Overview for Eternal Gandhi: Design of the Multimedia Museum
The Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum is one of the world's first digital multimedia museums. Located at the site where Mahatma Gandhi attained martyrdom, it not only preserves the historical events of Gandhiji's life but presents a spectrum of information technology visions inspired by Gandhian thought. The project revives the values by which India obtained freedom; it also redefines those values in order to animate modern products and design. The project presents a language of physical interface actions derived from classical symbols of the spinning wheel, turning of the prayer wheels, touching symbolic pillars, the act of hands touching sacred objects, collaboratively constructed quilts, sacred chanting in the collective group, the satsanga and the touching and rotating of prayer beads. These tradition-based interactions inspire a rich panorama of tactile interfaces that allow people to access the multimedia imagery and multidimensional mind of Gandhiji. The technology developed does not 'merely scan' Gandhian images; rather it extrapolates Gandhian ideals to newer domains of information technology and product design, and at higher levels, the creation of meaning in a globalised world. For example, the Gandhian commitment to hand-based production and its symbiotic relationship with nature is interpreted in the context of modern culture-conscious design. The contributions of the spectrum of artists, spanning wide geographic boundaries messages. Computer scientists, modern designers, mosaic makers, craftsmen, artists, and wood carvers offer their work as a dedicated prayer towards a remembrance of the Gandhian vision; a collective Likita Japa, the endless remembrance of the Divine through repetition of the written mantra. Each object in the Museum, whether a pixel of light, a bit-map on the screen, an animation, a circuit or a handcrafted object is a living prayer. Here lies the reaffirmation of the Gandhian view, a commitment to the dignity of hands, the healing of divides, the leveraging of village creativity and cultural diversity in the face of homogenization.
Ranjit Makkuni (Author)
Ranjit Makkuni is a multimedia researcher, designer and musician. He is the President of the Sacred World Foundation., where he leads a design and research think tank pioneering new applications in culturally rooted computing. Prior to this, Ranjit spent nearly two decades at Xerox PARC where he carved out new space of multimedia computing interface and learning applications, starting from the visionary explorations of the Object Oriented programming, language in the 1980s to body friendly, touch friendly and culture friendly multimedia computing in the 2000s. Ranjitâ€™s projects go beyond just demonstrating futuristic technology. in his current project. The Crossing, he brings to life the authenticity of traditional ideals on primal ecology, learning and healing which are simultaneously contemporary. Participation of diverse viewpoint of people whose skills facer the threat of extinction. Proficiency in multimedia technology as well as traditional art allows Ranjit to bridge multiple worlds-between technology and art, the techno-man and traditional man, and between the developed and developing worlds.