Sheila writes about her time spent in the labs, the UnBox festival and Bangalore.
The Edges & Contours Lab commenced at Workbench Projects, kicking off a week of collaboration and deliberation. Situated under the Halasuru metro station, the well equipped maker space at Workbench Projects provided the perfect space for the birth of ideas and building upon them. Gathering an eclectic mix of talent and skills across two continents under one tin roof, the Lab began with introductions of all that had gathered. After a short introduction to the facilitating studios Quicksand and Invisible Flock by their co-founders Babitha George and Ben Eaton, the residents introduced themselves through their practices across a multitude of backgrounds- visual arts, product design, journalism, installation art, environmental studies, music, technology, photography.
Once the lab residents got to know each other through their work, it was time to get to know each other more personally- and a sumptuous meal at the Bengaluru Oota Company provided the perfect place. Jokes, stories and questions criss-crossed over some delicious Kannada food. After a leisurely lunch, it was time to head back to Workbench to begin an active engagement in the lab.
Rice-induced drowsiness was dispelled with a short, interesting outdoor engagement. The residents were asked to venture out in pairs to quickly capture sounds around Halasuru on their smartphones- loud sounds, sounds in closed spaces, distant sounds. A short exercise in interacting a little with the environment around. Everybody gathered together after and played the sounds together, creating a cacophonous observation of the surroundings. (not just traffic honks, surprisingly)
The group ventured out to Cubbon Park to meet Bengaluru's water crusader Vishwanath Srikantaiah, popularly known as Zenrainman, a water activist who has been actively engaging with Bengaluru's numerous water problems for the past 3 decades and the founder of the Rainwater Club. He explored the once rich water heritage of the city and the social and economic conditions that led the city to its current conditions.
It had been a packed day and after dusk, it was time to unwind a little. Walking down to the Biere Club, the day came to an end with some chilled pints. The lab will organically take its own course, there is no preconceived objective or mission- a group of talented and passionate individuals have been put in a place where they can get to know each other. At the very least, new friendships can manifest. Let's see how the week plays out!