(Re)Coding the Past for the Future

Published on June 30th, 2018


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ISEA2018, the 24th International Symposium on Electronic Art, is the first ISEA to be held in the African sub-continent. Hosted in the coastal city of Durban, South Africa. In a strategy to build a local partnership and legacy, the event will be hosted together with the 5th iteration of the Durban University of Technology Digifest and Innovate Durban’s Innovation Festival.

ISEA2018 / Digifest05 / IF Durban

28-30 June, 2018

ISEA2018, the 24th International Symposium on Electronic Art, is the first ISEA to be held in the African sub-continent. Hosted in the coastal city of Durban, South Africa. In a strategy to build a local partnership and legacy, the event will be hosted together with the 5th iteration of the Durban University of Technology Digifest and Innovate Durban’s Innovation Festival.

Bringing new audiences, academics, and practitioners together, the theme, INTERSECTIONS, positions creative technological innovation as an activist engagement into public space and public practice with underlying critical questions of ownership, imposition and development. Creative collaboration between artists, artisans, designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and inventors will take place in a context where survival is the most basic instigator for solutions. In such a scenario, technological developments should follow and support these solutions. This symposium and festival will focus on accessible and alternative platforms that encourage partnerships across sectors and regions, highlighting the strength of industry, institutions and government to think about how we can improve our environments and find locally relevant approaches for everyday challenges.

INTERSECTIONS brings together projects networks and programs that not only push the local debate on art, science and technology collaboration but builds a national network of practice and collaboration. By bringing together platforms such as DIGIFEST, DUT’s Digital Art and Design Festival and Innovate Durban’s IF DURBAN Innovation Festival the strategy is to grow the current a city-wide legacy project.

The academic symposium hosted at DUT will present Peer Reviewed Papers and Panels and Keynote Presentations.

The city-wide cultural program will host local and international projects and presentations in public spaces across Durban and surrounding areas. These will include Artist Interventions and Performances, Site-specific Workshops, Talks in Alternative Spaces, Thematic Exhibitions and Activation Tours. This will culminate in a series of public engagements through the AMAPHIKO Social Entrepreneurship Festival and INTERPRET DURBAN.

Local ISEA2018 / Digifest05 / IF Durban partners:

Durban University of Technology’s Faculty of Arts and Design, Innovate Durban, eThekwini Municipality, Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau, The Trinity Session.

 

Abstract

Keywords: Cultural heritage, (de)colonialism, 3D scanning and printing, media art, digitization, archaeology, oil

article_isea2018

In light of increasing social unrest and wars around the globe, a growing number of not-for-profit organizations and commercial businesses are trying to fill the gaps that befall cultural heritage sites due to bomb strikes and looting. 3D scanning and printing are among the main vehicles to restore cultural heritage by generating detailed copies of an artifact, building or even site. In terms of accessibility and preservation there are undeniable benefits, but in what ways do these technologies affect cultural heritage politics? While commercial businesses profit from selling copyrighted files, or by providing restricted access, several artists’ initiatives try to  counter these practices. Even though they use similar technology, their aim is to empower people by giving them control over their lost heritage. These ‘decolonial’ practices signify a desire to overcome or resist a colonial conditioning, favoring collaboration and freely sharing over individual and/or monetary gains. In the process, such examples challenge the  conventional meaning of value, which is dictated by the market and based on copyrights around authorship and ownership. Instead what is valued and becomes valuable is belonging to a wider community in which control over (re)use is embedded in the network.

 

Image credit: Morehshin Allahyari, Material Speculation ISIS, 2015-2016


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