Afropixel Festival #6, Kër Thiossane
The first chapter of the Digital Imaginaries project took place in Dakar, Senegal. It was led and hosted by the independent laboratory for digital arts and social innovation Kër Thiosanne, the affiliated maker space Defko Ak Niëp, and the community garden. Digital Imaginaries Dakar entailed four months of workshops and residencies for guest artists and designers leading up to a conference, public discussions, and an exhibition featuring new work and performances.
The events took place as part of Kër Thiossane’s biannual experimental media arts festival Afropixel during the 13th Dak’Art Biennale. Afropixel #6 was dedicated to Non-Aligned Utopias revisiting the non-aligned movement searching for alternative digital possibilities beyond dominant innovation and tech practices.
Afropixel #6 programme.
The Johannesburg iteration of Digital Imaginaries was hosted by the annual Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival and the Wits Art Museum. It included workshops, guest artist residencies, public discussions, student projects, and an exhibition.
Participants engaged with the museum’s expansive collection to explore links between computational modelling and traditional future telling, questioning postcolonial infrastructures and histories and the idea that nature is calculable.
Africas in Production
Zentrum für Kunst und Medien
The exhibition Digital Imaginaries—Africas in Production, hosted by the Zentrum für Kunst und Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany, was the third project venue. The exhibition in Karlsruhe presented documentation of the events in Dakar and Johannesburg, as well as additional videos, photographs, sculptures, installations and performances from artists who had not previously taken part.
These additional works and the supporting programme consisting of residencies, workshops and talks linked the project to local concerns and initiatives, establishing that the struggle for a more multifaceted and multifarious configuration of the digital world is always situated but cannot be confined to particular sites and locations.
African Positions Beyond the Binary
Jointly published by Kër Thiossane, Wits Art Museum, ZKM and Kerber
Digital Imaginaries. African Positions Beyond the Binary is the fourth and final part of the project. Jointly published by the partner institutions, it presents works developed during the project alongside additional artistic and scientific contributions dealing with diverse digital phenomena: From the continued impact of toxic histories and the conflict-ridden extraction of minerals critical to the digital economy to video games, experimental architecture, the reappropriation of smart city and innovation practices, the commoning of resources, attempts to digitize voter trust, calls for digital resistance and decolonial healing, the relationships between humans and technics, utopia and dystopia, and the limits of reason.
Grounded in positions on the African continent and diaspora the volume contributes to the global struggle for more diverse and inclusive digital futures.
Available in print, and as a free PDF
Artists & Researchers
Yasmine Abbas, Larry Achiampong, L’Africaine d’architecture, Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou, Bethlehem Anteneh, Younes Baba-Ali, Nothando Bhebhe, David Blandy, Joni Brenner, Tegan Bristow, Kombo Chapfika, Joshua Chiundiza, Bubblegum Club, Alex Coelho, Mehdi Derfoufi, Mamadou Diallo, Sunny Dolat , Amal Hassan Fadlalla, CUSS Group, Milumbe Haimbe, Scott Hazelhurst, Russel Hlongwane, Enrico Ille, Olalekan Jeyifous, Mwenya B. Kabwe, Wanuri Kahiu, Isaac Kariuki, Francois Knoetze, Siri Lamoureaux, Wale Lawal, Achille Mbembe, Maurice Mbikayi, Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou, The Nest Collective, Marcus Neustetter, Njoki Ngumi, Jamal Nxedlana, Nanjala Nyabola, DK Osseo-Asare, Timm Pascal Sureau, Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform, Tabita Rezaire, Judith Rottenburg, João Roxo, Joseph Tonda, Aude Tournaye, Minnette Vári and Michel Wahome.
Digital Imaginaries is a joined project of Kër Thiossane in Dakar, Senegal; Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa; and ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany, initiated by Richard Rottenburg with Julien McHardy and funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes) with further support by the DFG, Point Sud, Pro Helvetia and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Digital Imaginaries I
Kër Thiossane. Villa for Art and Multimedia, Dakar May 7–30, 2018
Curated by Oulimata Gueye, Julien McHardy, Marion Louisgrand Sylla, Daniel Sciboz
Project team Marion Aïdara, Martha Cissé, Amayel Ndiaye, Daouda Koté, Cyrille Essoh, Idrissa Sall
Digital Imaginaries—Non-Aligned Utopias took place at Kër Thiossane as part of the Afropixel #6 Festival.
Digital Imaginaries II
Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg July 24–September 23, 2018
Curated by Tegan Bristow, Fiona Rankin-Smith
Curatorial assistance Kiera Crowe-Petterson
Digital Imaginaries: Premonition took place at the Wits Art Museum in partnership with the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival.
Digital Imaginaries III
Africas in Production
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
November 17, 2018–March 17, 2019
Curated by Oulimata Gueye, Julien McHardy, Philipp Ziegler with Bettina Korintenberg and Barbara Kiolbassa (education)
Project team Anne Däuper, Natascha Daher, Viktoria von Pidoll, Christina Zartmann
Digital Imaginaries IV
African Positions Beyond Binaries
March 2021, Kerber Verlag
Editors Richard Rottenburg, Oulimata Gueye, Julien McHardy and Philipp Ziegler for Kër Thiossane, Wits Art Museum, and ZKM | Karlsruhe
Head of ZKM | Publications Jens Lutz, Editorial staff Julien McHardy, Philipp Ziegler, Miriam Stürner, Jens Lutz, Caroline Meyer-Jürshof, Hannah-Maria Winters, Daniela Schwarz, Assistance Patrick Trappendreher, Annina Guntli, Laura Schmidt, Leoni Habedank
Design The Laboratory of Manuel Bürger (Manuel Bürger, Simon Schindele)
Copyediting Melanie Mallon and the team of ZKM | Publications, Copyediting of the original German texts Kirsten Rachowiak, Munich, Copyediting of the original French texts Martine Passelaigue. Translations German > English: Steven Corcoran, Gloria Custance, Isaac Custance, Lauren K. Wolfe, French > English: Steven Corcoran. Project management, Kerber Verlag Lydia Fuchs, Production, Kerber Verlag Jens Bartneck