I started of with the below initial questions for this thesis

  • What would this art be like if technology was a part of it?
  • What is the intersection of indian art form and tech ?
  • How much can we intervene without disturbing the original intent of the piece?
  • Can we aid the process of creation without losing the history behind it?

With this topic in mind, I did a lot of research which looked at the ideas of “revival” and “digitization of art”.  With Andrew’s suggestion I read about the idea of mechanical reproduction on old forms of art.

Post suggesting this idea and reading about these topics, there was an event in India which hit me strongly. Many students in India were trying to revive the Tamil Nadu sport of “bull chasing” – while I am not going to go into depths of my opinions on this, I realized one thing. It is not possible to bring back things from the past in the original form and be true to it at the same time. Art and culture are ever changing and we need to adapt it to the needs of the present day.

With this in mind, I once again started looking at various forms of Indian folk art. Listed below are a few –

Sanjhi Art (Madhya Pradesh)  – This involves cutting intricate patterns from a single piece of paper/fabric.

Sindhi Stitch (Gujarat) – intricate embroidery

Kolam (Tamil Nadu) – A highly mathematical form of decoration done with rice flour

Kavaad (Rajasthan) – A beautiful form of storytelling where the performer uses the unfolding of a painted box to tell a story

Block Printing (Karnataka) – Creating patterns on fabric by hand pressing carved blocks with dyes.

With all of this – Kavaad impressed me the most due to its simplicity and effective way of communication and saying a story.

I couldn’t help but wonder what this royal folk art would like if we used it to say newer stories? What if this is used to explain technology?

Here is a site that explains further how this works.

before researching further, I found it important to add another question to my list.

India has a rich history of storytelling and traditional forms of education. How can we use these storytelling techniques for education of newer ideas and technology?