New BEL Road Social X Tezos India present 'Art of Code' with digital works of 12 artists

Varun Desai from Tezos India and Chirag Punjabi from New BEL Road Social let us in more on the exhibition

Alwin Benjamin Soji Published :  02nd June 2023 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  02nd June 2023 12:00 AM
In frame: Artworks at the exhibition

In frame: Artworks at the exhibition

Generative art or digital art is one space that has a lot of potential in our country. With coding becoming an important segment for the current youth, the possibilities seem endless when you merge it with art. Keeping the same in mind, Tezos India in collaboration with New BEL Road Social organises a monthlong exhibition featuring art pieces that have been made using coding. We talk to Varun Desai from Tezos India and Chirag Punjabi fromNew BEL Road Social to know more about the ongoing exhibition.

Tell us about the importance of having digital art in the current scenario?
Varun Desai: Digital art is more than just a medium. It is a process to create different types of art works such as animation and in our case, generative art. It goes beyond the limitations of traditional art creation. When you look at India as a nation with a huge young population, when it comes to creative outlets, digital art poses as a big field. In that industry sense, you see a lot of the top 3D CGI work happening in India. Even if you look at Marvel movies these days, a lot of the names are from India. So, digital art, without a doubt, is the future of a certain form of creativity. We obviously are looking at a very small subset. Digital art has a very bright future in India. It offers accessibility, mobility and it offers the ease of use for the new generation who have grown up with smartphones.

How long have you been working on this exhibition?
Chirag Punjabi: It’s been in the works for at least two to three weeks. I mean, it’s been a while since we had our first conversation. So, New BEL Road Social opened its stalls in the last week of November. The strategy was that every month we would change the curation because the digital screen allowed us to do so. It wasn’t something that required me to move things around or have any physical infrastructure shaken or moved from one place to another. So, the idea was that every four or six weeks, we will change the curation which would allow artists from across India to showcase their art. Our current collaboration with Tezos India is our fourth collaboration at the current outlet.

Panel discussion at the exhibition

How did the idea of the exhibition originate in the first place?
Varun: The activities that Tezos India Art and Culture has been doing are very central to generative art and this kind of work. So, we had a major installation this year at India Art Fair, where we had an outdoor art installation. We introduced generative art to the art community at the fair. It was four artists showing their work over a period of five days. In the same light, we were looking to do something for a longer period. I had been talking to the curator Angad Sodhi, who has been curating for New BEL Road Social for a while now and we have known each other for a long time. He is an artist illustrator. We had conversations around digital art, coding in India and topics around those ideas. So, it was inevitable that an exhibition like this would eventually happen.

How did you select the artists whose works are showcased at the exhibition?
Varun: While 12 artists would seem to be a huge number for a curation, there are not that many creative
coders in India. Creative coders need to have a certain type of skill set. Apart from knowing how to code, they should also have a creative mind. These two things are like polar opposites. Coders are like more technical, while artists are more non-technical. There existed a community of creative coders who had nothing to do with NFTs or anything like that, who would meet, talk and help each other to progress as a community. So, the community had not just people in India, but Indians in London or New York who supported the community in India. The curation is from this group of people. It has works of twelve very significant figures in the creative coding scene. Some are as young as 15 while there are coders who are in their forties. The older artists might be more minimal while the younger ones might be more flamboyant. That though, is just an assumption and not always the case though.

Entry free. On till June 27. At New BEL Road Social. 

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