Apple’s New World just had two Indian artists showcasing their unique projects: Here’s who they are
Our lives have been moved online for all practical purposes. It is convenient, for certain, but it is also frustrating and draining in it’s perpetuity and lack of human contact. Jiten Thukral, Sumir Tagra and Sameer Kulavoor told us how to break out of this rut with art.
Besides their devices, Apple is known for their Today at Apple sessions where artists come on board to interact with participants, often in collaboration with Apple's own in-house staff for people to learn how to make the best of their devices. These sessions used to be held in person in Apple stores earlier, and now, thanks to the pandemic have been moved online.
In addition to this, Apple also has its New World programme going on. The programme celebrates the role of creativity in rebuilding a better world and has been co-created by Today at Apple and It's Nice That - taking online classes to another level.
While we wait for vaccines and practice social distancing, our lives have been moved online for all practical purposes. It is convenient, for certain, but it is also frustrating and draining in it's perpetuity and lack of human contact. In times like these, it becomes all the more vital to take a break from everydays and turn to something creative. That's where New World comes in.
Through these sessions, you get a chance to see artists, designers, photographers etc run virtual studios and hands-on projects and the sessions are designed so as participants can learn new skills and explore ways to collaborate and innovate - do something new.
The New World sessions are on till April 22 and you can check out and register for upcoming sessions here. The sessions kicked off in February this year and over March 3 and March 4 there were two Indian artistes holding court for all global participants.
March 3 saw Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra host a session called ‘Design Your Own Pet'. This session has participants imagining a virtual pet and designing it. The idea was to come up with a concept of an ideal digital companion that can help you be happy and promote mental wellbeing.
Thukral and Tagra used the iPad along with the Procreate app to bring it all together to showcase what art can do and how you can put it to better use than your regular, everyday work.
Speaking to HT Tech, Tagra said that when they were approached by Apple and they agreed to be a part of it, care and empathy were the two main focal points for them. “One of the things about our digital lives is the incapacity to compensate for touch and empathy and that is something we work on,” Tagra explained.
Tagra and Thukral's project builds on how cosmo-local we have become and how digital fatigue affects our mental health. While we talk to people across time zones, sometimes we are unable to connect with people right next to us. Our physicalities are paralysed but at the same time technology has allowed us to move across different borders and different time zones. The idea that came out of this was to build a virtual pet to serve our needs. For example, Tagra described a virtual pet they designed that looked like a deflated football and ate bad news. It makes sounds if you don't feed it enough bad news throughout the day.
The session had participants visualising and creating their own pets and Apple's in-house tech team pitched in support for how to use the Procreate software. However, the exercise is at a conceptual stage, the main idea is to get the participants to think and create things they haven't thought of before.
March 4 saw Sameer Kulavoor take over with “Reimagine Your Environment”. Mumbai-based Kulavoor documents and dissects everyday subjects through drawing, painting and design and he's known for his geometric style and imagery that's inspired by cityscape.
The session Kulavoor shared with the participants was a Mumbai-focused project called “You Are All Caught Up”.
“A part of You Are All Caught Up deals with social media and my observations about how life around us works in these times,” Kulavoor explained adding that his show, that the session is an extension of, consists of acrylic paintings on canvas and watercolour, solid marker drawings and come from how he sees and experiences life.
While Kulavoor's everyday work does not involve using any tech to create his art, he uses it to archive, photograph, research and create collages and much of this later transforms into his art - this is the part that Kulavoor showcased over the session. As Kulavoor explained, his session is more about the process of creation, what he sees and what he captures than a particular tool or device, users are then free to use whatever tool they want to create their own.