Participation is Technology's Gift to Art
For many years I struggled to bring participation into my work. Then I learned how to use technology.
Raghava KK, named by CNN as one of the 10 most remarkable people of 2010, is a multidisciplinary artist and storyteller whose work is shown in galleries and museums around the world.
Having quit formal education at the age of 18 to start his career as a newspaper cartoonist, Raghava is today considered one of India's most successful young artists. Raghava also applies his artistic practice beyond the gallery space. He is actively involved in a radical education initiative, NuVu Studios, an offshoot of Harvard and MIT, to redefine creativity in education.
In 2011, Raghava's iPad book "Pop-it" shook up the concept of the ideal family and won a Kirkus Book Award for Best of 2011. His current work attempts to combine art and technology to bring multiple perspectives into the deployment of knowledge. He recently demoed his brainwave art at TED2013 in Long Beach.
Raghava is a four-time TED speaker, and he has lectured at several universities and art institutions, including NYU, Carnegie Mellon, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, etc. He serves on the NuVu advisory and has also advised the INK Conference, Singularity University, Innoz, Startup Village, Nytric, and Banto.
Raghava often collaborates with other artists, including Erykah Badu, Paul Simon, and Yann Vasnier, a FIFA Award winning perfumer. He lives and works in New York and Bangalore, India. He is currently working on his next show to open up his artwork to invite participation and redefine the role of the spectator.
I think for many years I tried to bring participation into my work. I wanted my works come to life. I really wanted my artwork to breathe and live. And I tried several things including painting on the bodies of dancers. I painted the leotards of flamenco dancers and I had them dance in front of my work.
All of this was really exciting but, I feel like these were projects that did not completely invite participation. The participation was just between two artists or two people. I really wanted the spectator not to be outside the art-making process.
So I spent a lot of time trying to create art that was participatory. Finally I learned how I could use technology to invite this kind of participation. All my previous attempts were just a stepping stone to something that’s more exciting.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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