How to {gear up}

Suit up. Mask on. Sanitiser ready, gloves optional. 

We’re all used to this drill now. But we remember days when gearing up meant long hours at installation sites; chai with electricians and technicians; poring over countless plans with curators; rooms bleeding into rooms; conversations over light fixtures and accessibility; deadlines, new deadlines, retired deadlines; madness and adrenaline; the ballad of the forgotten HD cables; “Someone steal that blue tack now!”; “Who took that pair of scissors?!”

We long to gear up for art.

As we stay socially distant, we glimpse into the secret world behind an art event. Through a series of conversations on the material world of art—floor plans and lighting, production and tech, we speak to our collaborators to understand how art exudes aura through presentation. Exploring what lies beneath the surface, we present a conversation by an international jury for the Serendipity Arles Grant, which unravels the processual aspect of grant-giving—deliberation and principles behind the selection of grantees.

And then, we return to our homes, to consider ways in which we can make small changes for the better—for our health, our world, and eco-system.


Gear up. It’s been a minute.




As we increasingly rely on ourselves for sustenance, “how-to” videos, tutorials, and stories have gained prominence on the web. We extend the idea of care, sharing, and reliance that motivates these practices to the world of art, as we enter the minds, processes, and strategies used by curators, artists, and experts to bring their visions to life. Each week we approach a new “how-to”: exploring the complexities of art through approachable, close-to-life conversations.


Flying High: The World of Aerial Rigging

A talk by Avishkar Tendle

Tracing the journey from the inception of Natura to its present-day form, this session will lay out foundational precepts of aerial rigging such as, the contexts of its application across different types of performances and events; its deployment in different sites; key equipment and how they differ from tools used in rock climbing or stunts; and walk audiences through the process of planning an aerial rigging—steps needed to prepare the equipment and set-up, as well as safety precautions to be kept in mind. The session will conclude by discussing the role of latesttechnologies such as motion control, and the significance of aerial rigging in making events special and valuable, besides focusing on education and preparation for any untoward circumstances.

You can watch the discussion on Facebook

Light for Art & Light as Art


Each year, for the last four years, we’ve been asked to light the Serendipity Arts Festival, an event that has us working with some amazing, intense, demanding (and occasionally irate) curators and artists. It always come down to the wire – with time, equipment, resources, and patience.

But in Goa, the festive ingredient is truly special – beyond and within the cornucopia of creative thoughts, actions and reactions is an elevation of mood like no other. There you stand or wander – empathetic, impressed, provoked or bewildered, or perhaps a culmination of all these reactions, to behold a series of venues that undergo a startling transformation – from 14th-century palaces, churches, erstwhile medical and management colleges and government offices – into extraordinary art spaces.

We’re happy to  dive into our toolbox of skills and share our experiences lighting different art venues across the country.

You can watch the discussion on Facebook

New Futures: Grant-making Practices for the Contemporary


This conversation between jury members Dayanita Singh, Devika Singh, Ravi Agarwal, and Tanzim Wahab for the Serendipity Arles Grant 2020 (SAG) will focus on redefining and better understanding grant-making approaches and also address queries with regard to applications for the SAG 2020. The discussion will be moderated by Sam Stourdzé.

You can watch the discussion on Facebook

The Backstage Theory: Building the Festival as We Know It

A conversations between Manoj Gopalani and Abhishek Mehta
Violet and White Floral Watercolor Mother’s day 
This session aims to throw light on the “homework” which goes behind planning, executing and managing a world class event or festival. At events, what we usually see is the final product. But there is a lot more to it than what meets the eye. This session, with the help of our experts, is all about informing the audience what they don’t get to see ‘behind the screens’, showcasing the most important part of any event worldwide: people and processes.

You can watch the discussion on Facebook

How to Live a Guilt-free, Zero-waste Life

Living a truly sustainable life while watching your carbon footprint is challenging.  It is particularly important at this point in time to conserve our natural resources and reduce waste.  Ruchi Jain will conduct a workshop with insightful DIY tips to give a holistic view on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Her workshop will cover:
  1. How to convert to zero waste  in your house. 

  2. How to grow a kitchen garden with the waste generated from kitchen.

  3. How to choose products keeping environmental concerns in mind.

You can watch the discussion on Facebook

Behind the Scenes

this is how we are made. Supported by false walls, levelled in place, held by one (or too many) depending on the curator’s taste. Extended by the riser, following the rider, we monitor our anxieties from the wings. We pitch our tent & gather our things. & this is how we are made, by the coastline, from our inventory we find a bright sign.
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P.S. Out of the Blue

Goodbyes are difficult! We’ve slowly and steadily reached the last week of the How To series! Wow!

We’ve realised that in these times of social distancing, we have come close to our digital family – see if you can find someone you know.  If not, you could also make a real time family tree.

But we saved some of our best finds across the internet for the last week. A movie quiz based on famous objects can only be matched by pointless pictures of pointer pointers.

Some may find the world wide web a pandora’s box of useless things, while some may learn to make the most of everything. It’s a place that lets you travel the world with the click of a mouse and even think of the value of a day  or watch the earth as a piece of art. But whatever it maybe, the internet remembers everything and is an honest place. And thus these wonderful newsletters will be here, till one day this page not found!

That’s it folks! GoodBye!

Reading and Resources Library

This week we select essays that surgically peel back layers to reveal the “making” of a moment in art. Dissecting the cross-disciplinary collaboration behind five public works of art; a deep-dive into the most dizzyingly hyper-sensorial documenta yet; a meditation on how art that proximates—individuals and bodies—will fare in the future; and a conversation with Seth Riskin on the confluence of perception, movement, technology that creates “Light Dance”.

Creative Construction: How Artists and Engineers Collaborate / SOM (Medium)

Installations Everywhere: Disorientation and Displacement in Jan Hoet’s documenta IX (1992) / Angela M. Bartholomew (OnCurating)

Essential Workings / Andrea Nitsche-Krupp (Open Space)

Q & A with Seth Riskin / Arts at MIT


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Serendipity Grants

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Owing to the rapidly evolving global situation due to COVID-19, we will be revising the criteria for applications and timelines as part of our grant scheme. Please stay tuned for more information and further announcements. Thank you.