Editor’s note: The three curatorial projects City as studio, Art as a place and Common ground conceived between 2009- 2014 are an extension of Raqs’s engagement with the creative community that reimagine the questions around cultural infrastructures.


City as Studio brings together people from a range of social, cultural and media contexts to engage creatively with the local rhythms of a place. The studios set in motion collaborative practices in contexts of unequal and contested urban environments that culminate in exhibitions, events that creatively intervene in the public life of our city through multiple media forms. The temporary City Studios in different parts of Delhi are imagined as generative environments that create contexts for innovation and experimentation in areas of dense intersections of social, technological and cultural forces.  The project culminates in 3 studios in 3 years, each with specific durations of pre‐production, studio time and post‐production.


Work 10am-5pm Over a Week, in the Space || Call People for Lunch Discussions if You Want || Develop a Critical Lexicon and Vocabulary for Contemporary Art || Involve More People || Work by Yourself || Work Together With Others || Invite || Perform || Initiate || Create Punctuations || Pair || Make a Set || Produce a Work || No Specific Work Needs Be Made || Stage || Transform Space || Give Form to an Idea || Question || Explore || Respond || Investigate || Invent || Propose an Open Studio || Extend Art Writing || Create a Process Practice || Relay Processes || Imagine an Extended Network Practice || Produce Repetition Works || Shape Instruction Works || Conceive A Soap Opera || Occasion a Crime Story || Conduct an Audition || Put Together a Photographic Billboard || Realise a Slideshow || Compose a Mis-en-Scene || Formulate a Broadsheet 
Sarai Reader 09, running from 18 August 2012 to 16 April 2013, is an exhibition asking for the sensation of thought and its relation to artistic practice to be explored. Through proposals, ideas, processes, speculations, experiments, trials and enquiries, over 100 artists/non-artists are enagaging with possibilities of artistic life.
Sarai Reader 09: The Exhibition is curated by Raqs Media Collective and is a collaboration between Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, and Sarai-CSDS, Delhi.


Common Ground, an INSERT 2014 project calls for an imaginative rethinking of unused public spaces and cultural infrastructure in Delhi. It discovers the city’s potential for being hospitable to an exciting life of culture and contemporary art through the imaginative re-usage and adaptation of existing spaces and infrastructure. 

From Rabindra Rangshala in the Ridge, to the Dolls Museum at ITO, and the Delhi Public Library opposite Old Delhi Railway Station, Delhi is full of spaces that await intervention and innovative usage. The curatorial intention is to find and articulate fresh ways of thinking around a wide selection of spaces, the range of which includes public libraries, auditoriums, and community centers, amongst others. The aim is to inaugurate a rethinking of ‘place’ in contemporary art as an active presence, and the foregrounding of the poetics of usage as a vital axis of art’s inhabitation with life and its potential. While each such site comes laden with distinct narratives waiting to be considered, our interest is to fuel ideas towards reanimating these spaces and their practices of use beyond the paradigms of historicity, heritage, nostalgia and obsolescence. What interests us is the future life of culture in the city; not a lament over the loss of the past. 

The project explores history without being beholden to it, navigate the tension between the public, private and personal facets of a space, and re-write the rules, protocols and limitations of the way in which the institution makes itself present to the city.