Art and technology share a symbiotic relationship. To bring out this aspect and to showcase how the two can collaborate for sustainable solutions to some of the world’s problems, Bengaluru Fantastic 2017, an international tech-art festival, opened at the Rangoli Metro Art Centre on Friday. The three-day exhibition is being organised by Jaaga, an NGO, in association with the Karnataka Tourism Department.
Archana Prasad, founder,, Jaaga, said the intention behind organising the festival is to introduce Bengaluru to tech-art. “We wanted to bring together the two biggest influences in the city: technology and arts. What has resulted is truly phenomenal with so many artworks and artists coming altogether. We want visitors to see tech-art as an accessible means of expression. Each artwork focuses on an U.N. sustainable development goal and helps us envision a sustainable future for all,” she said.
The festival features 26 artists from across the world who are showcasing their work related to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The event, which is free for all, has on display 30 artworks. The next two days will see many more innovative exhibits and programmes such as 3D printing, unicycling, community drumjam, rainbow-hut, films and more. Talks, workshops and performances will also be organised.
Maskbook, a workshop organised by ‘Art of Change 21,’ is teaching children and adults to make masks out of waste and create awareness about the environment.
“Participants are provided with waste and they are encouraged to make it into an art piece. They will get to take home a photograph with their masks. We are trying to promote sustainable development through innovation,” said Marguerite Courtel, secretary-general, Art of Change 21.
Gene Rogan, a software developer and artist, has created an installation that brings together photography technology and art. People can stand in front of a screen that is attached to a camera. The camera clicks a photograph and converts it into cubic art. The technology makes the otherwise expensive cubic art affordable.
Non-profit organisation Meghashala has an installation that checks the quality of water from various parts of the city with water testing strips.
The strips are dipped into the water and grade the water across parameters such as nitrates, nitrites, pH, alkalinity and hardness.
Subham Som, implementation and partner manager, Meghashala, said, “Once the values are taken from the strip, we calculate the result with the help of a Raspberry Pi (portable single-board computer) and an app. We can test the level of water contamination through it.”
Bail Not Jail
Amnesty International India has set up an art installation by artist Ruchi Bakshi Sharma highlighting the problems faced by undertrials in the country.
“The installation specifically focuses on bail reform, which through our research, was found to be unfair. There are many poor people who have got bail, but are not released owing to the lack of money or political networks. Along with this installation we have put up a petition addressed to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, urging him to reform the bail law. We are requesting our viewers to join the campaign by signing the petition,” said Leah Verghese, senior campaigner, Amnesty International India.