Poster Photo: Nelisiwe Xaba in “Uncles & Angels”. Photo: Gilles Rammant
Nathan Gates an Masters Candidate in the 2012 Masters in Digital Arts: Interactive Media opened Fingers in the Outlet at Room Gallery in Braamfontien on the 29th January. The Exhibition of work is a 50% part of his thesis research project titled A self-‐reflexive investigation of ‘Bricolage’ as method of engagement in new media arts, through domestic hacking practices.
The works on exhibition are experimentation in hacking with process of Bricolage and hacking practices as it’s primary methodology.
The exhibition consists of a series of ‘domestic investigations’ into the concept of Bricolage. It is a hands-on, exploratory practice that is performed within a domestic setting and through the objects and materials characteristic of this space. The primary intent of exploring this concept is to acquire a physical and conceptual understanding of these objects as mechanisms of expression. The title of the show, Fingers In The Outlet, is an allusion to the curiosity and inquisitiveness that is carried out with whatever is on hand. It refers to an interruption of flow or the creation of a space through intervention, linking up to the character of experimentation that enables this process.
Fingers In The Outlet presents a collection of sculptural elements ranging from scrap wood to consumer electronics, which in turn have been extended spatially. The works touch on installation with the inclusion of some interactive elements and video. The varied works are intended to form a heterogeneous repertoire of experiments, reflections or musings physically carried out through the materials.
One of the reassuring discoveries at the new “Loom of the Landscape” exhibition at the Stevenson, is that Brett Murray has not been intimidated by the storm of outrage that was orchestrated against his last exhibition at the Goodman. Although the satire is less blatant – no presidential penis in sight this time – more subtle but perhaps even more cutting. The symbolic rainbow that once graced the hopes of the “rainbow nation” has shrunk to the span of the presidential homestead complex at Nkandla. It suggests that the last beneficiary of the rainbow’s munificence is none other than Jacob Zuma and his extended family.
On Saturday, September 8th the Michaelis School of Fine Art and the Wits School of Digital Art held a joint Digital Art Seminar that took place on the Michaelis campus. Arranged by Fine Arts lecturer Kurt Campbell, the event saw presentations from myself (currently heading the Wits Interactive Media Masters class), three current Wits Digital Arts Masters students, one previous Wits graduate, and seven Michaelis students – a combination of MFA candidates and undergraduate students.
Through discussion, demonstation and studio visits, the seminar proved a stimulating and enriching exchange of knowledge, working methods, interests and modes of artistic practice. One suspects the warm weather, elegant campus and general Cape Town atmosphere would be enough to independently ensure a pleasant tone for the event, but Kurt made certain there was time for relaxed, informal exchange and socialization before and between presentations. Though relatively short, it was a valuable and enjoyable event, and hopefully the inter-institutional (and student-to-student) communication will continue before the planned next instance of the seminar.