Imagining your Future City: CAAS Inspired Workshop at The Rainbow Home.

March 25th 2015 – Community Outreach Program
Imagining your Future City: CAAS Inspired Workshop at The Rainbow Home.

Khoj as an organisation facilitates diverse learning experiences and engagement strategies with contemporary, experimental art practices. As part of a new stream of audience building and alternative educational methodologies, Khoj has begun implementing a series of workshops facilitated by Lleah Smith the current international fellow. These workshops exist alongside the current programs at Khoj and explore the same thematics being research by the organisation, in a hands on manner.

The current international residency is investigating the reciprocity between Art + Science, two realms which are often considered opposing forces. In the first segment of the residency Khoj was inhabited by the CAAS collective (City as a Spaceship) and Delhi based artist Rohini Devasher. CAAS and Devasher collaborated on envisioning what the future, smart city should and could look like. CAAS supported their projections by referencing their experiences building simulated environments for astronauts traveling to the extreme environment of outer space, whilst also presenting their research, which aims to understand the psychological and physiological limitations and pressures on the body when beyond gravity. Devasher extended upon her interest in astrological processes and extra-terrestrial activity, to visually illustrate where we are headed and how we might get there.

Imagining your Future City is an extension of these ideas, of conceptualising what the world could be like in 3015 and what elements from earth should remain as they are and where and how we can improve. The children of The Rainbow Home aged 12-14 were encouraged to be as precise, as realistic, as creative, as abstract and far-reaching as their minds would take them. The foundation of these workshops is to provide the students with a task that is process driven and invites them to think about their world and their space in new and invigorating ways. Imagining your Future City pushed one’s understanding of materiality but also what constitutes an artwork. The series of workshops aim to shift from figurative representation, to a more experiential, experimental understanding of ideas, language and form.

One child envisioned herself floating through space heading to Pluto with Earth on a chain, she decided she no longer wanted to live on Earth in 3015, but she wasn’t quite ready to let it go either. Another child envisioned that if we don’t stop mining and striping the land of its resources and minerals, we will slip through the ground because the subtract won’t be strong enough to hold us all, Finally one little girl cut out a rubbish bin and simply stated once we begin recycling and caring about where our by-product ends u,p the world will be a much more vibrant, colourful and rich space.

These incredibly diverse scenarios demonstrate the freedom, creative liberty and personal relevance of the task. As an ongoing relationship is established with The Rainbow Home in the coming months and various other school and community groups in Delhi, Lleah Smith will continue working towards eroding the barriers of right and wrong and generating a space adjacent to Khoj, which exists as an experimental laboratory, encouraging a real connection with contemporary, conceptual art practices.

Khoj would like to extend a big thank you to Sumiran Kabir Sharma and Abhigyaan who donated their endless energy and time to ensure the workshop was a success.

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