There are some inexplicable results and unique experiences that occur when one combines musicians and artists of different disciplines. Especially when the preconceived notions and pre-existing trends are broken and mashed up with new media, amongst artists who intend to partake, creating a new acquaintance and connection with audiences which are always looking out for something new and off the beaten track.
Sound art, electronic music, synthesis, glitch, noise, interactive light/visual design, spoken word, manipulated voice, free style movement/dance and live painting are amongst the various creative disciplines and interest areas that are emerging as alternate and futuristic art forms within urban areas of India. The rise of such nouveau notions and technology based practice often gets misunderstood or wrongly juxtaposed for audiences. Keeping such a pitfall in mind, the need to put these new practices into a newer and exciting perspective for the audiences and artists alike, Bangalore's CounterCulture curates and organises 0101 events with artists across India. An open space, open mindset and a very enterprising team at CounterCulture has strived to provide this opportunity and possibility to artists from the above mentioned disciplines. The core idea of the 0101 series of events is to create a united and sustained community of musicians, artists, dancers and audio/visual designers who are using unorthodox creative tools and practices. A hybrid residency.
"We want to take the risks involved in creating a series new of events for Bangalore in order to bridge the gap between notions of experimental art and pre-existing standards of entertainment in a nightclub space.” - Guru Somayaji - Head of programming and production.
The 5th episode of 0101 (Sunday 15 July) featured a vivid gamut of eight artists who combined their skills to create a unique collaboration, with unexpected results and much future potential. This panorama of skills and creative pursuits came together at CounterCulture's stage to present a three hour performance. Live art, analog synthesisers, glitchy beats, audio interactive visuals, audio effects manipulation, spoken word and body movement was all featured. ToyMob (singer, visualiser and member of Teddy Boy Kill), Nikhil Narendra (producer and solo performer), Ari Jayaprakash (painter, film maker and graphic artist), Audio Pervert (producer, synthesiser buff and sound designer), Kartik Basker (singer of Bicycle Days), Abhijeet Tambe (guitarist and sound designer), Vandana Menon (live visual artist and graphic designer ) and Archana Prasad (movement/dance specialist) formed the roster of artists. The event commenced with the ambient and tonal creations of Abhijeet Tambe using guitar, effects and samples in contrast with the delicate and slowly transforming body movements of Archana Kumar. The core impression of the performance was inspired by the feelings of a woman in pregnancy communicating with her yet unborn child. Fling (Kartik Basker) presented a haunting set of songs, applying his voice in a free-style form, mashed up with recorded spoken words and urban sounds.
Followed by this dark yet somber performance, Audio Pervert and Nikhil Narendra created an hour long performance, awashed with synthesised soundscapes, broken and glitchy beats and analog sounds/noise. Ashhar Farooqui a.k.a Toymob presented a new software (developed by Nine Circuits, New Delhi) which manipulates real-time audio and camera feed, to create vector based graphics and pixel manipulation. Vandana Menon handling projection and visual content presented an ever changing canvas of film, graphics and photographs, on multilayered gauze screens; inspired by Bangalore and its ever-increasing urbanisation and people. Ari Jayaprakash, upcoming graphic artist and painter used ink and paint in his peculiar style, hashing out a dozen pieces of artwork on paper and canvas within the three hour performance. “I have never attempted to evoke my feelings and skill in such an environment, which is very different from the way I usually work. Taking inspiration from beats, sounds and tonal moods is a very unconventional for an artist who usually composes and creates in privacy“ comments Ari, whose debut graphic novel, The Kuru Chronicles is out soon, as a collector’s book along with roughly 300 to-be-exhibited paintings.
Previously exclusive to their forms of arts and practice, these artists came forward to dwell and realise the creation of new and live media at the 0101 event at CounterCulture. More such collaborations are being mapped for the future. Artists across India and abroad will be invited to partake in this bold and adventurous series of events.
Often seen as fragmented, fringe or just plain pseudo and bohemian in nature, the need to fuse different art-forms and technology based creative tools in a consistent way, is the only way to give rise to new standards and open new doors into creativity and its related pursuits. Something very vital to keep art and the artist alive in an otherwise mainstream and hegemonised scene.
“Perhaps all such experiments, events and involved artists combined with the given results and uniqueness of this series can be combined and presented in a festival format in the near future.” envisions Vishwaraj Mohan - Founder of CounterCulture.
Words: Samrat Bee
This is a part of a monthly column by CounterCulture, Bangalore for Wild City.
07 August 2012