UKZN Digital Arts academic staff and postgraduate students recently showcased their work at the International Symposium for Electronic Arts (ISEA) 2018 Symposium, one of the most prestigious international arts and electronic symposia in the world.
This year’s ISEA symposium was hosted by the City of Durban.
Ms Kimara Moodley, Ms Simone Beneke-Graham, Mr Matthew Ovendale, Mr Clive Shelembe, Ms Kayleigh Gemmell, Ms Shannon Bennetts, Mr Nonjabulo Dladla, Mr Rory Klopper, Mr Melikhaya Noqamza, Mr Jethro Settler and Mr Eloff Pretorius were UKZN’s postgraduate team members.
The academic staff team was made up of Ms Claire Dongo, Mr Wayne Reddiar, Dr Yane Bakreski and Dr Michelle Stewart. The creative works exhibited at the festival by the UKZN team included augmented reality art, animation, video art, sound art, film, projections, installation art, digital photography and traditional and digital prints.
The participation of the postgraduate students and staff in this event was made possible by Bakreski and Stewart, whose collaborative digital installation: Big Man and Bakreski’s digital work: Augmented Abstraction, was accepted onto the creative program and main exhibition event of the festival. It was through the success of these two submissions that the festival organisers agreed to showcase productions from UKZN staff and postgraduate students.
Reddiar’s sound installation: Resounding Walls was also accepted. Bakreski presented an artist’s talk for the seminar component while Stewart presented a paper on the academic conference component of the festival, at which she was the only South African representative. Staff members Dongo, Reddiar and Noqamza also presented talks on their creative submissions.
The ISEA2018 theme of ‘Intersections’ positioned creative technological innovation as an activist engagement into public space and public practice. Main events comprised creative interaction, participation and exhibition at various public venues including the Durban City Hall, Durban Art Gallery, Maritime Museum Pier, BAT Centre, Natural Science Museum Research Centre, KZNSA Gallery, Dennis Hurley Centre, uShaka Aquarium and Beach, Point Precinct as well as Distillery 031. These events invited and showcased creative collaboration between artists, artisans, designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and inventors.
‘This was a life changing experience for those of us who actively took part in the festival and attended the events,’ said Stewart. The UKZN team met and networked with international artists and industry professionals from all over the world including Germany, USA, Romania, Poland, South Korea, China, Zimbabwe, Australia, South America, Mozambique, Benin and Canada.
Continuing, Stewart said, ‘We are very proud of the work submitted by staff and students. We believe we made a strong impact at the festival and lasting connections. We would like to extend thanks to Dr Bakreski for initiating our participation at ISEA2018, showing us that we can hold our ground creatively and academically on the world stage and as well as orchestrating the inclusion of our postgraduate work in the festival.’
The Digital Arts staff and postgraduate team thanked the University for their support, particularly former acting DVC for the College of Humanities, Professor Stephen Mutula, for sponsoring UKZN’s participation.