Budhaditya Chattopadhyay

Budhaditya is a media artist and researcher focusing on artificial intelligence in the arts. He traveled from Kolkata, India to Grenoble, France to premier his AI-driven installation project Dhvani at EXPERIMENTA, the Arts & Sciences Biennale 2020 with the support of  the Mobility First! Special Open Call with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

With the grant from Mobility First, my AI-driven installation project Dhvani was exhibited at the prestigious EXPERIMENTA Arts & Sciences Biennale, Atelier Arts Sciences, Grenoble, in an advanced prototype. Dhvani, meaning resonance in Sanskrit, is an interactive, responsive and self-regulating sound installation that, at its core, draws on an Indian epistemology-informed approach to sound and transcendental listening. Emphasizing the role of the listener, the project examines the position of the listening self in sound art against an overarching emphasis on artistic object for consumption permeating in the Western art tradition.

The venue was a large auditorium Minatec in Grenoble as part of the excellent and prestigious EXPERIMENTA Arts & Sciences Biennale, Grenoble, among many award-winning artworks. The audience response was immense, and through words of mouth, there was constant flow of visitors all day long. I learned a lot about the old city of Grenoble, experienced the local culture, not to mention the local drink the world famous Chartreuse made by the monks in the local monastery.

What are some of the most interesting lessons you have learned during your visit?

One, who speaks with absolute honesty while exposing the many shades and splendours of the inner reality, is a true voice. In fact, within a society it is the artist, who speaks in this way, voicing personal truths consisting of, among others, the reflections, streams of thoughts, perceptions, and poetic contemplations on the life lived. Indeed, to be true to one-self and thus being blessed, is the very foundation on which art stands. It is this premise that encourages reading life’s experiences and their comprehensive interpretations through art’s lens. Art is, therefore, a mirror to the society and the human civilisation. After visiting Grenoble, I found my artistic vision to be consolidated for the future.

To be an attentive and com(passionate) listener of the world around me, I need to connect the disparate resonances across borders and cultures by a practice committed to advocating for reciprocity and equality in the contemporary societies.

Dhvani at EXPERIMENTA Arts & Sciences Biennale 2020

What professional & personal objectives did you achieve in this activity?

The visit helped me to get an exposure in the current research in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to produce an automated environment within which traditional sounding objects can be re-posited, re-listened and re-lived. This helped me to sharpen my knowledge in this emerging field of artistic practice. There were other artworks working with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; experiencing those work was immensely helpful not only to learn about the possibilities but also being part of a transglobal network. The visit helped me to explore the possibility of human agency in the contemporary moment of automation, advocating for dialogue and reciprocity between humans and the machines towards developing an augmented intelligence.

The Mobility First! Special Open Call with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is still on-going!