Announcing Silicon Plateau #01

Posted by Sumandro Chattapadhyay at Apr 06, 2015 05:50 AM |
We are very pleased to announce that the RAW programme is supporting a new collaborative publishing project led by T.A.J. Residency / SKE Projects and The first volume of the series titled 'Silicon Plateau' will feature contributions by a group of artists, researchers, and writers, including IOCOSE, Tara Kelton, Anil Menon, Sunita Prasad, Achal Prabhala and Sreshta Rit Premnath, along with contextual writing and documentation material. Here is an excerpt from the editorial note written by Marialaura Ghidini, the co-editor of the volume.
Announcing Silicon Plateau #01

Image Credit: Sreshta Rit Premnath, Projections (1964/2014), photocopies on corrugated plastic and chroma key paints.


Sreshta Rit Premnath - New York Living in Bangalore


The scope of the series is to explore the contemporary interaction between the arts and technology as informed by experiences of Bangalore (the ‘Silicon Valley’ of India). Such exploration will be guided by the perspectives of contemporary artists, writers and thinkers, national and international, who have either spent a period of time in the city or crossed paths with its communities whose work and interests — from the creative industry to law and historical research — lie at the intersection between the arts and technology. The approach we have adopted to explore how technology informs the arts and the socio-cultural environment, and how the latter affects usages and understandings of technological tools, is multidisciplinary and hybrid, and uses the city of Bangalore as the starting point for broader reflections and actions.


Advocating for the importance of thinking about digital and web technologies in their specificity rather than their universality, the series will propose across-disciplines narratives about the encounters — fortuitous, anticipated or even inconvenient — that artists, writers, technologists, lawyers, economists and more have had with the city. The nickname of Bangalore, Silicon Plateau, which derives from its geographical location on the Deccan Plateau in the state of Karnataka, has been used as the title of the series because we think it metaphorically highlights the contradictions inherent to our exploration. Adopting the term plateau, which indicates the reaching of a state of little change, to refer to a city that has transformed at rapid speed over the last few decades results in a linguistic combination that reflects the complexities inherent to discussing arts and technology in relation to local histories and occurrences rather than global narratives and popular beliefs.


This fist edition of Silicon Plateau #01 will focus on the way in which the city is represented in the public realm, from public spaces to those manufactured by the real estate industry. It will look at representations of Bangalore as a set of phenomena triggered by the ways in which the IT industry is reflected in the city, such as its market-driven narratives, and how passers-by and short term residents encounter them in the everyday. The contributors have been invited to reflect on how these modes of presenting and representing often lead to the creation of metaphors and cultural signs that might tell us more about discussing the interaction between the arts and technology.


Silicon Plateau #01 will be about that which lies behind first ‘impressions’ and constructed representations as determined by uses and understanding of technology, the tools and its infrastructures, existing, imagined, or projected.”


Silicon Plateau #01 will be released, in print and online, in May 2015 and launched soon after.


Image Credit: Sreshta Rit Premnath, Projections (1964/2014), photocopies on corrugated plastic and chroma key paints.



Sumandro Chattapadhyay

As a Director at CIS, I co-lead the researchers@work programme, and engage with academic and policy research on data governance and digital economy. I can be reached at sumandro[at]cis-india[dot]org.