media, information, the contemporary

City as Studio

Sarai - City as Studio

Sarai - City as Studio 2 Sarai - City as Studio


The City as Studio project was organised during 2010-2013 to create contexts for high intensity inter-disciplinary processes at different locations in Delhi and at the Sarai space in CSDS. Sometimes these process(es) were rendered as an exhibition, at other times as a gathering, as a library, as a temporary archive or as an occasion for performances, conversations and debates. At still other times it took the form of a workshop, a temporary atelier, a media studio, a publication or an online platform.

The City as Studio was neither a one off event, nor a workshop or a residency, nor a festival or a simple cluster of public programmes – though it has elements of all of the above. It was primarily a method of generating a new public profile for creative work in the city, a scanning of the horizon of possibilities that can be opened up in urban spaces through the presence of art, experimental cultural activity and public exchanges.

Expressions of interest and intent were sought over three occasions from artists and practitioners in diverse media – textual, visual, aural, spatial and temporal – who could be visual artists (photographers, sculptors, installation artists, graphic artists), writers and independent scholars, filmmakers, architects, experimental musicians and composers, sound recordists, performers and people whose practices straddle or transcend different areas of practice. All the participants were invited to imagine that the city itself is their studio, and that urban realities are their materials.


Thematic areas that were reflected upon included but were not be limited to:

> the city as spectacle, as a site of consumption, as an arena of power

> the growing intensity of surveillance

> the question of distance and anchorage: housing and transportation

> access to resources, location and privilege

> the local pursuits of pleasure

> life, death, and rites of passage in the city

> the everydayness and banality of terror

> imagined histories and urban legends, the fantastical and uncanny city

> the archived and remembered city

> urban ecologies, the city as a zone of bio-diversity, urban forests, rivers

> ways of life, sub-cultures, bodies of informal knowledge, local practices

> migrants, margins and minorities


> City as Studio 1 (2011)

> City as Studio 2 (2012)

> City as Studio 3


City as Studio 1

Editorial and Design: Sarai Media Lab.

Photographs: City as Studio fellows, Shamsher Ali, Iram Ghufran, Amitabh Kumar, Priya Sen, Gaigongmei Gangmei and Niha Masih.

Operations Manager: Ashish Mahajan.

Production support: Chandan Sharma, Vikas Chaurasia and Sachin Kumar.

City as Studio program has been supported by Foundation for Arts Initiatives, New York and Hivos, Bangalore.

City as Studio 2

Rapporteur and Editor: Jyoti Dhar.

Design: Amitabh Kumar.

Assistant Design: Mitwa AV.

Acknowledgement: Shveta Sarda and Govind Dhar.

Photographs: City as Studio fellows.

Operations Manager: Ashish Mahajan.

Production Support: Chandan Sharma, Vikas Chaurasia and Sachin Kumar.

City as Studio 3

[To be updated]