Media Artist Surajit Sarkar

Media Artist Surajit Sarkar

February 9, 2005 3:00 PM - 5:00 AM

Indian media artist Surajit Sarkar will be at Rensselaer for a colloquium focusing on Sarkar's own work, as described below. TIME: 3:30-5:00pm LOCATION: West Hall Auditorium (reception following) India - Media in Multiple Dimensions: The Work of Surajit Sarkar One time a photocopier salesman, a bank officer, a primary school teacher and developer of curriculum for primary school children and teachers, Indian media artist Surajit Sarkar has since worked in rural education and community development projects, as the director of India's first television serial focused on the social dimensions and implications of science and technology, and as part of a group performing socio-political critique through cabaret. As a videographer and projection artist, he has worked with theater and dance groups from India, Europe and Japan. As a documentary filmmaker, he has explored a range of topics from environment to education to rural economy and society. Together with Vani Subramanian, he has made an award winning film called "Meals Ready" about the impact of globalization and economic liberalization on rice production in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Sarkar's latest project - the Catapult Arts Caravan - is an attempt to decentralize the creation of and engagement with contemporary video outside metropolitan India. The Caravan takes media technology to rural settings as a means to engage villagers in public discussion about contemporary local issues - from human rights to survival to development. In one wetland region for example, this traveling forum initiated a series of vibrant discussions on local Water Wars in neighboring settlements. Filming the people and their surroundings, and recording opinions of the villagers on the politics of water, the images were then projected on a large wall in the local market and used in conjunction with readings from traditional texts and folk songs along with live performances by local musicians. The discussions that followed were enriched by the intermixing of pre-recorded and live footage that brought together the people on screen with those in the audience. The aim was to give people a voice, and to draw them into discussion with a mix of familiar and unfamiliar techniques. At other locations, the Caravan combines the use of video technologies with local arts like pottery and painting, re-presenting disappearing traditional knowledge in an effort to preserve it, and initiate a new discourse around it. Sarkar's presentation at Rensselaer will describe and analyze these and other public media projects, his experimental approach towards collective and cooperative intervention in creativity and artistic production, and the context in which he works in India today.
Add to calendar
Share|