The Origins of Cultural Computing: N-Dimensional Art and a Pioneering Vision for the Museum of the Future

Ranjith Makkuni


Ranjit Makkuni, a musician, song writer, artist, multimedia researcher, and multiple award winning international designer, in the mid-1980s and 1990s, envisioned and implemented one of the world’s first applications of multimedia computing towards the capture and dissemination of cultural expertise. As early as 1987-89, Ranjit researched and invented one of the world’s first or earliest multimedia based learning installation, which had been presented as an Electronic Sketch Book of Tibetan Thangka Painting at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Indian Cultural Czarina Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan visited the Thangka exhibition in San Francisco and invited Ranjit to propose visions for a multimedia exhibition on the Gita-Govinda.

This article originally written in the 1990s is a reproduction of Ranjit’s seminal article envisioning the museum of the future, allowing audiences to explore multiple dimensions of cultural art and practice. The article not only presented visions of the future way back then in the 1980s and 90s, but concretely allowed an art institution, such as IGNCA, to benefit from Ranjit’s visions and obtain support to conduct long term research in multimedia documentation.


Cultural Informatics, Heritage Informatics, Virtual Museum, Archives, Arts, Music, Gita-Govinda.

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Print Version ISSN: 2320-530X (Application for ISSN Online Version Pending)