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Welcome Lohit Gaurav and Srinivas Harivanam: the First Batch of FlightLab Mentees (September 2019)

I have selected the first batch of mentees for FlightLab, September 2019. The first batch’s interests will be cultures of work, new engineered realities and installation art. Sessions with both of them start next week and I will post more when a few conversations have happened.

The first selection is from a set of five applications (yes, the word did not go out a lot). I believe, once the mentorship program actually starts and concrete outcomes from the previous session are available to see, there will be more applications. My understanding is that mentorship that is oriented toward building collaborations and not towards cementing existing hierarchies is sorely needed.

I have not been able to reach the demographic that the FlightLab program imagined initially. I want to to reach the students or graduates of non-elite institutions, the young people who cannot afford to get admission in an institution and the people busy working who have had no time so far to develop their own creative potential.

What is the best way of reaching this demographic? Pls write to me with any suggestions that you may have at me@prayas.in.

The business of Internet traffic and user groups and communities is complex. There is no specific metric that can be applied to reach more diverse crowds. The Internet is organised around commerce unfortunately. If I want to target individuals who are more likely to participate in e-commerce activity and have a pattern of spending in online transactions, it is possible. But if I want to target readers with a specific interest, it is difficult.

I have targeted users with a particular search string on Google, I will report results across the next few days. The overall scenario of the targeting process seems to be in the context of marketing and consumption and not an interest in self-development.

When there is talk of the semantic Internet, I guess this is one of the objectives. Technically, I can understand one of the reasons why actions that have a commercial interest are easier to target, measure and identify as they are explicit and specific articulations.

If we organise our efforts to share some portion of our time to mentor others in the creative community do then we can build more cohesive relationships in the community and reduce the isolation and alienation that exists in young creative people.

An image of a work by Srinivas Harivanam.

Circularity by Srinivas Harivanam

I like that Srinivas works with voids – a void always speaks to me about all kinds of emptiness within our lives. R D Laing had famously said, “How do you plug a void plugging a void?…” So if these voids are signposts of the voids we have inside us, we are left wherever we have always been. There is no rescue or any act of completion that we can look forward to. For me, this thought offers considerable solace.

Lohit Gaurav’s works are not available to be shared here.

All the best to the mentees for productive FlightLab sessions!

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