforts.


Artist Initiative and Collective
Samuha is a collective of art practitioners based in Bangalore, India. The project involves artists of various disciplines including painting, sculpture, new media arts and performance arts. Together we will facilitate an art space that encourages contemporary artists to showcase their work and interact with the citys’ residents. Artists of our collective would use this space to exhibit their own work as well as collaborate and curate works of art practitioners and peers. The project will launch on June 22nd, 2009 and will run for a year. Additionally, we plan to invite guest artists to make presentations, workshops and conduct talks on art practices.This direct engagement between the art practitioners that our collective represents and the city is a first step in re-creating the vibrant and art-conscious culture that Bangalore is. Suresh Kumar G was the Initiator and I, the Co-Initiator of this project.


Connecting With the City Through Cultural Dialog
The BCP is a group of volunteers who are concerned about urban changes and connecting with the city and is an initiative of the Goethe-Institute, Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore. It has started to think about projects that would help to raise awareness about the importance of Arts and Culture in a city like Bangalore. Part of that process are monthly meetings, where issues and projects are discussed. One of the first areas of activities identified were organising heritage city walks to enable people to learn about places and re-connect with their geographic histories.


Rich Interactive Narratives
India has some of the greatest archaeological monuments in the world. Also, incredible amounts of intangible and cultural heritage, such as dance forms, music and religious rituals, are often associated with the monuments. With advances in modern computer science and technology, we are in a position today to capture the glory of the world’s heritage to both showcase and preserve for future generations. The Digital Heritage Project is one such effort to collect, store and share data on architectural sites and stimulate research in visualization, computer vision, graphics and related fields. This is now part of a broader initiative known as “The India Digital Heritage Project”, a collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology and various academic and industry research organizations. I am associated with this project as the creative director, historical researcher and user experience lead.


Poetic Performances Shared Across the World
Poetry Across Borders explores, through poetry, the voices within and without our imagined boundaries. By creating spaces for poetry and encouraging participation from many communities, we hope to create a literary landscape that challenges those boundaries. We also explore and promote, through the discussion, translation and re-interpretation of poetry, the very powerful urban and rural voices speaking in all languages.


Poetry on the Streets
Brotkunst was started by Dennis Freishlad in Berlin, Germany. It is aimed at taking poetry to the people directly rather than through the regular channels of published books. The idea is simple and very effective: each poet chooses a signature colour, then prints his or her poems on sheets of that colour and posts them on the streets.


Art on the Streets
Urban India seems to have forced its inhabitants to disconnect from such traditional artistic activities. Artists are locked within their studios and the only public access to art is through galleries. The process of artistic activity has become mysterious and the artist is alienated. The StandingOnFish Project was aimed at rekindling community art activities. It used a combination of technologies spanning from the internet-based technologies to traditional means of art-making like music, painting and dance to give the public opportunities for creative self-expression. Its aim – generating public awareness of creative means of self expression.
This project received technical support from Microsoft Research India.


A Travel, Music and Film Project by Abhi Tambe and Steve Clack
My role in this project was to create the website. So along with Ajay Nityananda we designed and illustrated for a website that tried to capture the journey of our two friends as they travelled the world creating music and making a film about it.


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