From me good ole iMac-DVSE


~

A lot of good folks commented variously in e-mails to me about the blasting I sort of generally gave the NGO sector in my last editorial. So, what's the buzz? Well, no apologies certainly, but while looking back upon it today, all I can think to describe it as is perhaps a small part of a bitterly fractious old and still ongoing argument I've had to have with myself every now and again through the years over the little matter of whether I too should join the crowd with some of the work I do, or not?

The verdict isn't still fully and irreconcilably in just yet, but it does now seem that I will probably indeed be getting together with friends and associates over the next few weeks to establish what we hope will grow to become a globally pre-eminent Academy of Electronic Arts (AeA) right here in India. Needless to say, one isn't talking of another Teaching-Shop here.

Some of you may remember that this is actually something I first mooted more than a year ago, when I even got myself into the awkward position of putting up a proposal personally to Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi State,.. who promptly went ahead and had a minor heart attack the very next day and obviously never got back onto the matter.

So, what's new here? Well, the last time out our efforts were bent entirely towards getting some established institution or other major organization to launch the AeA,.. with us lending just eager helping hands and minds. All sorts of interactions took place with all sorts of mainstream establishment folks, and there was plenty of goodwill and eagerness from many quarters,.. all focused upon having me establish the AeA myself, with them lending little more than their 'names'.

Well, it looks now that that is something like what may indeed soon happen ~ friends and colleagues coming together to do it ourselves with goodwill patrons, association of several instituions around India and the world and all that sort of stuff.

The IDEA is of course a separate matter. For the record here and now, this is the last gazette I'd promised myself to support when I began this project in January 2000. After this, the gazettes were to pay for themselves if they were to continue ~ my own tapasya would be, and now is, done.

Doesn't look very promising though, does it, with not a single manifestation of fund-support aboard this time? But not to worry, as that's got to do with the nasty-nasty economic landscape of the moment; the little matter that institutional associations and support seem to require us to first become an institution ourselves; AND my own pig-headedness on many matters,.. rather than any intrinsic shortcomings I can see on this account in the concept itself. Some of you might even recall the "Muddy Encounter" wherein I refused to cross the river to meet the folks at Adobe here to discuss peanuts they could have sent me by post, in reciprocation for their general expectations with regard to selling easily-copied and almost annually-obsoleted software for outrageously astronomical prices ~ such as a copy of Photoshop for wa-a-ay over the average annual wage in this country.

To me, the big battle and victory has always been about getting the artists aboard, believing and trusting in what we're doing ~ and that's most certainly happened very substantially by my own standards and expectations on a global scale,.. and unfolds further every day. I'll be hoping we can translate a good measure of this, and more, to the AeA if and when we roll that out, but as I said, The IDEA itself is a separate matter.

On that, we've been chewing over the idea of going annual with these CD-gazettes instead of six-monthly after #6, if we continue, so let's have some feedback on that. Part of the reason we'd like to do that is to have more time for us to consolidate and build upon the fascinating network of wonderful e-artists we now connect with around the world,.. and start doing many other great things all together!

You guessed it ~ that too has also always been a part of the idea of The IDEA.

Keep well ~ Shankar Barua

below: a painting I've begun developing