‘Technology positively impacting Biennale, art world’: Rajan Anandan

Google India head praises KMB 2016 artists for creative use of technology during recent visit

Kochi, March 14: Professing his amazement at the evolution of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) since its inception in 2012, Google India chief Rajan Anandan pointed out avenues for collaboration between art and technology during a recent visit here.

“Technology has started positively impacting the art world as well. Just on the cusp lies the idea of artists who actively work with the technology available to them,” said Anandan, the tech giant’s Vice-President for South East Asia and India, and Managing Director for India, following a guided tour of Aspinwall House, the primary venue for India’s only Biennale.

He held up as an example the partnership between the Kochi Biennale Foundation and Google Cultural Institute in an ambitious archiving and digitising programme that will capture and reproduce artworks from different venues as part of an a virtual tour for the benefit of people who could not experience the Biennale firsthand.

Since the opening of the Biennale’s third edition on 12/12/16, visitors have been able to relive the highlights and delights of KMB 2014 through high-resolution images at the Google Arts & Culture project that were captured using specially designed Street View cameras. The shots were then stitched together to enable seamless navigation of the artworks and sites.

The project marked International Women’s Day (March 8) by releasing interactive 360° views of artworks and performances by a number of women participating artists at KMB 2016.

“Even once the Biennale gets over, visitors can do a virtual tour of Biennale in 360°. This initiative will help to preserve KMB and its works for posterity,” said Anandan, adding that “besides taking walkthroughs of the virtual galleries, users can also learn about the artists’ backgrounds and other details of the art-pieces”.

Noting the wide range of artworks from artists, performers as well as authors at KMB 2016, Anandan, a KMB patron, said he was most struck by Slovenian litterateur Aleš Šteger’s Pyramid of Exiled Poets. He and his wife, art collector and KMB patron Radhika Chopra, sponsored Chilean poet-revolutionary Raúl Zurita’s installation ‘Sea of Pain’

“Given the state of the world, it is an amazing work that cites pressing refugee issues. The pyramid and the other artworks, including the illustrations, are bringing the public closer to the art world. It makes art much more experiential to a larger number of people,” he said.


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