Announcing the Greenhouse-Technology-Art-Society Fellowship

The Greenhouse Technology-Art-Society Fellowship program, is a residency for researchers, technologists, and artists, to explore the ways in which emerging digital technologies are transforming Indian society.

For the past three years, we have shared our studio space in Goa with Quicksand Design Studio, seeking to find synergies and collaborative possibilities between policy research and human centered design. For example, last year some of our research around the Future of Work made its way to an exhibit by Quicksand on Humanitarian Futures at the Barbican museum in London.

We are now excited to announce the Greenhouse Technology-Art-Society Fellowship program, a 24 week residency for researchers, technologists, and artists, to explore the ways in which emerging digital technologies are transforming Indian society, and build formats for research communication that enable broader public engagement on these issues.

Our first fellow is Aishwarya Viswanathan. She is a researcher and visual artist. In her research, she is currently exploring the aesthetics and spectatorship of online video and its role in transforming human interaction and engagement. Her work involves visualizing research insights and inquiries through photography and video. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts and a Master’s degree in Aesthetics and Visual Cultures. Her areas of interest include digital media culture, philosophy and new media art.

The Greenhouse Fellowship, offered by Tandem Research and Quicksand, is a chance to explore the future of space that lies at the intersection of art, technology, and society. Its objective is to explore the various ways in which technology plays a role in civic participation.

I am particularly interested in the significance of the visual medium with respect to citizenship. Over the years, conflict situations have found citizens taking the decision to engage in first-person reportage. As violence unfolds in front of those present at the scene (as victims, attackers or bystanders), images and videos of the crisis are viewed simultaneously on social media platforms. This type of 'visual citizen reportage' is particularly significant in times of new surveillance strategies, misinformation and the current social and political climate.

In the next six months, I will explore the potential and challenges of how this digital image culture is transforming the ways in which citizens engage with crisis situations. The outcome intends to highlight the deeper mechanisms at play when creating, sharing, and viewing such images and videos.

Authors

Urvashi Aneja

Urvashi studies the politics, social impacts, and ethics of technology transitions in the global south. She has written extensively on the challenges and risks of AI in India, the emerging gig economy and labor well-being, data governance and gender and technology. She has served on government committees for artificial intelligence and frontier technologies. Urvashi is also an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, a Tech and Social justice champion at the World Economic Forum, and a former member of the T20 Task Force for the Future of Work in the G20. She regularly writes for national media publications and has been quoted in the BBC, Reuters, CNBC, Times of India, and Indian Express, among others. Previously she was a Research Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation and Associate Professor at the Jindal School of International Affairs. Urvashi has a Doctorate from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Oxford

Aishwarya Viswanathan

Aishwarya Viswanathan is a Research Fellow at the Technology, Art and Society program, jointly led by Tandem Research and Quicksand Design Studio. In her research, she is currently exploring the aesthetics and spectatorship of violent user-generated media on social media platforms, and its role in transforming human interaction and engagement. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts and a Master’s degree in Aesthetics and Visual Cultures.