By Avantika Bhuyan
In the interactive video series Masked Reality, the viewer’s facial expressions transform into those of a Kathakali dancer and a Theyyam artist. “Though both the dance forms are from Kerala, Kathakali is patronised by royal families and ‘sattvic’ temples, while Theyyam is performed by the lower caste. I point out to this distinction of social hierarchies by adding a golden frame to the Kathakali side of the video. This makes the work self-conscious and acts as a catalyst to conversations around such subjects,” says Harshit Agrawal, the artist who has created the work using two AI (Artificial Intelligence) algorithms.
Masked Reality is part of EXO-Stential: AI Musings On The Posthuman, which is being hailed as India’s first AI art solo. Now on display at Emami Art, Kolkata, the exhibition, organised in collaboration with 64/1—a Bengaluru-based curation and technology research collective —has been curated by Myna Mukherjee of Engendered, a transnational arts and human rights organisation.