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Smarter Digital Realities


A joint project of the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore, and Sandbox Collective

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Anokhi Shah

Technical details:

Multi-arts online festival, WebVR, Metaverse

Smarter Digital Realities was a project conceived and conceptualised by Sandbox Collective in collaboration with Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore, curated by Padmini Ray Murray, and facilitated by Michaela Talwar (Harkat Studios, Mumbai), Najmun Nahar Keya (Dhaka), and Trishla Talera (TIFA Working Studios, Pune).


21 invited artists from 4 cities - Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, and Dhaka - came together in this hybrid residency programme, spending time online and offline reflecting upon their relationship with the urban and how experiences of the city have increasingly been mediated by the digital - at scale, or for themselves individually. Through two phases of the residency, a host of amazing speakers from India, Dhaka and Germany shared their work and processes with our residents.

“An architecture must be walked through and traversed. [...] Thus, equipped with his own two eyes and looking straight ahead, our man walks about and changes position, applies himself to his pursuits, moving in the midst of a succession of architectural realities. He re-experiences the intense feeling that has come from that sequence of movements. This is so true that architecture can be judged as dead or living by the degree to which the rule of movement has been disregarded or brilliantly exploited.” (Corbusier, 1999)


What are Thresholds? Thresholds act as the beginning and end of spatial experiences. The threshold space acts as an “articulation between spaces, i.e., between outside and inside, between one space and another (between one reality and another)” (Robert Venturi), it is literally a keyspace that can “open up” or “close off” access to a space. (Boettger, 2014)


In urban design, the term 'Cityscape' refers to the configuration of built forms and interstitial space. In the visual arts, a cityscape (urban landscape) is an artistic representation, such as a painting, drawing, print, or photograph, of the physical aspects of a city or urban area. A cityscape is the urban equivalent of a landscape. What is this landscape made of? Can we call buildings large-scale thresholds of cities?


The digital screen/electronic visual display acts as the threshold element that connects the real and the virtual. “The threshold provides the key to the transition and connection between areas with divergent territorial claims and, as a place in its own right, it constitutes, essentially, the spatial condition or the meeting and dialogue between areas of different orders.” (Boettger, 2014)


An online portal that tries to imitate an interpretation of reality by the user. Each block becomes a space within itself, contained by its events and moments that transgress from where it started. The entire experience becomes a time threshold. The spatial experience is at a constant progression. The narrative now becomes about the viewer traveling through different worlds.


Thresholds point out how dependent an experience of space is on a sequence. It acts as a metaphor for an architectural program i.e it refers to its events, narrative, atmosphere, characters, etc. Spaces can be read independently as each has its own formal qualities, independent of the frames juxtaposed to it. 

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