Digital Arts lecturer, Tegan Bristow, gave an overview of the events, projects, and discussions which were held as part of the Afropixel Festival in Dakar. The Afropixel Festival was an off event at the 2012 Dakar Biennial (14 – 20 May 2012). It was a significant meeting of African Digital Arts practitioners and organisers. Tegan attended the meeting as a representative from South Africa with an interest as a curator and artist in the digital art being created in other African centres such as Dakar, Nairobi, and Johannesburg.
Archive for the ‘General’ Category
The most essential item for Digital Arts practice in Africa - a portable electrical generator. The base . . the firmament . . the canvas . . the foundation of everything digital. "Generator" – an installation 2006 – 2012. Hobbes/Neustetter contribution to the UNESCO Dakar MediaLab as shown at their On-Air 10 year retrospective exhibition, Johannesburg, June 2012.
Stephen Hobbs, VJing at the 10 years of On-Air closing party. The exhibition was a retrospective of the work that he and Marcus Neustetter have produced as the Trinity Session over the first decade of their operations.
The giant VJ screen at 10 years of On-Air closing party. The exhibition was a retrospective of the work that Stephen Hobbs and Marcus Neustetter have produced as the Trinity Session over the first decade of their operations..
Marucs Neustetter, VJing at 10 years of On-Air after party, 01 June 2012.
Video documentation of VJ projection on Dakar building. From 10 years of On-Air retrospective exhibition.
“Out of the Body” is an exciting new collaboration between students studying Interactive Media and Music students studying Composition in The Wits School of Arts. Under the direction of Composition Lecturer, Jonathan Crossley, the music students have used their bodies as sources of sound samples – recording physical processes, even swallowing miniature microphones – which they have then worked into electronic compositions. At the same time, the Interactive Media students, working with Lecturer Tegan Bristow, have designed interfaces which allow the compositions to be performed in unexpected and innovative ways. The works will be publically performed on Sunday 7 November at 21:00 in the Wits Amphitheatre. On Monday 26 October, the two groups of students got together to test drive their collaborations. Two of the seven collaborative projects were captured on camera by Christo Doherty
Music student, Zarchia Zacheus, uses the contortions of her mouth to shape the performance of her electronic composition, using a camera-based motion detection system designed by Interactive Media postgrad Michael de Jager.
Composer Nicolas Williams test drives the “Drawdio”: a pencil-based music controller, built by Michael de Jager.
A close-up of the back-end of the “Drawdio”.
Nigerian sound artist, Emeka Ogboh, linked up – via Skype video - to the Digital Arts seminar room on a blustery Tuesday evening to deliver the 2nd Remote Lecture in the 2010 series. He discussed his exploration of the Lagos accoustic environment and played examples of his soundscapes from tracks stored on the online audio platform SoundCloud Emeka is also a photographer and video artist and illustrated his talk with images from Lagos and his sound installations. Although based in Lagos, Emeka spoke to us from Vienna, where he is stopping over on his way back to Nigeria after attending a couple of European new media festivals. He explained how his practice stems from his fascination with the intense sound environment of central Lagos, the largest megacity in Africa. There is nowhere in that city where you can escape from the noise of the place – the vibrant cacophany of traffic and music and myriad human voices that follow you everywhere, even into your sleep and dreams. By contrast, Europe, and particularly Vienna, he experiences as deathly quiet – funereal sonic deathscapes.
Many of Emeka’s sound works are focused on the bus and taxi routes around Lagos. A striking aspect of Lagos is that it lacks any consistent system of street signs or even street names. As a result, the only way to travel through the city is by ear, through verbal signals and directions, from the shouts of taxi touts at the sprawling ranks below freeway intersections to the calls of vendors at bus stations.
Emeka’s sound works track the aural patterns that emerge when he makes his way through the heaving chaos of the city. In so doing his recordings stitch together the chaotic urban energies of an African city. He records the variety of sonic geographies across the city; and captures the verbal forms of street voices, from sales pitches to the amplified soundtracks of the Nollywood dvd vendors all mixed up with the incessant hymns and sermonising of this intensely religious city.
The Johannesburg attendance at this 2nd Remote Lecture was disappointing; but the server logs of the live stream show that the international audience has grown significantly. Thanks to the Upgrade! International link viewers were recorded from a range of countries, including Brazil, USA, Canada, Austria, and Germany. The local audience sound was improved thanks to the use of omni-directional microphones and a sound mixer in the seminar room and the use of a single projection screen with multiple windows is a more efficient arrangement for the visual information. (See the images above.) Difficulties were experienced at times with the quality of the Skype link; but in general the system worked better than the first time and Emeka’s warm personality and his recordings of Lagos soundscapes were communicated successfully.