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New media art workshop at Art Underground

The Aesthetic Experience, an experimental workshop in new media art or digital art was held by Art Underground and the Chinmaya Mission in Baroda, between the 1st and the the 15th of August. For those involved, the 20 artists, graphic designers and the interpreters of the the media : the facilitators, it was a unique and rejuvenating experience .

Art underground is a digital art gallery, archive and interaction facility based in Baroda, striving for the evolution of digital technology as a new media in the creation of art forms. The motive of the workshop was to explore the emerging symbiosis between Aesthetics-Technology and spirituality by experimenting with moving images, sound, interactive images and installations.

For artists familiar to this media, technical expertise and tips from the facilitators added dimension to their work. And for the highly skilled facilitators this workshop was a totally new experience...creating art and translating forms. The creation of these new images, both for the artist and the facilitator, showed them new possiblilities in their respective arenas.

For some artists like the Ahmedabad based Amit Ambalal and Baroda based Jyoti Bhatt this was a first time exposure to the media and its several softwares and possibilites it had to offer. The media proved its potential in several aspects.

Several hi-tech softwares were used to get the desired visual effects- Painter Classic, Adode Photoshop, 3D Max, Flash 5 (macromedia), Adobe after effects, to name a few. While several artists were fascinated by the thought of not knowing what the eventual outcome would be, this media also proved to be the only one which can accomodate all forms of art including sound, 3 dimensionality and movement. It also enabled artists to improve on ideas and art forms already created and offered possibilities and variations which were manually not viable. As cited by one of the participating artists, this digital medium can offer a full picture of a work of art,for e.g. a sculpture, in its proposed site in ratio to its acutal dimensions. So one is able to see how the installation would look even before it is commissioned and created ! Commercially a boon.

There were also several artists like the ceramic sculptor, Joejo from Gwalior and Baroda's B.V Suresh and an illustrator from Delhi, Manjunath Kamath who were well versed with this digital media , yet they found it interesting to interact with the other artists and felt it added to the eventual output of their work.
Unlike the independent studio tradition this group workshop put all the artists together, working side by side.

Dhruva Mistry, Ghulam Sheikh, Jeram Patel, Jyotsna Bhatt, Nataraj Sharma, P.D. Dhumal, Rahul Gajjar, Sunderan Nair, V.S. Patel, Bhupen Khakkar and Rekha Rodwittiya were among the local artists participating in the workshop. Graphic Designers, Nandini and Amitabh Gandhi from Art Underground also participated , while graphic designer Chelna Shah and digital artist Ramesh Mulye and artist Navjot Altaf came down from Mumbai to be a part of this workshop.

While working in such a media where options are endless it also becomes comparatively difficult to judge as to when a work of art is finished and in this case that satisfaction was definitely time bound.

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