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Smarter Digital Realities was a project conceived and conceptualised by Sandbox Collective in collaboration with Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore, curated by Padmini Ray Murray, and facilitated by Michaela Talwar (Harkat Studios, Mumbai), Najmun Nahar Keya (Dhaka), and Trishla Talera (TIFA Working Studios, Pune).


21 invited artists from 4 cities - Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, and Dhaka - came together in this hybrid residency programme, spending time online and offline reflecting upon their relationship with the urban and how experiences of the city have increasingly been mediated by the digital - at scale, or for themselves individually. Through two phases of the residency, a host of amazing speakers from India, Dhaka and Germany shared their work and processes with our residents.


A note from our Curator - Padmini Ray Murray :

Our digital realities are now inevitabilities; either by desire or demand, no aspect of our urban existence is untouched by networked, data-driven technology. In this residency, I was keen for our artists to pause, reflect and create responses that explored their understandings and relationships with technology - be that as tool, medium, or context. The specter of the smart city haunts some of the works: its aspirations challenged by works that engage thoughtfully with those, such as the marginalised and minorities, left behind by its illusory promises. While urban isolation has always been a feature of the modern city, its resonance has been amplified considerably by the conditions of the pandemic, and many of the works address how technology has both exacerbated and tempered this loneliness, through images, sound and film. Navigation, both algorithmically mediated and embodied, shapes some of works that grapple with the exigencies of what environments foist upon us, and how we endeavour to respond, challenge and subvert these systems. It has been a rich and rewarding experience to see these works grow and develop, and I hope your encounter with the works is much the same.

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