Awoke and The Awokened


  • Surabhi Saraf


Awoke & the Awokened (2018-Present) is an on-going multimedia project that includes a video sculpture, a VR experience, a series of live performances, short films and a concept album. The research and development of this project is rooted in my collaborative project called Centre for Emotional Materiality (CEM). Through study circles and workshops we experiment in collaboration, colearning and coexisting with digital technologies and their effects on our bodies and beliefs. As a poetic storytelling this project engages in the act of ‘waking up’ to imagine a technological future that privileges human and non-human agency above all. The techno-utopian myth of Awoke \& the Awokened is centered on the relationship between a mythical artificial emotional intelligence [Awoke] and its believers [the Awokened]. It questions the risks and possibilities of technological solutionism as a dominant Silicon Valley ideology and its implications on our emotional lives.

Author Biography

Surabhi Saraf

Surabhi Saraf is a media artist and founder of Centre for Emotional Materiality. Her practice explores our complex relationship with technology through multimedia works that incorporate video installations, sculptures, performances, and sound compositions. Surabhi is the recipient of the Eureka Fellowship Award by the Fleishhacker Foundation (2015), the Djerassi Resident Artist Award (2012) and the Artist + Process + Ideas Residency at Mills College Art Museum (2016). She has had solo exhibitions at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke in Mumbai and Hosfelt gallery in San Francisco. She has performed at the Thessaloniki Contemporary Art Biennial, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, NETMAGE 10 International Live Media Festival (Bologna), and Soundwave Biennial ((5)), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Her videos have been shown at Times Square, New York, Blanton Museum, Austin, the Hunter Museum of American Art Chattanooga, TN and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Vojvodina, Serbia. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Time Out Sydney & Mumbai, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Blouin Art Info, Art Practical, and KQED Arts. Surabhi graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009 with an MFA in Art and Technology.