Fak’ugesi Residency 2018
Fak’ugesi African Digital Residency goes trans-continental in 2018
The Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Residency, a creative residency to support young digital creatives and innovators, has announced its fifth and most expansive artist’s residency taking place from 8 August until 9 September 2018. First established in 2014, the Residency this year includes artists from Cairo, New Delhi and Geneva, together with an artist from South Africa and another from Zimbabwe, supporting regional connection and networks in the digital arts.
Dr. Tegan Bristow, Fak’ugesi Festival director, says that this extended Residency is an exciting one:
This year we will see creative technologists dive deep into the algorithms, patterns and fractals of their indigenous cultures. Each will endeavour to respond to the 2018 Fak’ugesi Festival theme, in which we explore the role that vernacular and traditional cultures have in digital culture and practices.
Bristow says the Residency will receive ongoing (since 2016) support from Pro Helvetia and the ANT Fund via the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC):
We are excited to be collaborating with Pro Helvetia again and to be extending the Residency with them. The 2018 inclusion of North Africa, South Asia and Switzerland, alongside our annual SADC focus is part of a 2018 programme by Pro Helvetia to celebrate the anniversaries of their offices, in Cairo (30 years), Johannesburg (20 years) and New Delhi (10 years).
The Head of Pro Helvetia’s Johannesburg office, Joseph Gaylard outlines the motive force behind Pro Helvetia’s investment:
The residency brings a new generation of aspirant practitioners from these cities together with more experienced artists from India, Switzerland and Johannesburg, in order to plant new furrows of transnational connection and collaboration in the digital arts field beyond its traditional home in the Anglo-American-European world. We do so in the belief that this alternate geography will be an important source of new thinking and practice at the intersection of culture, art and technology in the coming years.
The Residents will be hosted by the brand new Tshimologong Maker Space and the Wits School of Arts Point of Order Gallery. There will be a final exhibition that will open on the 4th of September 2018 at Point of Order Gallery.
The Residency will incorporate a special project by Swiss artist, Marc Lee, which focuses on language diversity in online media. Lee will act as mentor for the residents, and will also be offering a Master class, open to the public on the 7th of September, 2018.
This year’s Fak’ugesi Residency artists include: Nkhensani Mkhari (Johannesburg), Joshua Chiundiza (Harare), Yara Mekawei (Cairo), Abhiyan Humane (New Delhi), Anoop Saxena (New Delhi), and Mathilde Buenerd (Geneva).
About Marc Lee (Resident Mentor and Master)
Marc Lee is a Swiss media artist. He has been creating network-oriented interactive art projects, interactive installations, media art, internet art, performance art and video art since 1999. He is experimenting with information and communication technologies and within his contemporary art practice, he reflects creative, cultural, social, economic and political aspects.
His works are exhibited in major Museums and new media art exhibitions including: ZKM Karlsruhe, New Museum New York, Transmediale Berlin, Ars Electronica Linz, HMKV Dortmund, HeK Basel, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Read_Me Festival Moscow, CeC Dehli, MoMA Shanghai, ICC Tokyo, Nam June Paik Art Center, Media Art Biennale and MMCA Seoul.
He lectures, teaches and holds workshops about art and software art in many schools including the China Academy of Art (CAA) Hangzhou, Strelka Moscow, Shanghai Institute of Visual Art (SIVA), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) Seoul and ZHdK Zurich.
Lee has won many prizes and honorary mentions at international festivals, including “Interaction” and “Software” Awards at Transmediale Berlin and the Social-Media-Art-Award at Phaenomenale Wolfsburg. His art projects are in private and public collections like the Swiss Confederation Federal Art Collection Bern, HeK Basel, Fotomuseum Winthertur and the ZKM Karlsruhe.
Link: Marc Lee Website
About our Resident Artists:
Home grown Nkhensani Mkhari is a Johannesburg based hybrid artist born in a small township called Mabopane on the edges of Pretoria. He works in the mediums of sculpture, photography, sound and experimental film making. Nkhensani is an Open Window Film graduate. In 2017 he self-published a Photobook titled Grain: Volume 1; while also producing and recording an EP titled 23. The themes of these projects revolved around metaphysics, love, royalty, mythology, the space between distance and time, as well as intersections and immortality. In 2018 his work has been revolving around cybernetics and anthropological studies of Ancient tribes and African rituals. He would like to stimulate societal dialogue around these themes and how they intersect with contemporary culture, bodies and spaces. Using a myriad of art forms to explore the connotations between the spiritual and digital, the spatial distribution of futurism in the African diaspora. Nkhensani is part of an art collective called Sensitive Pantsula, whose conceptual framework is an inquiry into the male body and gaze, the effects of urban spaces on African bodies and the dismantling of patriarchy in the information age. In the future he is looking to create African films and exhibitions, with the aim of dismantling parochial ideas on African history and our future.
Joshua Chiundiza is a music producer/DJ, writer and performing artist from Zimbabwe. He is also the co-founder of The Monkey Nuts, an arts collective based in Harare. The former animation lecturer has achieved relative success with the collective, signing a record deal with British independent label BBE Music, for the release of their experimental album Boombap Idiophonics in 2014. A collaborative effort with acclaimed underground French music producer DJ Oil from Marseille, Joshua produced two tracks on the album and wrote and performed for all the songs. As a result, he has gone on to tour regularly with the group, performing alongside renowned artists like De La Soul, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Akala, Natalie Stewart and Jah 9. His production style and DJ performances can be described as afro-futuristic, moving through space and time, foraging for unrelenting vibrations; crisscrossing between the colonial and post-colonial tones that have helped to shape the narrative of his homeland.
Yara Mekawei is a Cairo-based electro-acoustic music composer and sound artist. A prolific artist and scholar, Yara’s sonic bricolages draw inspiration from the flow of urban centres and the infrastructure of cities. She is concerned with the philosophy of architecture and building, its history and its connection with the surrounding emptiness. She extracts the musical conversation of the visual images. A prolific video artist and performance artist, which integrates the exotic visual elements of the society into fusion progressive of her projects, she is a curator who initiates and curates multidisciplinary interventions, events, concerts and workshops in Europe and the Middle East.
Abhiyan Humane is an artist and scholar interested in perception, manifestation, and interpretation of information. He experiments with interactivity, cognition, light-photosensitivity, and kinetics-motion. He makes interactive art works that intersect the porous boundaries of Art-Science. From hacking the body, conjuring detectors to listen to signals from the Earth or using Breath as a controller to drive a game – his works continuously question and create a dialogue regarding our natural lives on the plant and our relationship to it. His work explores emergent technologies and platforms that are increasingly relevant in a world where our interactions and experiences are mediated. His academic background includes Engineering (Univ. of Bombay), Communication Arts (Univ. of Pune, India), New Media and Information Science (University of Wisconsin Madison). He is one of the course leaders for Experimental Media Arts and coordinates the Post Graduate Programme in Network Cultures and Land and Habitat Studies at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. Abhiyan is the founder of Nalanda Lab and is a Dalit (untouchable) artist.
A designer and Educator, with specialisation in Science Communication and Electronics. Anoop provides customised design solutions for educational institutes, Science galleries and non-government organisations. He also conducts customised workshops and courses on Design Thinking, Digital Making, Embedded System, STEAM learning, Fun Science, Coding, Robotics and IoT for various institutes. Currently he is working with the National Institute of Design as an Associate Faculty in Digital Game Design Department. In the past Anoop worked with the Srishti Institute of Art, design and Technology as a faculty in foundation study program for two years. He was also Associated with National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata as a Fellow for 2 years.
Link: Facebook – Anoop Saxena
Mathilde Buenerd is an interaction designer and artist whose work explores the connections between language, algorithms and social relationships. Her work embodies various forms such as mobile apps, web extensions, connected devices or generative art. Her main interest lies in how technologies could permit alien ways of looking at things. After studying graphic design and media art, she obtained a master’s degree in interaction design from the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD). Her work and lectures have been presented in events and institutions such as Fondation Vasarely (Aix-en-Provence), Lift Conference (Geneva), Design Junior Research Conference (Zürich), Ludicious (Zürich), Freeson (Avignon), Eniarof, Fondation Martin Bodmer (Geneva), GSGS (Neuchâtel).