Digital Revolution (?)
(with apologies for the poor video)

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Some time back in New Delhi, a workshop on photography was advertised in the India Habitat Centre's program-gazette as "Digital Revolution" ~ which was to be an interactive week-long series of sessions led by a 'well-known' Swedish photographer, Beat Presser, who was to take the workgroup through scanning, manipulating, finishing and print-out of photographs.

The joint organizers and supporters of the event were the very eminent India Habitat Centre's prominent 'Visual Arts Gallery' and the very well regarded 'Siddhartha Gallery' at Max Mueller Bhavan (the Goethe Institute & German Cultural Center in New Delhi).

We gave the workshop a miss of course, since it seemed basic enough,.. but popped over for a peep when the results were actually exhibited some months later at the Siddhartha Gallery under the same title ~ "Digital Revolution". (some of you might remember the folks behind The IDEA organized a show with about a dozen practicing e-artists at the same gallery two years earlier under the banner 'Explorations in Digital Imaging").

Unfortunately, the 'Revolution' was a quite complete disappointment, with guileless and very plain works put on show from a small cross-section of the workshop students, and not a single work from the workshop leader himself (who flew out to his home country shortly after the opening).

We got in touch with the students for their perspective on the event, and just a couple got back with disappointed comments on the workshop leader's abilities, or lack thereof, with regard to the workshop subject.

We then got after the workshop leader himself for his perspective.

The e-mail exchange, which lasted from about the middle of May through to the end of June 2002 is reproduced below:

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Dear Beat Presser:

I hope you will by now have had a chance to browse a bit through the CD-gazette of The IDEA which I had given you at the opening of the 'Digital Revolution' show in New Delhi.

As you'd expect, we would very much like to carry a short overview of the workshop and the show in our upcoming gazette #6.

For that, I would very much appreciate it if you could write me a short text (1000+ words) to serve as this overview. The rest of the material one should be able to stir up from the workshop-members, who I shall also be getting in touch with, and as you know, I have some video of the opening.

Hope that's good with you, and I look forward to welcoming you aboard The IDEA.

Keep well ~ Shankar Barua

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Dear Mr.

No, I did not have the time yet to browse through the IDEA. Sorry about that but it is very high on the agenda. As soon as I have taken care of the most urgent matters after a 4 months absence of my home I will look at it. (I am only back now for a little while here in CH.)

But I will get back to you as soon as it is possible for me.

Sincerely Yours

BEAT PRESSER

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Okay ~ I'll look forward to hearing from you soon.

Keep well ~ shankar

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Dear Shankar.

I now have had a chance to have closer look at Your Idea CD. What I saw first looked alright and interesting, but when it came to a certain Mr. Singh I double clicked like I did before and also normally thereafter. But in that very moment, that very double click, my whole and very system collapsed. Therefore I do not want to put it back in there in my very delicate machine since it needs to calculate very heavy photographic data.

Now what?

With my best regards.

BEAT PRESSER

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Hi Beat!

Sorry to hear that your computer had problems. First time we've heard of such a thing with one of our gazettes though.

I hope you managed to get 'some' idea of how the gazette is formatted. Basically then, all I'd really like to get from you is a text about the whole workshop and exhibition. As you might have noticed, our approach is to have artists/subjects of features speak for themselves, as it seems the fairest non-judgemental approach. The text should be 1,000 words or so, written in the first person (I/me, not he/him).

Hope that's good with you and that I can expect the text soon.

Keep well ~ Shankar

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Ask some of the students, dear Shankar! That makes more sense, no?

Kind regards

BP

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I did ask the students Beat,.. and received extremely mixed responses. That's one more reason why it would be great to have your version.

Do give it a bash,..

and keep well ~ Shankar

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Impossible, my dear, I am in the middle of a book production, preparing for the moment 2 exhibits on different subjects and therefore fully busy and cannot reflect on the nearest past for the moment.

Why not an interview by email? That is more likely to happen.

You ask. I answer.

So long

BP

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Okay Beat, let's do the interview. First question then:

Why did at least some of the students feel that you led the workshop with very little knowledge of your own on the subject?

Was this intentional?

What was the logic?

Do you feel the purpose was served?

Awaiting your reply ~ Thanks!

and keep well ~ shankar

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...is that all you want to know???

BP

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No ~ I thought we could go with the questions one by one.

I look forward to receiving your replies.

Keep well ~ Shankar

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Good morning.

Some more questions from my side:

Where will this interview appear?

On a cd-rom "IDEA 6"?

When is your deadline?

regards

bp

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Yes ~ on IDEA #6, which goes into production in about 1-2 weeks.

This will go out to about 1,000 'identified' e-artists and associated individuals/organizations around the world.

As you can expect, I therefore really do look forward to receiving your inputs. Feel free to add whatever you wish.

Keep well ~ Shankar

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Shankar, please send Your questions again. Last night my computer collapsed, will be out of order for some days and I cannot read old messages for the moment.

I try to make it until Friday, maybe Saturday. I am in the middle of a big book production and have to meet a deadline on July the 4th.

read you soon

bp

***
I sent Beat my first set of questions from the 'interview' once again but did not hear back from him till early-July, when this gazette went into production. I did not communicate with the workshop students any further either ~ ed.