Deconfine is an online digital media art festival conceived and curated by Media Art South Asia, under the aegis of November Numerique, an annual initiative by Institut Francais.  It is supported by the network of Alliance Francaises in South Asia (India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) and Institut Francais en Inde.

Deconfine features artists, curators and researchers from France, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It seeks to foster regional cooperation within the subcontinent and between South Asia and Europe. It examines the evolving, dynamic and multifaceted nature of human – technology relationships, and showcases works and initiatives that leverage the potential of technology to reflect on that relationship and other social issues. 

This is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between creators and the organizations involved, resulting in one of South Asia’s first purely online media art exhibitions, making media art more accessible than ever to South Asian audiences. 

The works featured in the exhibition are diverse in content and form: Petites Planetes (‘Tajalli’), Pierrick Mouton (‘Sector 13’), Danushka Marasinghe (‘Now I never go home on the old road’), Pierre-Jean Giloux (‘Metabolism’), Parvathi Nayar (‘Water Exchanges’), Palash Bhattacharjee (‘Special Feature’) and Bidhata KC (‘Aadhar’) have contributed video works; Faisal Anwar (‘Char Bagh’) and Amay Kataria (‘Mom I’m Safe’) have created interactive artworks; and Justine Emard and Beatrice de Fays – Mathieu Constans (‘InSpace’) have worked with Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality respectively. 

The exhibition will be available for free throughout November. 

While the exhibition is on, conversations between the artists and the directors of Alliance Francaise will be streamed on all Alliance Francaise Facebook pages every week, moderated by the curators of Deconfine. Indian researcher and curator Anushka Rajendran will speak about the digital medium and the ways it has manifested in the post-COVID context. The InCommon Collective, makers of a cooperative data library in Europe, will be in conversation with the Hidden Pockets Collective, an Indian initiative to spread awareness about sexual and reproductive health through technology. Pauline Fournier, curator of the Toulouse HackerSpace Factory, will talk about her experiences in the underground media arts scene in France.  

Deconfine is the inaugural edition of an annual digital media art festival to be hosted by the French cultural network in India in the coming years.