Search, a workshopping discussion and collaborative project originated from Johannesburg and Capetown, South Africa. The project has been developed by the Trinity Session group: Kathryn Smith, Stephen Hobbs and Marcus Neustetter and has been realized in collaboration with the Southern African New Media Art Network (-sanman) and The I Premises.

A year and a half ago, on my visit to South Africa, Marcus has told me about the emerging new media and digital culture scene, including "sanman" plans. At that time, some activities and exhibitions have already taken place, but it still looked like if pragmatic realization of these interesting but seemingly far flung ideas would be further ahead in the future. Surely, it is a sign of the rapidly developing digital culture in South Africa that one could experience first hand a fully operational workshop with nine participants at Unplugged.

"Four months ago -told me Marcus- we began to discuss with Gerfried about the South African digital landscape. What does digital mean in South Africa?" It means a wide range of things from the popular music scene to web/print design all of which incorporate digital tools. The discussions led to the invitation of Search. The aim of the project is to chart the different resources, interesting participants as a broad concept in South Africa. The nine member team, including Marcus and Stephen came to Ars following a 3 months residency. Each team member is a professional in his/her own right. Some of the team members are more established, some are young and upcoming. Their expertise ranges from corporate design, through journalism to online activism. Stephen Hobbs is an urban investigator, Marcus is focused on the art environment. The eclectic interest of the Team include pop music, street culture, pop culture, videos, sound art and many other things.

The Ars Electronica residency started with a two day workshop by reacting
creatively to the differences and similarities between South Africa and Austrian Linz. Videos and stills were captured, sounds and texts recorded - the often complimentary, sometimes clashing results were all reworked and uploaded in the emerging collaborative website. In the last three days the participants were busy to develop a platform to take home. Many issues were discussed, such as the points to be defined for a build-on digital environment What type of communication approach should be used for effective results? Considerations of a list of people to invite were discussed. All these different factors were mapped out and brought together. Surprisingly by the end of Ars, a rough business plan for the next 6 months emerged, including how to help communication and exchange towards a sustainable future.

"There are many brilliant ideas for community building -told me Marcus- but people seldom follow through. In South Africa, most of us live and work in separate communities, Search was an opportunity to operate within a larger context, and present a mix of elitist and pop culture. In addition to develop our own workshop experience our aim was to tell people informally what South Africa is about. There might not have been enough feedback as it was difficult, perhaps even alienating for the audience that they couldn't engage. But it is an ongoing process....."

Open Air - Radiotopia, and Search were linked in more than one way. On Tuesday, September 10, local Johannesburg sound artists contributed to the Radiotopia broadcast. Beyond this active contribution there were many informal connections - all in the nature of collaborative process based

Nina Czeledy 10.02

Year01 Forum Index

Urban Africa Club (Techno Issa, Mali and Dijgui, Mali

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Test Patches Performance