Digital Earth

A fellowship for research and experimentation with and around the materiality and immateriality of the digital reality.

 

Planet Earth is wrapped in a gigantic mesh of fiber-optic cables and electromagnetic waves. Its surface is drilled for resources to generate the energy for the data centers that are mining its digital skin for cryptocurrencies. The pervasiveness of technology and the entanglement of wires, devices, minerals and algorithms are creating accidental structures, which exist above and below ground, saturating the whole planet - both physically and cybernetically.

 

‘Digital Earth’ refers to the materiality and immateriality of the digital reality we live in – from data centers to software interfaces, and rare minerals to financial derivatives. Earth is dug, excavated, and ripped apart to extract the fundamental materials that keep the computational machine running – oil, coltan, sand, rubber, lithium form the material basis on which digital reality is built. At the same time, digital technologies enable new modes of circulation and extraction, of information and data.

 

Algorithmic regimes regulate the movement of goods and people around the world in relatively smooth fluxes enabled by increasingly sophisticated surveillance systems. These algorithmic regimes generate, track and accumulate such a mass of data that is already referred to as the ‘digital twin’ of Earth. The existence of a physical planet and its ‘datafied’ counterpart generate a discrepancy between the reality on the ground and what is recorded and broadcasted - often leading to violent socio-political, economic, ecological and cultural frictions.

Fellows

Dilman Dila

Emo de Medeiros

Francois Knoetze

Geocinema

Cheng Guo

Halima Haruna

Ishita Sharma & Khyati Saraf

Jean Katambayi

Jeremiah Ikongio

Jonathan Dotse

Sepideh Majidi

Tabita Rezaire

Tekla Aslanishvili

Umber Majeed

Valia Fetisov

Hyperbation

Jessika Khazrik

Mentors

 

Defne Ayas

Diann Bauer

Nicolay Boyadjiev

Benjamin Bratton

Jaya Klara Brekke

Tegan Bristow

Stephanie Bailey

Oulimata Gueye

Nishant Shah

Brian Kuan Wood

Reza Negarestani

Moses Serubiri

Mohammad Salemy

Misal Adnan Yıldız

Mi You

Lisa Parks

Jussi Parikka

Heba Amin

Binna Choi

Research Partners

Ashkal Alwan

Electric South

MIT

Kër Thiossane

Strelka Institute

The New Center

Chronus Art Center

Khoj

Digital Earth is a 6 month-long fellowship for artists and designers based in Africa or Asia, working across a variety of media, who would like to investigate our current technological reality. It is a unique research support programme, which supports experienced artists to reflect, research, experiment and produce work. The fellowship consists of a monthly stipend for work and production costs, mentorship and other various resources. The final results will be exhibited in a roaming exhibition.

 

Digital Earth is initiated and supported by British Council, Hivos and SIDA.

 

          

Arthur Steiner

Leonardo Dellanoce

Renée Roukens

                                                                 info@thedigitalearth.org

Jaya Klara Brekke

Jaya Klara Brekke speaks, writes and does research on the politics of protocols and questions of control and power in distributed systems and architectures. She is based between Durham University, UK, where she is writing a PhD titled 'Distributing Chains, Three Strategies for Thinking Blockchain Politically’; London where she spends much of her time with the InfoSec research group at UCL Computer sciences department; and Vienna as collaborator of RIAT, Institute for Future Crypto-economics. She has been working as creator, designer and curator on projects related to the political economies of infrastructures for the past ten years. Projects include research and development on ethics for B9Lab blockchain developer training company; Crisis-scapes, on the impact of the financial crisis on public space in Athens; D-CENT, a European-wide project for the development of open citizen engagement technologies; and Flesh & Concrete, a research project and art programming on the effects of the construction of the supervia poniente highway in Mexico city.

Benjamin Bratton

Benjamin Bratton’s work spans Philosophy, Art, Design and Computer Science. He is Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Center for Design and Geopolitics at the University of California, San Diego. He is Program Director of the Strelka Institute of Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow. He is also a Professor of Digital Design at The European Graduate School and Visiting Faculty at SCI_Arc (The Southern California Institute of Architecture).

Nicolay Boyadjiev

Nicolay Boyadjiev is an architect and design strategist based between Montreal and Moscow. He is working at the intersection of architecture, infrastructure systems and platform urbanism, with his recent projects focusing on addressability and cognitive extraction at the urban scale. His design and conceptual work has received multiple awards and has been showcased Volume, Moinopolis, Fast Company, and Architect Magazine. Nicolay is currently the Design tutor of The New Normal programme at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow.

Diann Bauer

Diann Bauer is an artist and writer based in London. She is part of the working group Laboria Cuboniks who wrote Xenofeminism: A Politics of Alienation and the collaborative A.S.T. (the Alliance of the Southern Triangle http://a-s-t.co/#Home) - a group of artists, architects and curators that use the art field as a platform to broaden interdisciplinary collaboration with a focus on urbanism and climate change. The project aims to conceive possible futures that are both reactive and propositional with regard to the shifting set of legal, economic, cultural and environmental forces that currently confront the globe. The work takes a range of forms including video installations, publications and workshops.
Bauer has screened and exhibited internationally at Tate Britain, the ICA and The Showroom, London, The Sharjah Biennale 13, UAE, Deste Foundation, Athens, The New Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, History Miami Museum and Art Center South Florida, Miami. She has taught and lectured widely at universities and cultural institutions including: Cornell University, Yale University and Cooper Union (US), HKW (Germany), DAI (Netherlands), Ashkal Alwan (Lebanon), Goldsmiths, The Baltic, The Tate and the ICA (UK). She is currently working towards an exhibition at FACT in Liverpool in 2018 with Arts at CERN. It will subsequently travel on to Barcelona, Nantes, Brussels and CERN.

Defne Ayas

Defne Ayas (b.1976) was Director of Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam from 2012 until 2017.

Since her arrival in 2012, she has conceived, commissioned, curated and organized long-term projects, group exhibitions and solo projects. In 2013, she launched WDWReview.org, together with Adam Kleinman as its Founding Editor.

Ayas has worked on a number of biennial projects such as: curator of the Pavilion of Turkey in the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale; co-curator the 6th Moscow Biennale ACTING IN A CENTER IN A CITY IN THE HEART OF THE ISLAND OF EURASIA; co-curator of the 11th Baltic Triennale; co-curator of the Istanbul and Bandung city pavilions as part of the Intercity Project of the 9th Shanghai Biennale. Ayas also served as a curatorial advisor to the 8th Shanghai Biennale (China), and as a publication advisor to the 8th Gwangju Biennale (South Korea) in 2010.

Ayas has been a curator of PERFORMA, the biennial of visual art performance of New York, where she curated numerous projects and programs with an international roster of acclaimed artists, architects, and writers; while overseeing biennial’s consortium relations with more than fifty arts organizations in the city.

Prior to joining Witte de With in 2012, Ayas lived in Shanghai, China and co-founded Arthub Asia – an Asia-wide active research and production initiative (with Davide Quadrio) (2007). Prior to joining Arthub Asia and Performa, she was the Public Programs Coordinator of New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, especially artists presentations and critical debates relating to contemporary art and new media. (2003-2005) Ayas is the founding co-curator (with Neery Melkonian) of Blind Dates Project – an artistic platform that is dedicated to tackling what remains of the peoples, places and cultures of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923).

She is a Supervisory Board member of the Rijksakademie (Amsterdam) and Sabanci Museum (Istanbul); a member of Prince Claus Fund Awards; a director of Tällberg Foundation (Stockholm), an advisory board member to Jan Van Eyck Academy (Maastricht), Collectorspace (Istanbul), SAHA (Istanbul), Protocinema (Istanbul), Art Review Asia (Beijing) LEAP (Shanghai); and a curator at large of Spring Workshop (Hong Kong).

Reza Negarestani

Reza Negarestani is an Iranian philosopher best known for pioneering the genre of 'theory-fiction' with his book Cyclonopedia. He has contributed extensively to journals and anthologies and lectured at numerous international universities and institutes. He is the author of Intelligence and Spirit (Urbanomic/Sequence Press).

website

Brian Kuan Wood

Brian Kuan Wood is a writer and editor in New York. He is an editor of e-flux journal and Director of Research at SVA’s MA in Curatorial Practice.

Mohammad Salemy

Mohammad Salemy is an independent NYC/Vancouver-based critic and curator from Iran. He has curated exhibitions at the Koerner Gallery and AMS Gallery at the University of British Columbia, as well as the Satellite Gallery and Dadabase. He co-curated Faces exhibition at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. In 2014, Salemy organized the Incredible Machines conference in Vancouver. Salemy holds a masters degree in Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia.

Nishant Shah

Dr. Nishant Shah is the co-founder of the Centre for Internet & Society, Bangalore and a Professor of Culture & Aesthetics of Digital Media, at Leuphana University, Lueneburg. His work is at the intersections of technology, affect, identity, and social and political movements and configures the ways in which we learn to become human in the midst of technologies.

Misal Adnan Yıldız

Misal Adnan Yıldız is a curator, writer, and educator. Yıldız is the former director of Artspace NZ in Auckland in New Zealand (November 2014- June 2017). Previous to that he held the position of artistic director at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart in Germany (2011 – 2014). His tenure at Artspace received solid reviews including acknowledgements for his vision, the focus on public engagement through collaborations, and the initiating of significant architectural changes to the gallery in 2016.

Together with Hito Steyerl and Şener Özmen, he is one of the initiators of ASA www.autonomousspaceagency.org ; a collaborative structure inspired by the works of Takiyuddin Efendi, El Cez- eri, Fahru’l-Nisa and Şêx Evdirehmanê Axtepî among others. Recently, Yıldız has been presenting Mutterzunge, www.mutterzunge.org an independent multi venue programme of research residencies, events and exhibitions in Berlin. Revisiting Berlin-based author Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s book of the same name, the proposal by Yıldız was one of three winners for the Curate Award in 2014 co-organised by QAM and Fondazione Prada.

Yıldız studied Psychology and Educational Science (double major programme) at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, and later completed his masters degree in Visual Arts and Visual Theory at Sabancı Uni. of Turkey in parallel with his teaching assistant position. After organising several exhibitions in Turkey, he participated to the curatorial studies programme Curatorlab/Konstfack between 2006 and 2008, got supported by S.i. grant, and also collaborated with IASPIS, both in Stockholm. He took part in the Independent Study programme in Valand Art Academy as a researcher-curator for 2010; also worked for Umea Art Academy, Oslo Art Academy and also participated to several residency programmes including CPG AIR, nkd in Scandinavia.

He produced a significant number of solo exhibitions by Slavs and Tatars, Cevdet Erek, Annika Eriksson, Ahmet Öğüt, Marysia Lewandowska, and Hito Steyerl among others as well as some group shows after his proposals were being selected through open calls or closed competitions: There is no audience at Montehermoso, in Spain (2009), Time Challenger, HISK, Belgium (2009), Correct me if I am critical multi venue project in Berlin (2010), and also A History of Inspiration as part of Nouvelle Vagues, (2013) at Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

He was shortlisted for ICI Vision Award in 2012, and shared Curate Award 2014 (Fondazione Prada & Qatar Museum) with two others. Yıldız initiated Hot-Desking within the Curatorlab programme for Manifesta 7; he was one of curatorial collaborators of Fulya Erdemci for the 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013); also a curatorial collaborator for La Paz’s SIART in Bolivia and one of the biennial fel- lows with Artspace NZ for GB11 in Gwangju (2016). Recently, he was the guest curator for Dialogues as part of London Art Fair 2018 presenting selected works by only women identifying artists with a high percentage of Non-European participants including indigenous practices with Maori, Kurdish, Asian, and African origins. He contributed to many publications and periodicals such as Bidoun, Paletten, Radikal, Muhtelif, Mousse among others; and also contributed to many discussion platforms including Art Basel’s Conversations, March Meetings in Sharjah, and ICI NYC’s curatorial seminar.

Lisa Parks

Lisa Parks is a global media scholar whose research focuses on three areas: satellite technologies and media cultures; critical studies of media infrastructures; and media, militarization and surveillance. Parks is the author of Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the Televisual (Duke UP, 2005), Coverage: Vertical Mediation and the War on Terror(Routledge, forthcoming), and Mixed Signals: Media Infrastructures and Cultural Geographies (in progress). She is co-editor of: Life in the Age of Drones (Duke UP, forthcoming 2017), Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures (U of Illinois, 2015), Down to Earth: Satellite Technologies, Industries and Cultures (Rutgers UP, 2012), Undead TV (Duke UP, 2007), and Planet TV: A Global Television Reader (NYU, 2003). Parks has held visiting appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Berlin, McGill University, University of Southern California, and the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a PI on major research grants from the National Science Foundation and the US State Department, supporting research in Mongolia, Turkey, and Zambia. She is committed to exploring how greater understanding of media systems can inform and assist citizens, scholars and policymakers in the US and abroad to advance campaigns for technological literacy, creative expression, social justice, and human rights. Before joining the CMS/W faculty, Parks was Professor and former Department Chair of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara, where she also served as Director of the Center for Information Technology and Society.

Jussi Parikka

Jussi Parikka is a writer, media theorist and professor in technological culture & aesthetics at Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton). He is also Docent of Digital Culture Theory at University of Turku, Finland and Honorary Visiting Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

Moses Serubiri

Serubiri Moses is an independent writer and curator based in Kampala, UG. He is interested in meta-narratives and scholarly practices beyond the field of art. Serubiri’s book chapter on the Uganda Museum is featured in the edited volume How Institutions Think from MIT Press. He was recently on the selection committee for the 2017 and 2018 Investec Cape Town Art Fair, ZA. In 2014 he co-curated the Kampala Contemporary Art Festival (KLA ART), with a team advised by Gabi Ngcobo. In 2013 Serubiri organized A History of Kadongo Kamu, a radio documentary on the history of recorded music in Uganda. He also edited the online journal START – A Journal of Arts and Culture in East Africa. In 2011 Serubiri was a critic at The New Vision, one of Uganda’s leading daily newspapers. In 2015 he received a fellowship at the University of Bayreuth, DE, as “Stadtschreiber” (City Writer), and is an alumni of the Àsìkò International Art School at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos, NG. His writings have been featured in The Trans-African, frieze, Manifesta Journal, and Chimurenga Chronic.

Stephanie Bailey

Stephanie Bailey is Ocula Editor-in-Chief, a contributing editor to ART PAPERS andLEAP, and the current curator of the Conversations at Art Basel Hong Kong. A member of the Naked Punch editorial committee, and managing editor of Podium, the online journal for M+ Museum in Hong Kong, she also writes regularly for Artforum International, Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, and D’ivan, A Journal of Accounts. From 2012 to 2017, she was managing editor and senior editor of Ibraaz.

Born in Hong Kong and essentially made in Greece, where she directed and managed a BTEC-accredited Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Doukas from 2009 to 2012, her interests include the articulations of history and the relations of power coded into the production and exchange of culture. Essays have appeared in You Are Here: Art After the Internet (ed. Omar Kholeif, Space/Cornerhouse, 2014), for which she was assistant editor; Happy Hypocrite #8: FRESH HELL (ed. Sophia Al-Maria, Book Works, 2015); Armenity, the catalogue for the Armenian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (ed. Adelina von Furstenburg, Skira, 2015); the 20th Biennale of Sydney catalogue: The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed (ed. Stephanie Rosenthal, 2016);Future Imperfect: Contemporary Art Practices and Cultural Institutions in the Middle East (ed. Anthony Downey, Sternberg Press, 2016); New Normal (text presented in 2017 as an exhibition object at UMAM-BR and Dawawine, Beirut, and Supa Salon, Istanbul, curated by Murat Adash and Hiba Farhat); and Germaine Kruip: Works 1999–2017 (ed. Krist Gruijthuijsen, Koenig Books, London/Oude Kerk, Amsterdam/KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 201.

Recent editorial projects include: Children of Empire, LEAP issue 37 (February 2016), with contributions from, among others, Anna Kats, Walter D. Mignolo, Uzma Rizvi and Lantian Xie, and Non-Aligned Movements, LEAP issue 45 (June 2017), with contributors including, among others, Jesse Darling, Hannah Black, Malak Helmy, Mi You, and Vijay Prashad.

Arthur Steiner

Arthur Steiner is an art historian working at the crossroads of contemporary arts, design and technology. He is researching and fascinated by aesthetics in relation to petrocultures and the strategies that artists have employed in order to investigate oil and petro-modernity.

Over the years, he has developed projects across Africa, the Middle East and Asia and lived in Syria, Iran and Egypt. He is the founder of New Silk Roads Foundation. Through his work he has supported and helped to set up more than 20 art, design and technology spaces in old medinas and industrial zones along the spice, oil and data routes that are now connecting Asia and Africa.

He works at Hivos Foundation and has initiated the ‘ROOM Program’ and the ‘Force of Art research program’ with the Prince Claus Fund and the European Culture Foundation. Together with the British Council and Nesta he is setting up a support toolkit for creative hubs and art spaces.

In his hometown, Amsterdam, he is actively involved with the art space W139 and is organizing and curating exhibitions and lecture series in the Netherlands and around the world. The most recent one will be the Vertical Atlas research series, at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam in Autumn 2018.

Leonardo Dellanoce

Leonardo Dellanoce is an art historian who explores technological realities using art and design as navigational tools. Collaboration is at the core of his practice, as he works with artists, spatial designers and theorists on a variety of projects. Among others, he is co-curating the research series Vertical Atlas: a Techno-political Cartography, on show at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Fall 2018.

Currently, he is also editor of Volume magazine where he initiated the long-term research project Trust in the Blockchain Society.

Renée Roukens

Renée Roukens was trained as an art historian and has built her professional carreer by illuminating the backstage in Marres, MU and Baltan Laboratories, developing and producing projects and exhibitions. Before joining the R.O.O.M. program she worked as a project manager for Age of Wonderland.

Oulimata Gueye

From 1998 to 2001, Oulimata Gueye was part of the founding team of the Batofar and co-hosted numerous international multi-disciplinary artistic events dedicated to contemporary art (artists’ residencies) and urban and electronic cultures (Festival Batofar cherche) as part of Batofar’s artistic team.

She co-founded the wandering festival Infamous carousel (Centre Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, Jeu de Paume, Les Instants Chavirés, and Point Ephémère), which she then jointly managed from 2003 to 2011. Infamous carousel showcases performance art, experimental sound art and media arts.

Since 2010, she has been studying the impact of digital technology on urban popular culture in Africa and closely follows the works of artists, activists, and theorists who reflect on the sociocultural, political and economic issues at play in Africa in the 21st century.

Her fields of investigation include Africa sf, a research project she has been developing for several years. Africa sf explores digital culture, science and the potential of fiction to develop critical analysis and alternative positions. The idea behind Africa sf research is that the economic, technological, political, social and aesthetic upheaval the African continent has undergone is now fostering the development of imaginary worlds revolving around technology and sciences. Oulimata is convinced that science fiction has emerged as the genre that best reflects the interactions between the present, projections for the future, and founding myths. This research is constantly evolving, thanks to field trips, as well as the works of researchers and artists.

Her latest projects are:

Afrocyberféminismes in partnership with Gaité Lyrique, a research project that explores digital technologies and the associated stakes in contemporary Africa and its diasporas, namely by investigating the place of gender and race.

And, Digital Imaginaries a joined project of Ker Thiossane, Wits Art Museum, Fak’ugesi, and ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe. DI articulates digital technologies and Africa together with a view to reevaluate the dominant imaginaries that shape contemporary digital practices. The first chapter was the 6th edition of the Afropixel festival, Non-Aligned Utopias, by Ker Thiossane, in Dakar in May 2018. NAU revisits the struggle for non-aligned African positionalities under the conditions of contemporary digital practices.

Oulimata has developed the platform xamxam, (youtube, afrocyberfeminismes) and co-founded the collective Startup Africa Paris which focuses on the African diaspora and digital entrepreneurship.

She holds a Master in cultural management delivered by the Paris 8 University, and studied Art and Language the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). Linkedin.

Most recent talks & papers: ● Afrotech HMKV, Dortmund ● CURA, Tabita Rezaire ● Intense Art Magazine, IAM, Lagos & Dakar special edition ● Galaxies N°46, African SF ● La Revue du Crieur N°2, Médiapart / La Découverte, La science-fiction africaine, laboratoire d’un autre futur ● Fondation Ricard with Kapwani Kiwanga, France culture, ● Festicoll, G. Berger University, Saint-Louis Senegal, ● Fondation Gulbenkian, Des Utopies non alignées.

Heba Amin

Heba Y. Amin received her Master of Arts degree in New Media Art and Interactive Design at the University of Minnesota. She is a lecturer at Bard College Berlin and doctorate fellow in Art History at Freie Universitaet and a recent Digital Cultures Research Lab fellow at Leuphana University. Amin’s work is embedded in extensive research and a studio practice that looks at the convergence of politics, technology, and architecture. Working with various media and extensively with archives, her work highlights and engages with narratives of national sovereignty, often in contested territories and especially questions methodological assumptions embedded within Western historiography. She is particularly invested in tactics of subversion and other techniques used to undermine systems as well as topics related to critical spatial practice. Amin has received many grants, including a DAAD grant for science and technology and the Rhizome Commissions grant. Furthermore, Amin is also one of the artists behind the subversive graffiti action on the set of the television series “Homeland” which received worldwide media attention.

Amin has had recent exhibitions at the 10th Berlin Biennale, 15th Istanbul Biennale, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin, Kalmar Art Museum Sweden, La Villette Paris, FACT Liverpool, Kunsthalle Wien, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, the Kunstverein in Hamburg, Camera Austria, Berlin Berlinale 9th Forum Expanded Exhibition, and the IV Moscow International Biennale for Young Art. She also has an extensive repertoire in public speaking.

Binna Choi

Binna Choi is director of Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons, formerly Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht, the Netherlands since 2008. She conceived and co-developed with the team and numerous others a long-term artistic research project like Grand Domestic Revolution (2009/2010-2013) and Composing the Commons a three-year interdisciplinary and artistic research programme (2013-2015/16); has been part of the faculty of the Dutch Art Institute /Masters of Fine Arts Programme in Arnhem; and working for and with a trans-local network Arts Collaboratory since 2013 and the co-founding members of European networks of art organizations Cluster. Her other curatorial projects include three day seminar program Cultivate or Revolutionize: Life Between Apartment and Farmland at Times Museum, Guangzhou (2014, with Nikita Choi) and summer school and exhibition Group Affinity at Kunstverein Munich (2011, with Bart van der Heide). For the 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016) she worked as the curator.

As part of her practice, she also engages with writing, editing, publishing, and contributing to discursive platforms with lectures, discussion and workshops.

Tegan Bristow

Tegan Bristow is an interactive media artist and lecturer at the Digital Arts Division of the Wits School of the Arts. Lines of computer code are to her what a golden sunset is to a landscape painter – the stuff of inspiration and the spark of creative potential. Tegan is most interested in the space that digital art affords interaction and engagement, the place where she believes meaning is made. Apart from being involved in the creation of the first digital art festival in Africa, namely the Fakugesi, she is also working towards her PhD and regularly writes and presents papers at interactive technology forums around the world. Tegan is a self-proclaimed geek at heart, curious about how the world around her works, and believes that creative people should challenge technology and how it is used, every day.

Mi You

Mi You is a Beijing-born curator, researcher, and academic staff at Academy of Media Arts Cologne. She has worked as curator of artistic research projects that were shown in Shenzhen/Hong Kong Bi-City Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism (2007), Istanbul Design Biennale (2012), Lisbon Triennale and Athens Biennale (2013), v2_lab for the unstable media (2015), SAVVY Contemporary (2016), among others. Her long-term research and curatorial project takes the Silk Road as a figuration for deep-time, deep-space, de-centralized and nomadic imageries. Under this rubric she has curated a series of performative programs at Asian Culture Center Theater in Gwangju, South Korea and the inaugural Ulaanbaatar International Media Art Festival, Mongolia (2016). Her transcultural curatorial work has concretised in exhibitions like “Around Ai Weiwei: Photograph 1983-2016” at CAMERA – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia and “Qiu Zhijie: Journeys without Arrivals” at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2017)

Dilman Dila

Dilman Dila is a Ugandan filmmaker, writer and digital artist. He has published a collection of his short stories like A Killing in the Sun in 2014 and novellas, such as The Flying Man of Stone in 2016. His short stories have also appeared in several magazines and anthologies, including AfroSF v2 and Myriad Lands. His films have won awards at film festivals, including the Ugandan Film Festival (2014) and the Nepal International Indigenous Film Festival (2012).

Research Proposal

As part of this fellowship, Dila will be examining the use of African fractal mathematics in anti-malaria gene drive algorithms. He intends to conduct extensive research into the fractals of the Karamojong people in North Eastern Uganda, who, for the most part, have maintained their traditional architectures and other cultural aesthetics. His research will build upon the writing of mathematician Ron Eglash, whoich suggests that digital technology has its roots in a divination system that is common all over Africa. Focusing on indigenous knowledge systems and mathematics, he plans on exploring how they possibly interlink by conducting interviews with, for instance, healers in the regions of Uganda where these traditional knowledge systems can still be found.

website

Emo de Medeiros

Emo de Medeiros is an interdisciplinary artist, whose work spans across video, sculpture, photography, textile, music and performance art. He lives and works in Cotonou, Benin and Paris. His practice is built around the concept of ‘contexture’, which is based on holistic interconnectivity, transculturalism, and creating interactive experiences through the fusion of a wide range of disciplines. He has taken part in a variety of international exhibitions, including the Palais de Tokyo, the 12th Biennale of Dakar, LagosPhoto Festival 2018 and Videobrasil Contemporary Art Festival.

Research Proposal

The Android’s Passage focuses on smartphones as the building blocks of the Digital Revolution that has spread across Africa. De Medeiros intends to create a video that follows the travels of a single smartphone, right from its manufacture by one human in Shenzhen, to its actual sale to another human in Lagos, Nigeria, at the famous Computer Village market. He thereby aims to explore the notion of the shrinking planet through increased cross-continental technological connectivity. During his research he will investigate the link between people and technology through an examination of the materiality and humanity of the global and digital world. The fellowship acts as a more in-depth continuation of his global research and practice into the transcultural changes, connected to the rise of contemporary global identity, technology’s role in interconnecting the world and it’s cultures, and producing a transmedial and multidimensional installation.

website

Francois Knoetze

Francois Knoetze is a performance artist, filmmaker and sculptor, currently based in Cape Town. He received his MFA from Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town (2015). His works have been presented at a wide range of national and international group exhibitions and festivals, including the Afropixel Festival & Dak’Art Biennale in Dakar (2018), LagosPhoto Festival, Nigeria (2015), and Syngenta Photo Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London (2017). Knoetze’s practice explores the life cycles of discarded objects and the intersections of material and social histories. Using material waste as a medium, he creates elaborate sculptural suits that merge the human with the synthetic. Through the personification of objects that occurs with the performance of the sculptural suits, Knoetze tries to bring into view the objectification of people.

Research Proposal

Core Dump is an ongoing project: a series of performances, video installations, and interviews that draw on audiovisual archives, early African cinema and daily life in the cities of Dakar and Kinshasa. During the fellowship, Knoetze will investigate the contradictions of a techno-utopian ideal in countries, such as China, that feeds off of an exploitative relationship with Africa. He will examine how Dakar and Kinshasa are both the starting point for technological objects, created from locally extracted minerals, and acts as an endpoint for these same objects, which are dumped as electronic waste from Europe, Asia and the USA. He also plans to do field research in China, conducting interviews in all three locations in order to give shape to the work he will be developing during the programme.

website

Geocinema

Currently based in Beijing, Geocinema consists of art historian Asia Bazdyrieva and filmmaker Solveig Suess. With Geocinema they consider planetary-scale sensory networks cell phones, surveillance cameras, satellites as a vastly distributed camera, each running through their own sets of scales and temporalities while producing terabytes of raw data. Together they ask – if this camera is framing a type of ‘geocinema’, how can ‘geocinema’ be a mode of seeing otherwise?

Bazdyrieva’s research interests range from histories of modernist utopias to trace liminal spaces, to grassroot expressions that challenge dominant narratives. She studied analytical chemistry at the National University of Kyiv (2009) and art history at The City University of New York as a Fulbright grantee (2017). Her recent work includes curatorial research at Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York (2017) and IZOLYATSIA Platform for Cultural Initiatives, Kyiv (2015).

Suess is an independent filmmaker and designer. Her practice researches the collision between ecological shifts and infrastructures of migration, labour and trade, paying attention to longer histories of weather and optics co-constructing contemporary infrastructural conditions. She completed her postgraduate degree at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University, London (2017) and was a fellow at Strelka Institute (2018), Moscow. Her work has been shown internationally, with her most recent film, AAA Cargo (2017) premiering at the 2018 International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Bazdyrieva and Suess began collaborating during their time at the The New Normal, a speculative urbanism think-tank at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design (Moscow), where they conceptualised the natural history documentary of Geocinema and its proposed episodes.

Research Proposal

During their fellowship, Bazdyrieva and Suess will be developing a method aimed to trace techniques of sensing used for planetary scale computation. These sensory networks orbital bands of satellites, geosensing arrays, surveillance cameras, and billions of cell phonessense fragments of the earth through their own temporalities and scales. By being attentive to how data is identified, collected and transmitted, this method aims to track these as decentralized editing processes, where they each construct stitched representations of the earth. Claiming for these models, or forecastings, as forms of cinema, here cinema is recognised as never purely representational, but always entangled within questions of epistemology and modes of measurement. Scouting locations situated within or by proxy of techno-scientific archives, whether a satellite ground station or a desert used for scientific observation, durations in such sites will exceed both the human and technological. They now seek to conduct a series of cinematic investigations across Asia with interest in other modes of seeing.

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Cheng Guo

Cheng Guo is a visual artist currently based in Shanghai. His practice explores the interrelation between individuals and mainstream/emerging technologies within a cultural and societal context. In 2012 he graduated from the Royal College of Art, London with a Master’s degree in Design Products. Cheng has worked as the Executive Director of Chronus Art Center in Shanghai, and as a visiting researcher at the Department of Environment & Health at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He has taken part in exhibitions, such as Machines Are Not Alone: A Machinic Trilogy (Chronus Art Center, Shanghai, 2018), The Ecstasy of Time (HE Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, 2017), and GAMERZ 11 (Aix-en-Provence, France, 2015).

Research Proposal

The Net Wanderer seeks to reveal the entanglement of technology, culture and ideology behind China's internet infrastructure. Cheng aims to focus his research during the fellowship on the connection between the critical network gateways in China and the infrastructure running these gateways. He intends to make use of Traceroute, a computer network diagnostic tool, which he will combine with an IP location finder. This will allow him to track specific geographic locations through each IP address it is able to display, although the authenticity of these locations may be difficult to confirm. The Net Wanderer will be exploring questions such as: Where are the geographical locations of Chinese Internet gateways? What are the invisible infrastructures taking place that enable the visible activities of society to continue?

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Halima Haruna

Halima Haruna is a designer from Nigeria, currently completing her MA in Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has a particular interest in African audiovisual cultures, speculative finance and the real estate industry, nature and Blackness, citizen science, the politics of translation, collective performance and sociality, and meta-fictioning. As part of her research, she investigates these topics through video, performance, design and writing. Haruna has worked as a Junior Design Architect at 3ADB Studio in Nigeria and taken part in exhibitions, such as sorryyoufeeluncomfortable, ti. at Many Studios, Glasgow.

Research Proposal

During the scope of Digital Earth, Haruna will be analyzing and documenting how direct investments from East Asia and internally generated state revenue, reorganizes the urban fabric within Lagos. By exploring socioecologies and psychologies alike, she plans to make apparent differing ways in which global capitalism reconfigures translocal spatial dynamics. She will be holding interviews with both private and public stakeholders in Lagos, and civic and social organizations who are fighting against the displacement of communities as a result of these projects. Additionally, the effects of urbanisation and the rise of port shipping modes, in Lagos and in the Niger Delta, will be investigated through one-on-one interviews and focus group interviews with members of the displaced communities. As part of her research process, she will seek entry into these sites to conduct field work and gain access to legislative archives in the Secretariat.

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Ishita Sharma & Khyati Saraf

Khyati Saraf and Ishita Sharma are an artistic collaborative team investigating the impact of industrialization in coastal Gujarat, India.

Saraf is a practicing landscape architect, born and raised in New Delhi and currently based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US. Her work lies at the intersection of landscape, ecology, geopolitics and, social and spatial justice. She is a co-founder of Bil-kul, a landscape and architecture practice and a member of the design collective LandKunst. In 2017 she participated in the Metro Manila Civic Innovation Fellowship, conducting advocacy work to address flooding resiliency issues in Manila. She received her Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, in 2014.

Sharma is a researcher from Delhi, India, with a particular focus on anthropology, ecology, coastal regions and social movements. She is currently completing a non-fiction comic Dhobykhana, and working on an archiving and curatorial project of an environmental movement in India. In 2013 she received her Master of the Arts in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University, New York.

Research Proposal

Through the Digital Earth fellowship, Saraf and Sharma seek to investigate, reveal and critique the two realities found in the development narrative of Coastal Gujarat. By merging geospatial technologies, empirical evidence and visual documentation they aim to spatially and visually represent the displacement protocols and financial logics impressed upon the region of Kutch. Independent from the ground, floating in the cloud, financial logic and infrastructural production have resulted in the silent displacement of indigenous fishing communities, and Kutch’s unique ecological flora, fauna and habitats. They seek to bridge this gap between the ‘cloud’ space and the grounding landscape through deeply personal stories, on-site documentation and cartography to thread a cogent visual narrative. Using the map as a starting point, during their research they will be making use of technologies such as remote sensing, port protocols, and techno-feasibility reports as a means to investigate and reproduce their findings for public consumption.

Jean Katambayi

Jean Katambayi Mukendi is a visual artist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His practice explores his interests which lie at the intersection of technology, mechanics, geometrics and electricity. He fuses his training as an electrician, with the influences from his daily life, within his works. Driven by complex electrical mechanisms, his installations seek to find solutions for issues within Congolese society through technological investigations. He has held solo exhibitions at Intemporal, Antwerp (2017) and Enough Room for Space, Brussels (2016), and also taken part in group exhibitions, including The Hum Comes from the Stumuch at Gladstone Gallery, Brussels (2018), Spurensicherung at Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam (2017), and Eblouissements, at the 5th Biennale de Lubumbashi (2017).

Research Proposal

Katambayi Mukendi plans to examine ongoing research into electromagnetic waves, and the way in which they tend to dominate current forms of communication, through the construction of a wire Tesla car using recycled materials. He thereby wants to draw attention to the economic inequalities within Congolese social classes, which he believes will grow even more through the environmental impact of the so-called “green revolution” and capitalist mining industry, in the Congo. Ultimately, his research will focus on the simulation of an accident with the Tesla car, to conceptually intervene with theories around the accident, that will take on written, visual, and digital forms.

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Jeremiah Ikongio

As a multidisciplinary artist Jeremiah Ikongio creates new media, performance and interactive art projects. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, he deals with topics such as the urban metropolis, gentrification, identity, politics and activism. His work has been shown locally and internationally, collaborating in exhibitions, such as A Visibility Matrix at the Douglas Hyde Gallery (2018) in Dublin, Waiting for a Revolution at the 5th Odessa Biennale of Contemporary Art / International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) 2018 in Durban, and ‘Atimgwēyē’ - Sound Installation at the Goethe-Institut, Lagos (2017) / 11th Bienal do Mercosul, in Porto Alegre. He is also a Magnum Foundation 2018 Fellow.

Research Proposal

‘When Asia Came Along’ will be exploring the cultural protocols of Freeport zones and the emerging cultural and socio-economic connection between Africa and Asia, and its local ramifications. Taking Lagos as a case study for his research, Ikongio seeks to investigate the construction of Nigeria’s first Freeport, a 16.5m draught deep sea port, whose planned completion is by 2020. Over the duration of the fellowship, he will be tracking both the minimal and notable changes that occur during the construction process of the port. Documenting these by using portrait and landscape photography, animated GIFs and a VR documentary with immersive 360 shots, he ultimately seeks to turn them into a public, interactive digital archive that will continue to expand after the end of the programme.

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Jonathan Dotse

Jonathan Dotse is a science-fiction writer, hypermedia artist, and Afrofuturist based in Accra, Ghana. He received his Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Ashesi University. He created the AfroCyberPunk Blog in 2010, as a platform to explore the potentials of African science fiction and speculative narratives. In 2018, he founded AfroCyberPunk Interactive, which is a digital hypermedia publishing house and creative studio, geared primarily towards mobile devices. His articles and short stories have appeared in publications, such as The Brave New Now, African Futures and Acceler8or. In addition, he has produced a variety of VR productions, including Pandora (2015), Elsewhen at the Dakar Biennale (2016), and Spirit Robot at Sheffield Doc/Fest (2017).

Research Proposal

Dotse’s research deals with digital hypermedia and its potential role in reconstructing traditional African knowledge systems. These take the form of non-linear interactive experiences, whose essence can be grasped and recreated through digital hypermedia. He aims to examine how these systems can be translated from traditional and contemporary media formats, into fully immersive hypermedia experiences. Throughout the duration of the fellowship, Dotse intends to develop a more comprehensive framework for creating new and engaging narratives, thereby also expanding on his previous scope of research, in order to connect with a broader African audience in the future.

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Sepideh Majidi

Sepideh Majidi is a designer and educator, who has worked as an architect at firms both in the US and Iran. Sepideh teaches at a conceptual architecture design studio, as well as digital design and fabrication, at the Academy of Art, in San Francisco. She received her Master’s degree in Architecture from Azad University, Tehran, and also a complementary Master’s degree from AAU. Sepideh co-founded ArcHive design.build, a multi-disciplinary design firm, and Oblique City an architectural design firm, both in San Francisco. Since 2017, she has also been experimenting with the manipulation of digital videos.

Research Proposal

‘Destructuring Space: The Subversity of Decay Within Hegemonic Matrices’ will present an exploration of degenerative processes within the digital realm. By subjecting digital materials to a process of decay, Sepideh plans to generate new spatialities, materialities, and movements that operate on varying scales and levels. Throughout her research, Majidi will be looking at the infrastructural matrix of economical and political operating systems, with their hyper-exploitation of both material and human labor. Her research focuses on the possible ways in which this system can be infiltrated, subverted, interpolated, and interrupted in order to unfold new potentialities and openings. By sending digital material through various types of software, she seeks to uncover its coherency and new kinds of motions, materialities, and structures. The connectivity of decay with architecture and politics will be another focus point, and a continuation of the research she has already previously analyzed.

Tabita Rezaire

Tabita Rezaire is a cross-dimensional new media artist, tech-politics researcher, and Kemetic/Kundalini Yoga teacher currently based in Johannesburg. In her work, she tries to explore the possibilities of decolonial healing through technology. Both offline and online she considers the prevalent matrix of coloniality and how it affects matters of identity, sexuality, technology, health and spirituality. She employs a spiritual healing activism that provides an alternative reading, in order to decenter western authority and assist in what she terms ‘dismantling our white-supremacist-patriarchal-cis-hetero-globalized world screen.’ Her works have been shown at the 9th Berlin Biennale, Tate Modern, London, and Museum of Modern Art, Paris. She is a co-founder of the creative agency NTU, forms half of the artist duo Malaxa Andis the mother of the energy house Seneb.

Research Proposal

With Earth Line/ Sky Eye, Rezaire seeks to collect stories from the Senegambian stone circles, and honor traditional African cultures of astronomy and celestial sciences. At the same time, she plans to look at waste debris, an environmental threat orbiting around the globe as artifacts of human-sky explorations, that reflects the fate of thousands of stone circles on earth. Earth Line/ Sky Eye serves as a research project on the remnants of our ended conversations with the skies. To conduct her research, Rezaire will examine Sine Ngayene and Wanar in Senegal, and Wassu and Kerbatch in Gambia, which are the four main sites of stone circles in the Senegambian region. Her work for this project will be informed by interviews with villagers, scientists, poets, traditional historians, and by findings in Astro-archeology, astro-physics, history, cosmology, geology, sound frequencies, electromagnetic measurements, dating techniques, oral traditions, and spiritual teachings. Her methodology is developed from a decolonial approach, in both thinking and praxis, to explore questions such as: What is technology? How does space or rather our position within spatial knowledge and conventions, affect our agency within the global system? How have ‘modern technologies’ been used to define ‘progress’ and denied value to non euro-descendent people, cultures, and knowledge?

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Tekla Aslanishvili

Tekla Aslanishvili is an artist, essayist and curator based in Tbilisi and Berlin. After the completion of her Master of Arts at the Berlin University of the Arts in 2015, her work has been investigating proliferated practices of automated production and the algorithmic management of global urban spaces. Her artistic focus lies with the possibilities of unfolding the potential of computation, in favor of progressive social and political change. As part of her cross-disciplinary working method, she creates essayistic documentary films, interventionist performances, video installations, as well as texts and lectures. Aslanishvili has taken part in residency programmes, including Casino Luxembourg (2015), the Foundation Center for Contemporary Art in Kiev, Ukraine (2014), and Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art, Albania (2013).

Research Proposal

Algorithmic Island is an ongoing project, which examines the trials of developing a futuristic city and Deep Sea Port in Anaklia, Georgia. In the frame of Digital Earth, she will be researching the relationship between technology and architecture, by tracking the ongoing construction within Anaklia, and the social and material changes that have become visible since early 2017. The resulting documentary film that she plans to develop out of her research, will provide a speculation about the possible scenarios of development from a future perspective, based on artistic-scientific collaborations.

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Umber Majeed

Umber Majeed is a multidisciplinary visual artist, working in New York and Pakistan. She received her MFA from Parsons School of Design in New York (2016) and graduated from Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, Pakistan (2013). She is currently part of the Harem.Haram.Hamam Collective in New York and will have her debut solo exhibition ‘In the Name of Hypersurface of the Present’ at the Rubber Factory, New York in October 2018. She has taken part in group exhibitions, including The Museum: Within and Without, The State Hermitage Museum, St.Petersburg, Russia (2015), Promises to Keep, apexart, New York (2017), Witness- Karachi Biennale, Karachi, Pakistan (2017), and Volumes – Queens International, Queens Museum, New York (2018). Majeed is a recipient of numerous fellowships including the HWP Fellowship, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon (2017) and Refiguring Feminist Futures – Web Residency, Akademie Schloss Solitude & ZKM, Germany (2018).

Research Proposal

‘Trans-Pakistan Zindabad (Long Live Trans-Pakistan)’ will be drawing from a range of familial archives, digital telecommunications, and mechanism of the Pakistani tourist industry in order to investigate current urbanization claims in Lahore. Following the years of martial law and post-War on Terror within Pakistan, activities between and within urban spaces has become heavily policed by state and neoliberal ventures. During the fellowship, Majeed intends to revitalize her uncle’s failed tourism company, ‘Trans-Pakistan’, to bring into focus the contradiction of a transcendence into nostalgia/escapism that seems to be so deeply embedded in South Asian diaspora imagery. She will be conducting research into alternate perspectives that deal with the orientation of the body as a political citizen, in relation to the performativity of hegemonic state policing within urban planning. The disjunctures across the South Asian diaspora of urbanscapes will act as a case study for her planned project, and its investigation into nostalgia, gentrification, and futurity.

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Valia Fetisov

Valia Fetisov is a visual artist from Russia currently working on his Masters in Surveillance Architecture at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany. In his practice, he often alters standard algorithms and works with automatic systems in order to bring into view their ambiguous nature, making them take on a threatening, rather than auxiliary form. Fetisov has taken part in exhibitions, such as General Rehearsal at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2018), The Electric Comma at the Palazzo delle Zattere, Venice (2017) and Qidian at the Zendai Zhujiajiao Art Museum in Shanghai (2017).

Research Proposal

During the fellowship Fetisov will research conditions, such as the social credit system in China and Facebook’s mood manipulation studies, and targeted propaganda, which influence people to unintentionally participate in certain actions. Through studying these techniques of manipulation, he aims to merge them into a single interactive space in order to investigate the decision making process of its participants. The fellowship provides him with the possibility of conducting an in-depth study into how a specific environment can influence our behavior, and what happens when small details within that environment are changed, which inevitably leads to a shift in our behaviour.

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Ashkal Alwan

The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Ashkal Alwan, is a non-profit organization based in Beirut, Lebanon. Since 1993, the association has been committed to the production, facilitation and circulation of creative and intellectual endeavors across a range of disciplines and media. Ashkal Alwan’s programs include the Home Works Forum on Cultural Practices, curated projects in Lebanon and abroad, the publication of literary works and artists’ books, artist residency programs and the video production and screening program Video Works. Through these initiatives and others, the association has established itself within the cultural landscape of the region and beyond. In 2011, Ashkal Alwan launched Home Workspace, a 2000m² facility in Beirut dedicated to contemporary artistic practices, research, production and education. Home Workspace provides an array of services and educational platforms, featuring production and editing studios, performance spaces, auditoria, and Lebanon’s first multimedia library for contemporary arts. Embedded in Lebanon and the Arab region, Ashkal Alwan is committed to facilitating artistic production, in a way that fosters critical thinking around contemporary discourses and realities that create communities of empowered and engaged individuals.

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Electric South

Electric South is a non-profit organization based in Cape Town, South Africa. They believe that new technologies must be used to open up spaces for original voices and underrepresented narratives. Electric South collaborates with artists across the African continent to further digital visual storytelling practices, by organizing labs, acting as a production studio for cultural practitioners and facilitating the distribution of their work. They provide mentorship, funding and exhibition space for a large network of artists across Africa to explore and present their worlds through immersive, interactive stories including virtual and augmented reality, and other digital media. Since 2015, Electric South hosts the annual New Dimensions VR Lab. They invite participants from an application pool of thirty African countries to Cape Town in order to learn 360 filmmaking, Unity production and immersive computing to help develop the artists’ own VR project ideas. Through the diversity of the produced works they demonstrate the impressive cross-section of talent found across the continent. With these types of projects Electric South’s aims to ensure that African storytellers and artists using emerging technologies as a medium, play an important role in the narratives being developed from within a contemporary African context.

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MIT

The Global Media Technologies and Cultures Lab (GMTaC), based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, is a new space for collaborative research that explores the use of media technologies (satellites, television, the internet, social media, and mobile phones) in diverse international contexts. Their projects link media usage to issues of geopolitics, surveillance, the environment, social justice, and art. Researchers in the GMTaC lab use fieldwork, ethnography, community engagement, creative research, and critical analysis to investigate the usage of media technologies in urban and rural settings in different parts of the world. GMTaC believes there is much to learn about media technologies beyond the centers of industrial and political power, and are particularly interested in working with marginalized, underserved, and vulnerable communities. In 2018, they initiated the international research collaboration ‘Interlinking the Global Internet’ to increase the visibility and understanding of satellite technologies in educational and public contexts. Focusing on landlocked regions in Central Asia, Southern Africa, and North America, this study uses mixed methods, including trade and policy research, interviews, and site visits to investigate the value of satellite technologies in current configurations of the global internet.

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Kër Thiossane

Kër Thiossane began its activities in 2002 in Dakar, with the aim of providing African artists with access to multimedia tools and a more critical consumption of the Internet. In 2003, with the participation of the Canadian Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and New Technologies, the association opened a digital public space. A venue for research, residence, creation and training, Kër Thiossane encourages the integration of new technologies and traditional artistic and creative practices, seeking to support the mixing of these disciplines. Kër Thiossane focuses their activities on research into the implications of art and new media within our societies. Moreover, they link the development of artistic digital practices to other domains of society; education and training, creative industries, citizenship, ecology and town development. Since 2008, they organize the Afropixel Festival, now in its 6th edition, which is an innovation lab that provides critical and unconventional ways to develop media, art and technology in order to contribute to social change on a local and global level. The general public is invited to see art and technology as a means of citizen action, bringing together artists, computer scientists, researchers, thinkers and civil society to share and express their views. Kër Thiossane seeks to engage in exchanges and collaborations with structures from within the African continent, but also develops links with other continents. In particular they focus on establishing a South-South perspective by setting up projects of international cooperations (without the intervention from Western countries).

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Strelka Institute

Strelka is a non-governmental institution founded in 2009 to change the cultural and physical landscapes of Russian cities. It promotes positive changes and creates new ideas and values through its educational activities. Strelka provides brand new learning opportunities, while the City remains at the centre of the Institute’s research programme. Strelka’s educational programme promotes critical thinking and public presentation skills. Other cornerstones of the study programme are visual skills development, creative research and data analysis and — last but not least — the potential applicability of research projects and their value in solving the real problems of Russian cities. The New Normal, a three year initiative started in 2016, is a multidisciplinary postgraduate programme at Strelka which focuses on research and design for the city, and explores opportunities and challenges posed by emerging technologies for interdisciplinary design practices. The programme functions as a “speculative urbanism think-tank”, a platform for the invention and articulation of a new discourse and new models. All the knowledge produced at the Strelka Institute, and many of its educational events, are free to the public. This accessibility has turned the Strelka Institute into a popular public space around which various communities are built.

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The New Center

Located in Seattle, Washington, the New Centre for Research & Practice is an international, non-profit, higher education institute in the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences. It offers graduate & professional-development level certificate programs, workshops, seminars, exhibitions, residencies, and conferences addressing a wide range of disciplines. Through studying at the New Centre, students practice graduate & professional development-level research in a manner that does not interrupt their existing artistic, academic, or professional aspirations, but instead complements, enhances, and intensifies them. The New Centre is conceived upon the idea that the space of knowledge is a laboratory for navigating the links between thought and action. Their pedagogical approach bootstraps the conventional role of the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences to construct new forms of research and practice alongside, within, and between the existing disciplines and technologies. The New Centre’s aim is a constructivist one, to assemble an environment, both virtual and actual, that inspires their members to invent alternate understandings that can be put into collective practice. All of their seminars, roundtables, and symposia are conducted online via Google+ Hangouts, enabling participants – from instructors, to interlocutors, to enrollees – to engage from anywhere in the world.

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Chronus Art Center

Founded in 2013, by entrepreneur Dillion Zhang, independent curator Li Zhenhua and artist Hu Jieming, Chronus Art Center (CAC) is China’s first nonprofit art organization. It is dedicated to the presentation, research/creation and scholarship of media art. With its exhibitions, residency-oriented fellowships, lectures and workshop programs and through its archiving and publishing initiatives, CAC creates a multifaceted platform for the discourse, production and dissemination of media art in a global context. CAC is positioned to advance artistic innovation and cultural awareness, by critically engaging with media technologies that are transforming and reshaping contemporary experiences. Since 2015, CAC has restructured its programming by launching a series of interdisciplinary projects, solo exhibitions, and presented/co-presented several thematic group exhibitions. CAC routinely produces educational programs in association with its annual exhibition program. The Art&Technology@ (A&T@) is an experimental project initiated by CAC that brings the rich tradition of the synergy of art and technology up to date, by supporting leading Chinese artists working in traditional media to venture into otherwise inaccessible channels of advanced programming and production facilities. CAC brings to the public awareness of the impending post-human reality, and the resulting social and political implications, by accentuating the dynamic synergy of art and science as a response to the challenges and opportunities that contemporary media society has given rise to.

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Hyperbation

Hyperbation is an interdisciplinary artist duo formed by Pete Jiadong Qiang and Mingxuan Xie, who remix, recreate and rediscover the relationship between the human body and digital technology. They create alternative mixed reality architectural experiments aimed at erasing the boundaries between virtual and physical spaces, while expanding the notions of gamification, hyperization and hyperlocalization. Hyperbation merges contemporary art, architectural, anthropological and digital media practices, and makes use of both cultural and technological tools to their ultimate limits. As a duo, Pete and Mingxuan exhibited at Paradise Air, Matsudo (2018), Zero to One, London (2018) and the Architectural Association School of Architecture during the London Festival of Architecture (2018).

Currently based in Beijing, Pete completed his Master’s degree in Media Practice and Diploma in Architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture at the University of Liverpool in 2014. He has taken part in exhibitions, such as Festival du Film Invisible at HEAD in Geneva (2017) and the online artist residency Ishisit? in London (2017). Additionally, he also worked as an architectural assistant at Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects, London (2015) and Natural Build, Shanghai (2013).

Mingxuan completed his Master’s degree in Architecture at the University of Greenwich,London and also completed his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture at the University of Liverpool in 2014. As an architectural assistant, he worked at UNStudio in Shanghai and Sheppard Robson Architects in Manchester on various cultural and landmark building projects, including Lyric Theatre in the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong (2016), Raffles City in Hangzhou (2015), and the Contact Theatre redevelopment in Manchester (2014).

Research Proposal

During the fellowship, Hyperbation will investigate three specific geographic locations in China that each present a specific type of excess: the Hyper-Religious Body in the Dunhuang Caves, Gansu, the Hyper-Gastronomical Body in Chongqing, and the Hypersexual Body in Beijing. Each offers an expansion of the Maximalism research approach they explore within their practice, based on visual excess. By conducting field work at these sites, they hope to redefine the spaces around the human body in order to ultimately lead them to the ‘#HyperBody’ – a multi-reality space that mediates between the physical and virtual spheres. They intend to build on their knowledge of the intersections between architecture and the internet, as well as the creation of digital spaces, by consulting digital anthropologists and also architectural and design theorists.

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Jessika Khazrik

Jessika Khazrik (1991) is an interdisciplinary artist and a writer. In her practice, she focuses on topics ranging from ecotoxicology and machine learning, to linguistics, photography, and the history of science. She explores the influence of the global economy, the techno-politics of voice, and the organization of knowledge, while simultaneously investigating and reimagining varying experiences of witnessing, dwelling and labor. Her work has been exhibited internationally at the Arab Image Foundation, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Times Museum Guangzhou, and the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Theater from the Lebanese University, and a Master’s degree in Arts, Culture and Technology from MIT, where she was also awarded the Ada Lovelace prize.

Research Proposal

Lab of False Witness for Ecotoxicological Research and Communication (LFWerc) is an ongoing research project, in which Khazrik ultimately intends to create an online research and exhibition platform. It is meant to track the ways in which technology has been misused to falsify, hide and deny the distribution of toxic waste within Lebanon. She plans for the web compendium to bring together a montage of over 20,000 visual, scientific and legal documents, which she has come across in personal archives, her field work and offline/online media. Her research will focus on recurring motifs and informal protocols that govern the circulation and production of media in Lebanon, more specifically looking at the intersections of satellites and politics, and the relationship between online media and usership. She plans on connecting with on-site researchers, who are interested in the toxicity issues in Lebanon, and participating in the web platform, to create a collective project that will continue to grow after the Fellowship.

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Khoj

Khoj began as a proposition: a space for artists, run by artists. From its modest beginnings in 1997 as an annual workshop, Khoj has established itself as a non-profit, contemporary arts organization based in Delhi which provides a financial, physical and intellectual space for artists through its various programs. It plays a central role in the development of experimental, interdisciplinary, and critical contemporary art practice in India, constantly challenging established perspectives on art. Through a variety of programmes including workshops, residencies, exhibitions, talks, and community art projects, Khoj has supported the experimentation of many leading Indian artists well before they went on to receive international acclaim. With a focus on building international networks, developing alternative pedagogies, and learning through collaboration and exchange, Khoj programmes have created unconventional synapses between art and disciplines such as science, architecture, and fashion. An example of one of their workshops was their 2017 Khoj International Workshop in Goa, which brought together an international group of twenty-two artists who worked together with a collective of emerging Goan artists. They hope that the model of this workshop will bloom and take its own course, actively contributing to the arts infrastructure in the state and the large role young artists have to play in its development. Khoj aims to connect creative practitioners, and catalyze interdisciplinary collaboration and experimentation, to create new possibilities of art and art making.

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