Syncretic technologies. The learning potential of cross-cultural, non-textual interactive art: the case of Ranjit Makkuni's Planet Health Museum in Delhi

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Syncretic technologies. The learning potential of cross-cultural, non-textual interactive art: the case of Ranjit Makkuni's Planet Health Museum in Delhi

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Publication Conference Paper, peer reviewed
Title Syncretic technologies. The learning potential of cross-cultural, non-textual interactive art: the case of Ranjit Makkuni's Planet Health Museum in Delhi
Author(s) Simeone, Luca
Date 2011
English abstract
Ranjit Makkuni is an Indian interaction designer who currently runs the Sacred World Foundation, a laboratory in Delhi that develops experimental digital media based on natural interactions technologies, augmented reality and wearable computers. Makkuni started his professional career in the Xerox laboratories of Palo Alto, developing programming languages and the first GUIs (Graphic User Interface). The Xerox studies on GUI were then taken on by large computer companies such as Microsoft and Apple, to develop the near totality of operative systems and software which have spread in millions of copies around the planet. However, at a certain point in his professional pathway, Makkuni effected a radical development; he considered the limitations of the applications that were produced by American companies principally for an American market and sold all over the world to people with extremely different cultures, habits and needs. Following this line of thought, Ranjit Makkuni developed a syncretic aesthetic where interaction design devices get wrapped and decorated with Indian, multicolored traditional artwork and patterns as in the installations exhibited in the recent Crossing Project and Gandhi Museum in Delhi. Ranjit Makkuni pioneers the personalization of what he considers 'impersonal' technological devices through the inclusion of world motifs, patterns and crafts in products, thus restoring colors and ornaments as ways of inscribing personal narratives and stories in everyday objects. This paper will focus on Ranjit Makkuni's work and especially on his latest exhibit in Delhi (Planet Health Museum) that explores the traditions of Ayurveda and Yoga and uses cutting edge non-textual interaction technologies. By examining Makkuni's work, this paper investigates the potential of interactive art based on non-textual interaction and synchretic technologies as dialogic, learning devices.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Technology
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Research Subject Categories::TECHNOLOGY
Note American Anthropological Association 110th Annual Meeting, Montréal (Canada), 16-20 November 2011.
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/14112 (link to this page)

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