KYTA – Program Vision and Context to Karma Quad
“Establishing Kalga as one of the choicest destinations in the world to imagine, produce or experience art, with long term ecological and sustainable impact”
We set ourselves this vision in our 2nd edition (2015) and imagined an ecosystem built around an experimental artistic community to realise this dream one day, someday. With annual residencies, we bring together artists from India and the world over every year. Their thoughts and actions pour into a growing art collection dedicated to the village as the new experiential landmark in the Himalayas. Since 2016, we are developing modest self-directed facilities aiding experimental experience and creation to draw in artists through the year. The creations from the facilities further expand and enrich Kalga’s art collection and electronic archive. And that’s how the artistic ecosystem connects the experiences of both, artists and travellers, through the art collection developed in our residencies and facilities, into the future.
Our approach for the creation of these facilities is to invite selected artists in our residency programs to develop notions and artistic frameworks into facilities with a self-directed vision into the future. The larger composition of the 5 facilities in the plan enable practical, theoretical and intellectual pursuits. The first facility we established was for pottery with a handmade kiln and a studio space in 2016. In the same year, we seeded the thought of an ‘experimental audio environment’ with a focus on both making and listening. Going forward, we are developing a think-tank in our residency’s attic to research and produce projects at the intersection of AI.NA(ture), an inner observatory concept and a workshop with tools for various materials.
The original notion of an experimental audio environment was brought to life with Karma Quad in October 2017 by Sound.Codes. Within a working period of 5 weeks, a run-down storage cube was transformed both in sound and sight into the most popular room to hang out in the village. The process of putting each layer together from the muting of the floor, to the dampening of the ceiling, became a great source of learning about sound and its presence in a room for all the artists at the 2017 program. The coming together of the large synthesiser as a first handmade instrument / controller as an artistic / experimentation aid or tool in the handmade studio accomplished the notion of creating a space to create and experiment. With a quadrophonic setup of speakers, the listening component came to life as an immersive binaural experience.
The highlights until now have been the multiple ways in which this 12×12′ cube space has already been used during the 5 weeks of KYTA 2017 – live vocal sessions, a theatre performance, live recordings, live performances and even a super-tight party pad. And since its establishment, Akash has spent a majority of his time in the studio, living through an entire winter and summer incubating it into an active laboratory. There have also already been mini interventions with a couple of guest artists who have tested it out.
Invitations are now open to experimental sound and music artists to take residency in the village with a working space at Karma Quad. The special focus remains producing binaural material in a binaural environment. However, as the existence of the space is to continue creating new bonds between artists and the village, Karma Quad can well function as a sanctum-sanctorum to simply invest creative energies into and investigate aural practices in the stunning backdrop of the Himalayas.