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Serendipity Arts Foundation to launch a new digital art outreach initiative

SA Virtual is an extension of the Foundation’s focus on expanding its digital offerings in the year 2020.

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In light of the evolving landscape of audience engagement, Serendipity Arts Foundation is pleased to launch a new digital experience called SA Virtual. Starting from the 4th December 2020, SA Virtual will be spread across two weeks and the programming will be hosted and linked from a specially designed website, serendipityartsvirtual.com which will give everyone free access by simply registering. 

SA Virtual is an extension of the Foundation’s focus on expanding its digital offerings in the year 2020. The approach also comes from recognizing the Internet as a common ground for daily interactions, in a rapidly changing world. So far the Foundation has launched a number of successful digital initiatives, such as SAF x You, the How to…Series, and the Memory Capsule Project. Given stringent advisories on travel and public gatherings by governments across the world, from the early quarter of 2020, the physical edition of the Serendipity Arts Festival stands postponed. However, continuing with the series of digital offerings from Serendipity Arts Foundation, SA Virtual will respond to the internet and its big role in connecting people from across the world and consolidating its offerings, that binds us together. The SA Virtual will turn to the internet as a site in order to forge meaningful artistic collaborations that are hinged on innovative integration of the arts and the digital space, aiming to foster an increasingly open and accessible arts community. 

Taking place on your personal digital devices from the 4th December – 21st of December, the virtual programme seeks to conceptualize and adapt artistic visions and projects for spaces that can be created and accessed digitally; not merely using the internet as an alternative medium, but as a dimension with its own unique properties that can encourage new thinking and create new possibilities for how art is created and how it is experienced, for years to come. 

SA Virtual will feature curated projects, performances, workshops, talks, engagement-based initiatives and discourse around the arts. Some of the curators whose projects will feature as part of SA Virtual are Amitesh Grover, Anmol Vellani, Anuja Ghosalkar & Kai Tuchmann, Kristine Michael & Chandrika Grover Ralleigh, Lina Vincent & artistic collaborator Akshay Mahajan, Mandeep Raikhy, Veeranganakumari Solanki, Siddhant Shah and more. All of the featured curators have approached the mandate of curating for an internet-based audience by transcending the traditional silos between artistic disciplines. The emphasis is on collaboration and on increasing creative inclusivity by thinking beyond the conventional definitions of who is an artist. 

Explaining the idea behind SA Virtual, Sunil Kant Munjal, Founder Patron Serendipity Arts Foundation, said, “Historically, the arts have survived perilous times and emerged stronger because of an innate ability to adapt, acclimatize and evolve. Over the last few months, the internet surge has catalyzed this evolution. Through SA Virtual, we have tried to draw attention to the limitless possibilities that arts as a practice and the internet as a medium can offer each other”. 

Speaking about the project, Smriti Rajgarhia, Director Serendipity Arts Foundation, said, “As a Foundation, we believe in the power of innovation and creativity. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to find new avenues and formats for the arts, and an effective way to create greater impact through the power of the internet, reaching out to new audiences while expanding conversations about and around the arts. We have attempted to use the internet as our ‘site’ for artistic journeys, taking it beyond its everyday use." 

Speaking about the initiative, Shefali Munjal, Patron, Serendipity Arts Foundation, explained that, "This year we reimagined our initiatives, to explore arts outreach options that could go beyond the physical formats. The pandemic has caused major shifts in our outlook of life and its engagement with the arts. SA Virtual acts as the perfect platform in keeping our conversations intact and continuing our support to the arts, through the digital space and offer programming that responds to the internet as a site." 

One of the highlights of the performances will be My story | Your story | Our story, curated by Anmol Vellani. This project will have two performances—in live and recorded medium respectively, and an unfinished story. Another, The Last Poet, is being curated by Amitesh Grover, as a multilayered art form with theatre, film, sound art, creative coding, digital scenography, and live performance—to be navigated by visitors as rooms and doors leading to experiences. Meanwhile, Mandeep Raikhy’s The Body-in-Movement is imagined as an interconnected web of thinking, seeing, making and writing. This curatorial proposition is conceived of as a laboratory that enables a group of artists from across disciplines to think through what it means to move/create/perform in these times, what the digital space has to offer to the emergent discourse of the body, and the ways in which presence/ absence of the body is constructed and experienced within the digital web. 

Additionally, the programme features Vertigo Dance Company’s performance One, One & One, choreographed by Noa Wertheim and a dance workshop, supported by the Embassy of Israel in India. A performance of Introducing... Antigone, Interrupted by Scottish Dance Theatre will be presented during the virtual programme, with support from British Council India. 

SA Virtual will also proactively engage with people from a range of demographics guided by a strong policy of diversity and inclusion and offering a selection free workshops and conversations. Highlights include craft artisan workshops including Phad, Madhubani and Gond paintings, guided drawings, inclusive art workshops for children, DIY sensory engagement activities, Kite making, Scroll painting, Sanjhi paper cutting, recipes from Goan restaurants and much more. Viewers will also get to attend Zoom talks and active engagements around the commissioned SA Virtual project. These talks or engagements will be with the artists and curators who are working on the project. Conversations also include roundtables on the iconic yesteryears arts and literary journal, The Modern Review, that shaped India’s political and cultural discourse as part of an upcoming research project called Text / Matters, and exploring the print publics of the past and present. 

The official hashtag of the SA Virtual will be #PressEnterClick, and the new webpage will carry the essential details about the daily offering.




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