Core Dump

Francois Knoetze

Core Dump: in cybernetic terms, it means the recorded state of working memory in a computer, fixed at a specific point of time, to be recovered after a crash. Technology has memory, a built-in archive of information and inscribed circuits of knowledge that can be acted and re-enacted. But is memory a sole and fixed unit? And what kind of memory is contained? Whose past does it refer to?

This oddly poetic ‘memory’ of a computer forms the basis for Francois Knoetze’s ‘Core Dump’, a four-part video series filmed in Dakar, Kinshasa, Shenzhen and New York that extends the metaphor of a crash to the impending breakdown and unsustainability of the global capitalist techno-scientific system. The series speculatively retraces the supply chain of digital technology, exploring nodes of anti-colonial struggle, humanist imaginaries, and non-aligned utopias. This form of cosmotechnics is here to indicate a way of overcoming the machine enslavement and moving towards a hacking of the imperial system, connecting the material traces of our digital present into a circuit of human-machine relations as a form of indigenous techno-aesthetic resistance, questioning and debunking the presumed hierarchies of knowledge.

Genre: Visual Art

Format: Video

Language: English

Ages: All ages

Duration: 13 – 31 July 2021






Featuring Bamba Diagne
Camera/Cinematography: Anton Scholtz
Sound Design: Caydon van Eck
Special thanks to Oulimata Gueye, Marion Louisgrand Sylla, Julien McHardy, Amy Louise Wilson, Tabita Rezaire, Amayel Ndiaye, Martha Cisse, Marion Aidara, Daoda Kote, Soda Khoulé, Ousmane Ba, Abdoulaye Faye, Amadou Diop, Cyrille Essoh, Fiona Rankin-Smith, Francois Sylla, Marcus Neustetter, Daniel Sciboz, Alioune Tounde Mboj, Philipp Ziegler, Centre International du Commerce Exterieur du Senegal.
Produced in cooperation with Kër Thiossane (Dakar); Wits Art Museum (Johannesburg); and ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe for the project ‘Digital Imaginaries’, funded by the TURN fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Inspired by the writings of Joseph Tonda
Camera/Cinematography: Cléophée Moses
Featuring Darly Mbudi
Production Manager: Amy Louise Wilson
Music: Bebson de la rue
Sound Design: Caydon van Eck
Additional Camera: Nizar Saleh Hirji
Also featuring Christian Bena Toko

Special Thanks to KINACT 3, Elie Mbansing, Eddy Ekete, Aude Bertrand, Azgar Itambo, Precy Numbi (Robot Costume), Arthur Poutignat, Yas Ilunga, Widjo Wiyombo, Christian Kabeya, Diesert Mute Dikalo, Paty Kitete, Paty Masiapa, Charlien Adriaenssens, Patrick Kusakana.
This project was supported by an ANT Mobility Grant from Prohelvetia Johannesburg, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

With thanks to the contributors of ZKM video production: Mukwa Sankiala (actor), Marcus Neustetter (extra), Amy Louise Wilson (production manager, actor), Andy Koch (camera), Viktoria von Pidoll (assistance), Philipp Ziegler, Anne Däuper.


Production Manager, Additional Camera, Translation, ‘Factory Owner’s Son’: Chen Qiheng
‘Factory Owner’/’Mami Wata’: Amita Ye Feng
‘River Worker’: Matthew Chen
‘Angel of Death’: Shan He
Sound Design: Caydon van Eck

Special Thanks
33 Space, Shenzhen, Sally Chen, Jia Weilian, Oulimata Gueye, Amy Louise Wilson, Kathryn Weir, Ilaria Conti, Gamu Moyo, Renee Roukens, Arthur Steiner, DOBOT

Sir Victor Uwaifo: Guitar Boy
Teresa Teng: The Sighs of Grief
Bembeya Jazz National: Mami Wata

This project forms part of the Digital Earth Fellowship, initiated by Hivos, SIDA, and The British Council.

New York

Big Dog Robot
Amy Louise Wilson
Matteo Guillin
Elisha Mudly

Special Thanks
Kathyn Weir
Oulimata Gueye

This project forms part of the Digital Earth Fellowship, initiated by Hivos, SIDA, and The British Council.


Francois Knoetze is a scavenger, sculptor, performer, and video artist with an interest in the connections between social histories and material culture. His roaming costumed performances and experimental videos pick at the socio-spatial force-fields that attempt to rigidly order the contaminated, folded, and entangled worlds of people and things.

Knoetze is a co-founder of the Lo-Def Film Factory. Based in South Africa, the collective’s work involves archival research, dramaturgy and visual strategies associated with video art, collage, sculptural installation and Virtual Reality, to explore and create space for collaborative, experimental community storytelling.