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Art Connects Us —
TWYLA // Summer 2017 —
Makers. Digital philosophers. Futurists.
Esmeralda Kosmatopoulosx Rameet Chawla

An artist with a taste for the old-school and a top app developer look at technology today and tomorrow.

Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos

Meet Esmeralda, Twyla Artist

Esmeralda explores what it means to be human in a time when technology is all-pervasive. Her Twyla limited editions depict hands cast in plaster while holding and swiping through smartphones. She takes this very right-now subject matter—today’s greatest object of desire and distraction—and mashes it up with the classical aesthetic of ancient sculpture.

Rameet Chawla

Meet Rameet, App Developer & Entrepreneur

Rameet is the chairman and founder of Fueled, the award-winning app design and development company behind apps for Warby Parker, Afterlight, Gilt and many others. A man of boundless energy, warm humor and spectacular street-style, Rameet is far from the prototypical “tech guy.” To fill his 14 hour work days, he is also an angel investor, runs a co-working collective, and is a partner in a very low-tech, secret hotel.

“When I create interfaces, I have ideas and I turn those ideas into an application that people can use and play with. I’ve always toyed with the idea: is that a new form of art? I am creating something, although it’s not something that hangs somewhere.”

RAMEET CHAWLA

Rameet Chawla
Rameet Chawla

Art Connects Us

Esmeralda and Rameet had a lively and wide-ranging discussion about what constitutes art and how technology impacts our lives. Through her work, Esmeralda ponders the current technological moment; she asks pointed questions, but never preaches. Meanwhile, Rameet is necessarily at the forefront of the interfaces that fill our days, but he’s also keeping his eye on what’s beyond the phone. “It’s moving away from this little rectangle that we hold in our hand,” he says, “to potentially something that’s wearable, that’s in your house, that you can talk to.”

Ultimately, both Esmeralda and Rameet articulate a strong desire to find connection away from the digital world. Rameet’s latest project is a hotel with no website and that can only be discovered by word of mouth. Esmeralda’s phone-less images would be right at home there.

Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos
Rameet Chawla
Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos
What does it mean to you to be offline or disconnected?

“I’m a partner in a secret hotel in Hudson Valley. Each weekend we host an intimate group of about 25 people. We pass the time hiking, making candles, enjoying yoga, sound healing and group meditations. We also focus on agriculture—spending time learning about the land and being actively involved in tending to it. My ideal day disconnected is that—being surrounded by the serenity of nature and enjoying a space where interpersonal connection and passions can flourish without distraction.”

RAMEET ON DISCONNECTING

Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos
“Not having a phone lets you wander and engage.”

ESMERALDA KOSMATOPOULOS

“When I was in Iran, I didn’t have a phone and I loved it. I lived in the moment without distraction and I was fully present. Creativity is boredom.”

ESMERALDA ON DISCONNECTING

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