Tag: Fak’ugesi

About Nathan Gates:

Nathan Gates is an artist currently based in Johannesburg. He holds a Master’s degree in Digital Arts from The University of The Witwatersrand where he also lectures part-time. His work focuses on the domestication of knowledge brought in part by the growing ubiquity of digital technologies and its accompanying technological modes of thinking.

In his practice he explores the relationship between “Agency” and “Structure” as this tension operates in everyday life, critically examining the nature of one’s capacity to act in a highly organized environments, both politically and socially. Though various modes of physical interrogation he examines to what degree agency (the ability to choose to act and be), is indebted to its fabricated physical and social environment and to what extent it can be considered autonomy vs. adaptation or making the most of circumstance. In a process based practice often incorporating found objects, ideas and gestures all as equal counterparts, he aims at opening up modes of mindful experimentation and knowledgeability that for the most part seek to make productive use of error and failure.
As Fak’ugesi Resident Gates investigated the wireless networks and their presence as public space. Through the residency Gates produced work that interogated the role of network names as a site for public interactivity, giving agency and control to the public through these names and their use. In this podcast she speaks to residency curator Tegan Bristow about his work and experiences on the residency.

In this episode Tegan Bristow interviews Fak’ugesi Resident Ling Tan.

About Resident Artist Ling Tan:
Ling Tan is a designer, maker and coder interested in how people interact with the built environment and wearable technology. Trained as an architect, she enjoys building physical machines and prototypes to explore different modes of interaction between people and their surrounding spaces. She currently works at Umbrellium in London to understand social wearables through community participation. Her works have been featured in magazines and websites across the globe and has been nominated for the Internet of Things Awards.

About Curator Tegan Bristow:
Tegan Bristow is a Johannesburg-based interactive media artist and lecturer and head of Interactive Digital Media at the Digital Arts Division of the University of the Witwatersrand. She is currently completing her PhD on Technology, Art and Culture Practices in Africa. As an artist, Bristow has exhibited widely, exhibitions include “Meaning Motion” at the Wits Art Museum and the Hotel Yeoville Project. Recently Bristow curated an extensive exhibition of African technology art with the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, titled ‘Post African Futures.’


Short Description
A festival residency which hosted three disciplines hardware (maker), software and arts with the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Festival in Johannesburg South Africa. Residents comprised of two artists from the UK, Ling Tand and Kasia Molga, and two artists from South Africa, Nathan Gates and Jepchumba. Following the Fak’ugesi Festival, residents present outcomes in a residency exchange at Watermans in London in November 2015.

Residency Theme

The residency is developed in extension of the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Festival, and the festival itself is about not only the convergence of technology, art and culture, but also the development of Braamfontien in Johannesburg as a new hub for digital media and technology cultures evolving from a vibrant community of young creatives living and working in the area. The residency is an invitation to respond to the environment by exploring it as it stands and to create speculative and digital public engagement in response to this theme: “Futurist Visions of Johannesburg / City: uncovering place and space, physical and virtual responses to ‘now’ for socio-cultural technologies of the future.”

Working together, sharing insights and knowledge while engaging the city and its technology cultures, we invited the residents to bring into being a speculative technological-engagement that asks questions of a futuristic Johannesburg / City.


2015 Partners

SA/UK Seasons, project funding in establishing relationships between the UK and South Africa.

Watermans, West London community arts and performance centre with curator Irini Papadimitriou. Watermans will host the residency exchange for London as part of a digital media weekender festival in November 2014.

Wits Art Museum, an Art Museum in Johannesburg South Africa that will not only host the residency studio but will show the outcomes in exhibition following the residency in Johannesburg.

Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Festival, the organising event in which the initial residency is contained, with Tegan Bristow as lead on the project.


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