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, ” she says.
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,” says Gaylard.
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.