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Creativate Digital Arts Festival: 5 highlights

Published on 6 June 2019

The second Creativate Digital Arts Festival, supported by Standard Bank, runs across all 11 days of the National Arts Festival this year, offering a vast and exciting menu of innovation, creativity and inspiration.

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Creativate co-curator Lauren Fletcher

Co-curator Lauren Fletcher selects five highlights from the fascinating line-up: 

  • HERE, is a virtual reality experience premiering at Creativate, produced by Electric South and directed by the phenomenal Shelley Barry, an artist working as an  experimental documentary filmmaker and disability rights activist. Barry was born and raised in the Eastern Cape and we are excited to be showing HERE first, in her home province. Within the virtual space of HERE, Johannesburg artists with disabilities reimagine their city as an inclusive stage for a fantastic happening.
  • THE INVISIBLE EXHIBITION is a collection of augmented reality artworks created and curated by top South African artists. A partnership between TMRW (The Mixed Reality Workshop) Gallery and Season 5 of the renowned Centre for the Less Good Idea, has led to this experimental collection of “invisible” artworks. I cannot wait to see what artists such as Lady Skollie, Blessing Ngobeni and William Kentridge, to name a few, create when they play and experiment with new and exciting technologies.
  • Jenna Burchell is an award winning South African artist who exhibited her amazing sound installation Homing at the National Arts Festival in 2014. We are excited to invite her back to speak at Creativate to talk about her latest project SONGSMITH & THE LIVING WILL OF TECHNOLOGICAL ARTWORKS. Burchell’s interactive sculptures have a technological magic and magnetism to them which, in her own words, explore “the nonsensical, yet beautiful, depth in technology when it is used with art; especially when it appears to act according to its own will”.
  • CREATENEERING is a fun and playful workshop hosted by Dr Michaella Janse van Vuuren. Participants will learn how to add sound effects to drawings, stories and poetry. Learning about sensors, conductivity and capacitive touch, participants will create monsters that groan, cats that meow, and poetry that speaks out loud. This is the epitome of learning about technology through creativity. As an engineer, artist and designer, Van Vuuren has been at the forefront of 3D printing in South Africa. She will also be giving a talk, THE ART OF ENGINEERING, showcasing a few of her 3D printed artworks, The Art of Play.
  • For those who love a good beat – the Slaves to the Rhythm duo Barry van Zyl and Josh Hawkes will be hosting two workshops: ANALOG TO DIGITAL  – A CREATIVE JOURNEY FROM OWNERSHIP TO ACCESS; and CONTENT CREATION: THE NEW GLOBAL PATH FOR CREATIVES. The enthusiasm and love for music from these two globally experienced musicians is infectious. They will take participants on a journey of live-performance and interactive-experience, and elements of the content generated at the workshop will form part of the late-night Creativate Afterparty, hosted and performed by Barry, Josh and DJ Stat3gy at 23h30, Friday 5 July at the Monument Sundowner Stage.

Out-of-the-ordinary theatre productions complete the 2019 Creativate programme. Audiences can look forward to:

  • FROGMAN, an immersive, technically innovative coming-of-age thriller from UK-based theatre company curious directive that integrates live action and virtual reality.
  • The multi-award-winning team of Jemma Kahn and Jaco Bouwer bring CELLIST WITH RABIES, pushing the boundaries of kamishibai, a fascinating form of Japanese street theatre, to tell “a story of disease, failure and breakfast”.
  • ERSATZ, French director and performer Julian Mellon’s “freely fantasised projection of a future man. In this non-verbal piece, Mellano manipulates concrete objects to explore virtual reality with the audience in a comical and mysterious treasure hunt.
  • Sweden’s Sirqus Alon’s award-winning I AM SOMEBODY is a lyrical, sharp-edged, apocalyptic music-theatre piece – “a unique high-tech musical innovation for the internet generation (and everyone else)”.

To see the full 2019 Creativate Digital Arts Festival programme, go here