Back to:
last page

Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

The Crossing Project
Ranjit Makkuni

"The Crossing: Living, Dying and Transformation in Banaras" multimedia installation shows Banaras, a microcosm of Indian culture, and is a multimedia-based cultural learning tool. The exhibit consists of a collection of installations and interfaces. It makes the traditional form of the computer (display, mouse, keyboard) disappear and substitutes them by meaningful objects of cultural value. Information can be accessed through an e-Rickshaw, e-jackets, hi-touch interfaces integrating traditional arts and crafts. Hardware reflects the content of the installation.

We present a vision of Indian creativity and interaction design combining traditional and modern technology. As computing technology proliferates in the world, retaining identity becomes an important value in the new millennium. Hence, the time-tested visions of developing nations and ancient living cultures can shape the form of future information technology.
The „Crossing Project“ is a pioneering effort bringing together futuristic mobile multimedia technology and archetypal content. With respect to technology, it questions the very form of a computing system and the Graphical User Interface paradigm, which has served as the substrate of modern computing systems for thirty years. The „Crossing“ technology presents alternate paradigms of information access, integrating the hand and the body in the act of computer-based communication and learning. With respect to content, it brings to focus a traditional society's notion of eco-cosmic connections through mobile, multimedia technology-based connections. With respect to design, it incorporates the expressions of traditional arts and crafts in the design of expressive information delivery devices.
The „Crossing Project“ demonstrates futuristic forms of information access in which the technology surrenders to the human hand. In this information age, in which our world has been progressively rendered abstract and learning concepts invisible, the Crossing Project has re-created forms that capture a civilization's primal symbols animated though embedded technology.
Throughout the world, lakes, forests, mountains and rivers have been seen as 'power spots' and concentrations of Nature's energies. Gradually, mythologies grew around these spots, and the union of myth and place creates a sacred geography. They became pilgrimage centres - Crossing Points - providing people with the setting to cross over into a world of learning and transformation. Banaras, lying at the banks of the Ganga is the crossing point which the „Crossing Project“ examines.