(edited by) Alka Pande, Nils Röller – Visual Arts, The India Habitat Centre’s Art Journal

Alka Pande

India Habitat Centre, volume 9, April 2008 – March 2009, India, English, 2009
How much we really know about artists using communication technologies in countries not deeply involved in the art market? Not much, of course, and just thinking about that gives the impression that we’re missing out on a lot of culture. India is certainly one of these territories. Since the Dutch-Indian establishment of Sarai in New Delhi, there was an entry point in a country that became the first software outsourcing development market, with a huge electronic industry, and in a rampant economic boom. Sarai was a project founded by the Raqs Media Collective, who have quickly found their way in the contemporary art scene since then. This is the annual journal of the India Habitat Centre that has joined with the Zurich University of the Arts, co-editing the textual part dedicated to new media art in the respective countries. The Indian part is indeed very valuable and constitutes an embryonic history of local media and art, full of references to crucial facts (like a symbolic and disastrous digitalization of the Department of Culture’s early tv and video tapes), anthological events (like the Experimenta Festival) and the current scene with all the attendant problems (mainly due to access to technologies). There’s also a report of the variegated electronic music scene, including a mention of the scene of DIY versions of the electronically expanded sitars and dilruba. Neverthless the feeling is that only the surface of a bigger galaxy of social and technological practices has been scratched and that there’s plenty of new things to discover, learn and document.