About Art In Transit

This past month, the Art in Transit Crew have been the bridge between the Metro Stations and the communities that surround them, and artists and students at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. They are a force on the ground, creating a presence, network and creative working dynamic at Rajajinagar, Vijaynagar, Cubbon Park and Chickpete Metro Stations. From mapping the neighbourhood, collecting stories and  building relationships at the station; from meeting with artists and anchoring exhibition planning, design and implementation; students have developed various socially-focused community engagement activities to understand, make visible and build partnerships. All this while, learning what it takes to situate oneself in creative community practice and what is takes to put on an exhibition and public place-based event.


Vijayanagar Metro Station

The Vijayanagar Art in Transit Crew, has our ears to the ground, through the pipes of the metro station, into the locality of Vijaynagar. This layout is named after the historic empire, and brings great pride to it's residents, especially those who have migrated from Uttara Karnataka into the cosmopolitan Bengaluru. This strong sense of identity was reflected in our initial experiments. This initial immersion into Vijaynagar has now fueled inquiries that are now being taken further by the AIT Crew and mentored by Yash Bhandari at the Vijay Nagar Metro Station. 

Understanding Women’s Safety - is an inquiry by Sreeranjini Ramesh and Shagorika Sinha. We have constructed a three part survey focusing on women’s safety - in and around the Vijaynagar Metro Station. Targeting women commuters, questions pertain -  to safety during commute, in and around the station, and in the larger neighbourhood. There has been a lot of participation, and the process pictures and information are being compiled to form a report that highlights key issues female commuters deal with when it comes to safety. 

Place-Based Audio Stories is an inquiry by Rohan Hallikerimath. Rohan has gathered lost stories about spaces in Vijaynagar shared by community members. These stories are now transformed into listening spots at the station. The intent is that a second generation of community member of Hosahalli can listen and share tales of the transformation of the area and the supernatural events that led to its development. Memories range from swimming in the Vrishabhavathi river to the transformation of money rock near Vijaynagar circle. 

Water Usage is a conversation facilitated by Rudresh Kumar. This participatory activity on water usage is to spark curiosity and dialogue about the usage of water in this community, its purposes, the types and sources of water and the experience of the water bodies in the area. Along with these questions, Rudresh also hopes to instill a sense of nostalgia about the way the Vrishabhavathi river was and the way we engage with it today. 

Rajajinagar Metro Station

The Rajajinagar Metro is an unwitting point of convergence, through shared functionality, for students, professionals, families and passers-by of this industrial-turned-residential area. Through a series of explorations in the form of photo-walks, experience mapping, resource mapping, collecting phenomena, stories and patterns, we began forming relationships with the space through understanding its context and its people. With an active wall set up inside the station to openly and constantly document our inquiries over time, we began using various data visualization techniques and art based documentation to make our findings visible. The following experiences have been mentored by Anna Jacobs. 

Make a knot, leave a spot facilitated by Ritu Patni & Shweta Didmishe: Engaging commuters in the process of a simple tie-and-dye exercise, to bridge to artist Lavanya Mani’s textile installations coming up in the Rajajinagar Station. A large white cloth hangs near the studio space with instructions requesting commuters tie a knot using various materials and methods. The exercise does not reveal the final outcome. The cloth is then dyed and displayed with name tags at each tie-mark to showcase the outcome of this collaborative activity.

Who do you share Bangalore with, and how? by Akshitha Nadella, Saumya Singh & Anna Jacob: We seek to bridge artist Kim Noce’s sociopolitical and psychological exploration of Bangalore, by creating an interactive data visualization that takes commuters on a journey of mapping their experiences of the city. The visual elements encourage them to compare their experiences with those of others, and finally to visualize the diverse experiences of Bangalore as a whole. We used various coloured threads to identify gender and age, against a frame of experiences along which participants would have to indicate if an experience is one they have already had or are yet to have, by looping their string appropriately.

I move, you move, we move by Shounak Kelkar: To better understand Kim Noce’s upcoming work at the station, and what goes behind a medium such as stop-motion animation, we provided the public with an opportunity to collaboratively create a stop-motion film of their own. A cardboard environment set is placed under a camera. Commuters can choose from a bunch of paper characters and objects, and place them in the scene. The camera is controlled to shoot a stop-motion sequence. Each participant adds a small new event. The resulting clip becomes a story made by many people and the sum of their choices.

Alternate Realities by Prateeksha Nagaraj, Rhebsa Elsa Anil & Anna Jacob: Siddhartha Karawal’s practice involves a delightful play between the mundane and the fantastical. To foreshadow his work at the station, we used the windows as a site for posing simple propositions, giving people a chance to peek into and co-create alternate realities that are ever so slightly but fantastically different from our mundane reality.

Cubbon Park Metro Station

Right at the heart of Bangalore and next to the lungs of the city, the Cubbon Park Metro Station connects many government buildings, heritage centers, historical monuments and sites for leisure. It has been the focus station of Art in Transit’s work for the past 3 years. This Interim AIT group has been mentored by Poorva Goel

Treasure Hunt and Station Mascots designed by Mahek Imran and Charu Latha with Aastha Chauhan and Aashi Jain. 

How do we connect stations across the city and diverse projects of Srishti Interim? How do we create a cohesive experience for commuters and visitors to the exhibition? How do we expand curiosity, understanding and experience of art in the public sphere? How can we invite commuters who might not have had such an art experience, to enjoy and participate in the experience the exhibition and events? Being spread across 4 non-consecutive stations has pushed us to think about the flow of experience from start to finish as any station could be a starting point and the diversity of projects makes it hard for one to understand the bigger picture of the  Festival of Ideas. To make this experience more cohesive and contextual, we developed a treasure hunt or challenge spread across all 4 stations where one would be required to go from station to station picking up clues or collecting stickers and/or a collectible. Information about the treasure hunt would be put out on social media and would take place in a specific time frame take would encourage anyone interested to venture across the 4 stations. In addition, to allow for easy navigation and an overarching understanding of the exhibition, a mascot team (AIT crew) will be present at every station. We will be distinguishable by our clothes as well as "May I assist you" tags on each of us. Although not explaining each exhibition, the mascot team can ensure that the audience experiences all exhibit's works. The mascot team will be the mediator between the artist's own representative and the viewing public.

Chickpete Metro Station

The Chickpete Metro Station occupies a centrally space in the market, yet it is vast and white - a direct contrast to the vibrancy that lies outside of it. Our aim with these projects is to bring inside, a taste of the dense sensorial experiences from the periphery of the station. The Texture Wall on the paid concourse allows commuters to get a microcosm experience the textures and patterns of Chickpete. The piece consists of printed images of patterns and textures with a central patch of the physical material (see, touch and feel the textures). The station also holds a Mandala of concentric circles, each layer a different material that make up the marketplaces around Chickpete such as paper plates, dried spices, hardware pieces etc. A ChalkBoard signals a shared learning space for Chickpete Vocabulary: Names of elements/materials/objects, practices from the area in Kannada and English. The Chikpete crew has also put together a Chickpete Scroll – Making our Journal Process Visible. These activities have been mentored by Shreeparna Mitra and developed by Harshitha Kumaraswamy, Kaavya Shankar, Sameeksha Khadke, Sayantan Chowdhury, Shreya Toraskar and Shruti Suresh.

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