with Raqs Media Collective

‘Canopy’ draws its name and disposition from the practices of gathering, in joy, togetherness and anger, that the world has witnessed and is witnessing - in varying intensities over the last decade. It finds its form in the colourful tent canopies - shamiyanas - that marks places like Delhi - as shades to gather under. Occasions when people, often strangers, met face to face, sang, had conversations into the night and asserts their claims to space and time by being together. These moments and places reflect on how impulses move and moves many, and ruptures the settled rhythms of living and moving.

‘Canopy' will bring together traces and anticipations of gestures, stances, forms of thought, affect and language that stem as much from artistic practices as from the million inhalations and exhalations that mark journeys. Artists are part of protests, and protests transforms many into artists - with construction of images, hangouts zones, words, memes and forms of poetry.

For Artists who want to live, act, and breathe in the world. ‘Canopy’ is a course for artists interested in social change and the present. It will include thinking through poetry, working collectively, visual art making, dialogue and being together. Through conversations and collective thinking, we will share what it means to make art in the present era.

Associative claims are the new ground of art making and arguably marks a challenging account that brings in gathering as a core dimension of art making. The course invites the participants to an investigative and shared micro-ecology of fermentation to create new points of ignition.

Art, politics, poetry, life, conversation, silence and gathering - all this, and more, will animate this coursing.

Feb 14th - March 7th

9am - 11:30am EST

Students Max


RAQs Media Collective was formed in 1992 in Delhi, India by Monica Narula, Jeebesh Bagchi, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta. The word ‘raqs’ in several languages denotes an intensification of awareness and presence attained by whirling, turning, and being in a state of revolution. RAQs Media Collective takes this sense to mean ‘kinetic contemplation; a restless entanglement with the world and with time. RAQs enlists objects, such as an early-modern tiger-automata from Southern India, or a biscuit from the Paris Commune, or a cup salvaged from an ancient Mediterranean shipwreck, to turn them into devices to sniff and taste time. Devices unfold in this way in order to undertake historical subterfuge and philosophical inquiry. RAQs practices across several forms of media: installation, sculpture, video, performance, text, curation, and lexica. In 2000, they co-founded the Sarai program at CSDS, New Delhi, and ran it for a decade, where they innovated infrastructural conditions on the practices and production of knowledge. They also edited the nine-volume Sarai Reader series.

RAQs has exhibited widely, including at Documenta, The Venice, Istanbul, Taipei, Liverpool, Shanghai, Sydney, and Sao Paulo Biennales. They have had solo shows in museums and educational and independent art spaces in Boston, Brussels, Madrid, Delhi, Shanghai, London, New York, Toronto, Dusseldorf, Manchester, Doha, Buenos Aires, among many others. Works by RAQs are part of several contemporary art collections and museums. Their essays have been widely published. 

RAQs curated Afterglow, Yokohama Triennale 2020, Why Not Ask Again, Shanghai Biennale 2016, The Rest of Now, Manifesta 7 (Bolzano, 2008), Sarai Reader 09 (Gurgaon, 2012-13) and INSERT2014 (Delhi, 2014), amongst others. Hungry for Time, an exhibition curated by them at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste Vienna opens in October 2021. 

The members of RAQs Media Collective live and work in Delhi, India. They are presently working on toxicity, care, and the luminosity of friendship.

Raqs Media Collective, Not Yet at Ease, 2018, ARA Winter 2018 Feature, Courtesy of the artists.
Raqs Media Collective, Escapement, Installation View, 2009, Mised media, Courtesy of the artists.
Raqs Media Collective, Auto-Didact's Transport, Permanent Transformation of Gwangju Metro Wagons, 2013, Courtesy of the artists, Photo: Kyungsub Shin
Raqs Media Collective, The Laughter of Tears, Ferment, 2021, Readymade canopy, embroidery, Courtesy of the artists, Photo: Stefan Stark

More Classes

Live online classes with the world’s best artists and curators

Studio Practice at the End of Who’s World

With Tiago Gualberto

An ongoing global crisis, The Apocalypse - The End of the World as we know it - looms as a very real threat. The question we ask is: how does one make art and a life in these times? Furthermore, who's world will end and how will art be made? We turn for guidance from artistic communities where apocalypse has been part of their culture for some time such as black and indigenous artists.

Art, Climate & Land-Use

Socio-Environmental Imagination in the age of the Agripocene With Amy Franceschini

The Agripocene* course will look at different forms of art and activism that address issues of land use, climate change and environmental justice with a focus on strategies of collaboration, durational approaches and methods for developing unconventional partnerships to realize the unthinkable. Lectures and invited guests will demonstrate how to move, be moved and to move mass(es) - from the small gesture to large-scale productions that overturn policy, food systems and practices of everyday life to form new paths of resistance, mutual aid and reciprocal engagement.

At Home in the Body

with Janine Antoni

This class will be part laboratory, part playground, part archeological dig: a place to relate, to connect, and to honor difference. Where are we politically, geographically, and culturally? Where are we in terms of our gender and belief systems? How does this affect our making?