Center for Experimental Media Arts (CEMA)


The Centre for Experimental Media Arts is an artist hacker and maker space. The center aims to be a platform for experimentations with art and science encouraging trans and inter-disciplinary work that integrates diverse media, modalities and technologies. It is a platform to critically examine the relationship between art, technology and society.


CEMA is about Exploration, Experimentation and Research. CEMA offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses such as New Media and Experimental media at Srishti. It also provides opportunities for artists to develop their artistic practice through long and short Artist-in-Residence program.

CEMA has worked on collaborative artistic projects in the areas of pure science, technology, tactical media, gender issues, tissue culture, synthetic biology, light, Sound, cosmology etc. The Center aims to bring together practitioners from a wide variety of fields to create work, share ideas, and converse across traditional disciplinary boundaries. In this new paradigm biologists will create animations as a teaching tool and artists will create robots that protect the environment.

The Center of Experimental Media Arts is termed "experimental' because a range of speculative and exploratory models of investigation will be employed in a lab setting. Creativity and rigorous analysis will coexist as students at the center draw from both the scientific method as well as traditional art practices. The program allows students to develop in depth projects that may require intensive research, fieldwork, and methodological development.

The center is a space of action (for artists and activists), a space for reflection (for a writer, a theorist), or for experimentation in technology and science (for a technically skilled person). The Center is committed to collaborating with NGOs, businesses, and other organizations in Bangalore, other regions of India, and the world to increase its international presence and to create a vibrant network of that will benefit both its students and the participating organizations.

There are three main learning environments at CEMA:

1. Traditional classroom based learning. Students can sign up for electives on Friday and Saturday at the Srishti main campus. These are humanities and studio classes that are structured like traditional classroom settings: lectures by faculty with students taking notes and discussing, or faculty demoing techniques and students completing assignments based on those techniques. In the past our students have taken classes such as "Indian Philosophy", "Wild Science: The Relationship Between Art & Science" and "Animated Sculpture"

2. Labs. These are more open spaces where students collaborate with faculty and artists in residence to create prototypes that address a particular problem area. In the upcoming semester we will be working in the area of 'environmental broadcasting' which will largely be about using IT to connect and create communication for humans and non humans. For example, how can you make a mobile phone for a tree, and what would it say to you if you called? These spaces are an opportunity for students to work directly with practicing artist, designers and engineers and create innovative solutions for interesting spaces. The learning in this environment happens in a structured lab based environment, but there is a real outcome from the labs which go beyond classroom work and have to stand on their own in the world.

3. Independent Research and Practice. This is the most open and entrepreneurial type of learning environment where students propose and carry out independent projects with oversight by their advisors. Small explorations are expected early on, with a culminating project at the end of the first year. The consultation and feedback from advisors allows the student to have much more independent and non-structured learnings in this environment.

The education at CEMA is grounded in the mother discipline of the arts and students become familiar with design and innovation techniques and methodologies. However, we explicitly encourage transdisciplinarity over specialization. We feel that our philosophy and pedagogy prepares students to succeed in a rapidly changing global information economy. For example someone hired by a communications company may be asked to do user research on mobile phone adoption one year and to lead an R+D effort in sustainable mobility the next. Our students are prepared for a variety of challenges. Some may opt to work for industry while others will pursue entrepreneurial endeavors or opportunities as a practicing new media artist. Interdisciplinary spaces where our students will find work include: Design Ethnography, Interaction Design, and Social Entrepreneurship. Work done at EMA has been internationally and nationally recognized in both the arts and the science contexts.

We expect our graduates to leave school as cultural leaders prepared to enter industry, NGOs or academia as innovation agents. With a global scope but a focus on the innovation hub of Bangalore CEMA will prepare a new generation of creative workers.

What are the objectives of the course?

It is expected that students of Experimental Media Art will:
- produce creative work
- bring their work to the world through exhibition and distribution
- develop collaborative strategies for a variety of situations
- increase their local and global network of individuals and organizations through internships and participation in e-communities
- engage in critical reflection of their work and the work of their peers
- articulate verbally and in text the social, political, and technological implications of their creative work
- develop an ethical framework for their creative work
- engage with organizations and communities in and around Bangalore

Current Projects:

  • Light as a Curator: is an installation/workshop renders the beautiful and aesthetic imagination of our visual culture. The process explores cyanotype, a photographic printing process that gives a cyan-blue print. The simple process uses sunlight (UV range 400 nm-10 nm) as a curator and natural salts to produce beautiful and elaborate prints of objects and images. View more.
  • Circus of Light: is a traveling sonic zoo with performances by flickering robotic creatures that are driven by light. This performance stemmed from the Srishti Interim 2014 that was held in November and December last year. The Circus of Light performed at Sublime gallery Bangalore and at the Story of Light Festival, Panjim Goa. View more.
  • Light Years: is an installation that looks at modern memory by artificially fossilizing artefacts in a kinetic sculpture curated by light. The curatorial process uses natural light to solidify light-sensitive resin, directed to the sculpture using mirrors. View more.
  • Srishtinterim 2014: was started in 2004 as a curatorial Project to incorporate new practices in art, design, technology and sciences. It was built into the curriculum and academic year during the ‘Interim semester”. It set up an open ended framework for learning through engagement with artistic practice which emphasis on - socially engaging and context led art and design projects, leading the student beyond the campus and classroom and into public spaces. National and international contemporary Artists and Designers working in visual arts, design and performance, installation art, film, experimental and new-media arts. More information on the projects and artists as part of the Srishti Interim 2014, view more.

Past Projects: 2013-2014

  • Analog Generative Art - The class explored the paradigm of ‘generative art’, especially in the analog domain. Students will explore machines and mechanical toys, obsolete and sometimes mundane objects that are fostered to create a variety of different outcomes, instead on focusing on one.

    Art perception, production and consumption are challenged and revised as one thinks of machines and as objects ‘generate’ aesthetics and meaning. Students will manipulate, interpret, render, etc. analogue mechanisms that that are sequential or structured but random in their outputs.

  • 3-d Printing Stereo-Lithography: Grounded in the Do-It-Yourself paradigm students in the studio will build/construct a 3-d printer. Students de-constructed the contemporary and existing processes and chain of sourcing materials and manufacturing to understand its limitations, impact and consequences.

    Studio activities involved understanding plans, technical drawings, fabricating frames, structures, etc., in and outsourcing electronics and other required essentials.


  • Awaaz Aala: is an experimental sound installation that will explore the aural perception of various acoustic mediums. Students will design and create the experiment as well as a participatory installation to render and visualise the co-relation of music with emotional, cognitive, and aesthetic responses. Led by musician Rahul Bhardwaj.

  • Star Beam: an art, science and culture project led by Sharathchandra.
  • Tactical Terratives a tactical media project led by Sharathchandra.
  • Sculpting the Wavelength sound atlas of urbanity – A sonic art project, led by sonic artist Jatin Vidyarthi.

  • Curatorial Projects: To know more projects and artists as part of the Srishti Interim 2013, click here.

Partnerships & Funding

The lab had been generously supported and funded by the Sir Ratan Tata Trust.

Projects Partners

  • Sublime Gallery and Prestige Group
  • Goethe-Institut
  • Story of Foundation
  • Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRISAP, LCC London)

Past Partnerships

  • NCBS (National Center for Biological Sciences)
  • The Arts Catalyst [UK] – Arts and Science Agency based in London
  • CSTEP (Bangalore) - Center for Science, Technology and Policy
  • Institute of Astrophysics (Bangalore)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium (Bangalore)
  • Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum,(Bangalore)
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
  • NIAS [Bangalore] – National Institute for Advanced Studies
  • Leonardo [USA] – Leonardo Journal for the Arts, Sciences and Technologies
  • SymbioticA (Australia) - An artistic research lab at the University of Western Australia's School of Anatomy and Human Biology.
  • National Center Experimental Arts and Media UNSW [Australia]


  • Geetha Narayanan - Founder Director, Srishti
  • Meena Vari - Dean of Contemporary Art and Curatorial Practice at Srishti
  • Yashas Shetty - Artist-in-Residence
  • Abhiyan Humane - Project Facilitator
  • Sharath Chandra - Project Facilitator
  • Rahul Bharadwaj - Artist-in-Residence


At the The Centre for Experimental Media Arts.

At the The Centre for Experimental Media Arts.

At the The Centre for Experimental Media Arts.

At the The Centre for Experimental Media Arts.

At the The Centre for Experimental Media Arts.

At the The Centre for Experimental Media Arts.

At the The Centre for Experimental Media Arts.

At the The Centre for Experimental Media Arts.

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