Nandita Kumar

Critical Insights

  • Nandita’s background is rooted in film and animated media, which has evolved her creative expression into a multidisciplinary exploration that includes community art projects, technology, visual art, sound and digital media
  • her return to India prompted a need to archive and document the shifts in ecological changes in the environment through her work
  • the use of digital scores, motion tracking sensors and storytelling serves as a powerful tool to communicate complex environmental data to the public
  • her incorporation of graphic notation, often derived from datasets, showcases a unique approach to translating abstract information into tangible experiences
  • she aims to contribute positively to local communities by integrating knowledge of medicinal plants into her artwork which reflects a commitment to community well-being
  • environmental preservation is a central theme in her work, with a focus on addressing the issue across different demographics
  • recognizing the issue of literacy in India, she employs various pathways, such as digital scores, book archives, and storytelling, to make her work accessible to a wide audience
  • the collaborative nature of her projects, involving researchers from science, programming, art, and other backgrounds, enriches her work with diverse perspectives
  • the interactive and evolving nature of her digital scores allows for creativity and ownership on the part of the audience and other performers, fostering a dynamic exchange of ideas
  • her ongoing water project, OsmoScape, is a testament to her commitment to accessibility through the use of a web app format, open to anyone with a phone to ensure her work reaches a broad audience
  • the accompanying book further delves into the intricate connections between the environment and people
  • the aspect of understanding and being understood is a crucial aspect of her work
  • by immersing people in the information she presents, she aims to facilitate a deeper connection with environmental issues
  • the fluid design of her systems, coupled with a desire for AI-generated scores in the future, reflects an openness to innovation and adaptation


In this conversation with Nandita Kumar, we discussed Nandita’s work as an artist, particularly in the realm of digital scores and environmental issues. Nandita describes her journey from sound art to installation art and her passion for environmental issues. She explains how she creates graphical notation scores based on data sets and how they serve as a means to communicate complex environmental narratives and information to a wide range of audiences, including those who may not be literate. Nandita emphasizes the importance of collaboration with interdisciplinary partners who bring unique perspectives and knowledge to her work. She also touches on her foray into live performances and the creative possibilities they offer, as well as the constant generation and regeneration of material in her work.

In this interview, we also discussed Nandita’s OsmoScape project and her approach to art that involves technology and nature. She talks about how she collaborates with others to find the frequencies of plants, using both field recordings and intuitive methodologies to extract sound frequencies from organic objects. She emphasizes the interconnectedness of technology, humans, and the natural world and aims to capture the seamless flow of energy in her work.

Nandita mentions her interest in observing and finding stories in various elements, such as old technology and natural ecology. She highlights the importance of making her work accessible to a wide audience and not getting trapped in one specific space, hoping to reach people through various means like mobile apps, books, and public art installations. She discusses the challenges of working with limited resources and the potential use of AI in her projects while also acknowledging the importance of preserving human imagination and creativity. Nandita’s multidimensional approach to her work conveys important environmental messages which encourage engagement and interaction by combining art, technology, nature, and storytelling.