Featured Art | Shivangi Garg

Artwork by Shivangi Garg, M.Sc. Digital Society Alumna (Class of 2022), incorporating art by Lena Tokens.

About the artwork:

Shivangi has the following to say about this artwork

In the bustling digital realm, I stumbled upon a sight that sparked a curious thought: our digital society, a Rubik’s Cube waiting to be solved by human hands. Just like the iconic puzzle, each side pulsated with vibrant complexities, reflecting the intricate dance between humanity and technology.

The seed of this artwork was sown by a simple observation: the digital world isn’t black and white. Sure, there are gleaming facets of progress – accessible information, global connections, and innovation at our fingertips. But lurking in the shadows are concerns like the digital divide, the murky depths of misinformation, and the ever-present specter of privacy erosion.

As I examined each side of this metaphorical Rubik’s Cube, the artwork began to take shape. This wasn’t just inspired by the iconic puzzle itself, but also by a chance encounter in the bustling digital realm. I stumbled upon the Kreativeshaus project, where Dominican illustrator Lena Tokens, had drawn a captivating Rubik’s cube filled with diverse rooms. Her work (https://www.behance.net/lenatokens) sparked a fire in me, igniting the vision of translating this concept to represent humanity and society itself.

Using Photoshop, I meticulously edited each room of Lena’s cube, weaving in elements that reflected the complexities of our digital world. The stark red of surveillance cameras contrasted with the hopeful blue of online communities, while the menacing black of cyber threats clashed with the vibrant green of digital learning. Each element, like a carefully placed tile, whispered a story of the present and hinted at the possibilities of the future.

But the story doesn’t end there. This isn’t just a puzzle to be solved; it’s an invitation to participate. The twist and turn of each side represents the choices we make, the solutions we build, and the impact we have on shaping this ever-evolving digital landscape.

Look closely, and you’ll see the gears of change turning. Decentralization and Web3 offer glimpses of a more autonomous future, while digital literacy and critical thinking empower individuals to navigate the complexities of the online world. The fight against misinformation demands collaborative action, while ethical considerations urge us to ensure technology serves humanity, not the other way around.

This artwork isn’t just a commentary; it’s a call to action. It beckons us to become the architects of our digital society, to approach each challenge with open minds and innovative solutions. By understanding the multifaceted nature of this interconnected world, we can work together to ensure every twist and turn leads us towards a brighter, more inclusive future.

Remember, the Rubik’s Cube may seem daunting, but with each thoughtful move, with each collaborative effort, we can solve it together, piece by piece, pixel by pixel. The story of our digital society is still being written, and the ending – utopia or dystopia – rests in our hands.

CITAPP at IIIT Bangalore is an interdisciplinary think-tank set-up to focus on the policy challenges and the organizational demands made by technological innovation. Of particular interest to the Centre is how technological advances, along with institutional changes that harness the legitimacy and the powers of bureaucracies and market, address the needs of underserved communities.