Thursday, November 30, 2006

Auroville, the international village

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 Great feast for your eyes in this new village. I don’t know why but the word ‘Village’ when followed by another word sounds somewhat sophisticated. But almost anyone’s curiosity is kindled when they read ‘Food Village’, ‘Cultural Village’, ‘Art Village’, ‘Handicrafts Village’, and ‘International Village’ and so on.So what one would expect to find in such niche villages is a congregation of that activity or products that is relevant to the word that precedes ‘Village’.
For example, there is a place called ‘Auroville’ near my city Madras in India founded by the Aurobindo ashram. In this international village, citizens of various countries are allowed to settle down. I had to search the internet to meet out my son’s request for some new computer wallpapers; the ever dependable Google directed me promptly to a ‘Wallpaper Village,’ where upon entering, I stopped dead in my tracks. posted by Malathy at 12:53 AM Malathy Badri Location:Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India

Friday, November 17, 2006

Auroville architect Anupama Kundoo

Editorial: November 2006 Be careful of what you wish for, or you might turn into Wolf Prix: reflections on the 2006 RAIA national conference November 10, 2006. In Apil 2006, architects gathered at Darling Harbour in Sydney for “the future is now!”, the annual RAIA conference. The conference gathered together an interesting mix of speakers as stylistically and philosophically diverse as Carme Pinos, Elke-Delugan-Meissl, Kerry Hill, and Andrew Freear from Rural Studio...
However, despite the optimism and atmosphere of good-will permeating the conference, for me there was a disturbing subtext which seemed to underpin the entire event, and which told a story all the more powerful for not being explicitly articulated. This story is architecture eats its young, or turns them into monsters, and is best exemplified by the presentations of three architects: Anupama Kundoo, Timothy Hill, and the keynote speaker Wolf Prix.
Anupama Kundoo is an Indian architect in her thirties who heads Kolam, an architecture, design and construction unit established under the Auroville Foundation in south east India. In addition to research, design and construction of architectural projects, Kolam also undertakes innovative urban management studies; the architectural education of rural students; experimentation with construction and infrastructure technologies for sustainable development; and hands-on workshops and seminars in schools, institutions and universities.
Anupama’s presentation was a joyful and delightful tale of can-do attitude and problem-solving in challenging situations. She contextualised the problems facing a rapidly developing India – urbanisation, globalisation, sustainability, and concrete – and walked us through projects where locally made clay vessels become ceilings, and buildings are “cooked” to perfection. Her willingness to embrace the constraints of the local – community, technology, materials, skills – and turn them into successful and beautiful buildings was inspirational for those of us who may be frustrated with planning regulations or a slow broadband connection. posted by beatriz maturana @ 8:19 PM...

India— the cradle of world spirituality

My next destination is India— the cradle of world spirituality—where, along with Nepal, I’m expecting to spend the coming six months. On Tuesday evening I’ll get on a plane bound for New Delhi (from Chicago) and get started on Phase II. India is in the throes of globalization and rapid economic development, and the majority of contemporary artworks that are garnering international attention deal with issues more common to the western art world—globalization, national and individual identity vis the media, gender issues, etc. According to many I’ve spoken with, there is a turning away from spiritual art, at the very time that the west is looking more intensively towards the East for spiritual inspiration and insight.
Nonetheless, I expect to find that those who continue to work on spiritual themes, with declared spiritual intent, and in communities of mystic and spiritual practice to have interesting things to say through their artworks. There is also a relatively large community of Western artists treating spiritual themes in their work living in India today, and these too will be an important component of this phase of work.My research on India suggests that the most active areas for contemporary spiritual art—at least that which is known in the West—is concentrated in Benares (aka Varnassi, Hinduism’s holiest city), in West Bengal (Calcutta and Santineketan), and in the area near Chennai (formerly Madras), where the Sri Aurobindo Ashram (Pondicherry), the Auroville community, and the communities near Arunachala/Trivunamali have attracted and launched a number of recognized artists who create works dealing in spiritual themes...
I want to send out thanks to a couple of people who have helped get me prepared for this voyage. First, Debashish Banerji, Ph.D. a Los Angeles-based expert in Indian art expert who curated “Divine Carriers,” the last comprehensive look at Indian contemporary spiritual art in 1996. posted by Phil at 4:25 PM

Contemporary Spiritual Art

The Spiros Project - Exploring the World of Contemporary Spiritual Art by Debashish on Mon 13 Nov 2006 08:31 AM PST Permanent Link Sunday, November 12, 2006 Images from the Spiros Project So Far posted by Phil at 1:20 PM <<> Name:Phil Psilos Location:Roaming, Southeast Asia