Web Residencies Muntu Maxims

On behalf of the jury, it is an honor to present Digital Solitude’s artists in residence. The four winners of this prize will spend one month in Akademie Schloss Solitude’s Web Residency. The jury hopes that the prize will enable the artist to continue exploring and developing their proposed projects. The artists will also have the opportunity and time to engage with Akademie Schloss Solitude’s network. The award goes to artists whose time-based media work delves into the unique ways in which various everyday life performances reflect on learning from objects, technology, and nonhumans, profoundly executing ideas of interconnectedness, multiple folds, and transitions as vital to beings. We are very happy to announce residents Nkhensani Mkhari, Marie-Eve Levasseur, Lark VCR, and Zahra Malkani.

Juror's Statement by Violet Nantume — Nov 16, 2020

Graphics by Stephan Thiel & Anne Lippert
Muntu Maxims graphics by Stephan Thiel und Anne Lippert

Nkhensani Mkhari (re)creates a digital »power figure,« an attempt to archive and excavate precolonial history. An imminent tension between remembering and forgetting in society pours over and permeates cyberspace, given how little control we have over how our information and memories are stored. The work references thousands of spiritual artifacts; repositories of ancestral spirits transmogrified into art objects relegated to vitrines in museums on distant shores, thousands more destined for destruction under fire. Today the history and meaning of these objects continue to challenge Africans, anthropologists, and museum curators alike.

Marie-Eve Levasseur’s work proposes brewing symbiotic care in a brewery where plants, microorganisms (yeast), machines, and humans collaborate. The work recognizes brewsters, alewives, and other women who brew for their kin to survive, but also gather specific knowledge about plants, fungi, healing, and caring for their own bodies and those related to them. The work also examines the relationship of human beings to yeast, researching former and current rituals and looking at the power relations related to brewing and caring.

Zahra Malkani creates ephemeral imagery in an audiovisual web installation that explores divinity as a system by exploring Shivaite and Sufi healing practices in Pakistan’s delta and desert regions; ancient ecologies now ravaged by coal and dam infrastructure.  The project looks at the collective healing power of nature while working across different South Asian aniconist traditions.

And an online moon altar by Lark VCR will honor tradition and track the lunar cycle via sound and visual metaphor to explore how the moon’s movement universally affects and foregrounds cycles of travel and rest, celebration and solitude, the act of letting go and then setting intention. The moon altar will be an interactive website; its use of sounds and images denoting the global and shared experience that will shift with the moon’s phases.

Violet Nantume

Violet Nantume is a curator and director at UNDER GROUND, a gallery and contemporary art space in Kampala, Uganda. She has worked as cultural producer for eight years and has had collaborations in Eastern Africa, Ghana, South Africa, and Germany.

 

Nkhensani Mkhari

Nkhensani Mkhari is a Johannesburg-based multidisciplinary artist and curator. Their broad praxis spans photography, painting, performance art, sound design, and new media. Their artworks function as multimodal material-semiotic metaphors.

Lark Alder

Lark Alder aka. Lark VCR explores the personal, political, and social implications of an increasingly digitized and bioengineered world. VCR stands for Virtually Conflicted Reality–the state of perpetual disconnect we navigate as cognizant individuals who have no choice but to participate in systems defined by injustice. Leveraging hybrid forms of video and web-based media, their projects offer queer feminist visions for future technology’s role in mediating magic and intimacy.

Marie-Eve Levasseur

Marie-Eve Levasseur’s work deals with intimacy, interactions, and non-human ecosystems. She works with video, installation, sculpture, and 3D animation, among other techniques. The method she uses feeds from feminist science fiction and its emancipatory potential. Her projects produce speculative fabulations; imagined situations with fictive devices, extensions for human and non-human beings that open a cross-species dialogue.

Zahra Malkani

Zahra Malkani is a multidisciplinary artist and Assistant Professor of Practice in communication and design at the Habib University in Karachi. She completed her MA in contemporary art theory at Goldsmiths University of London/UK (2013) and her BA in studio art at Bard College, New York/USA (2009). Her research-based art practice spans multiple media including text, video, and web, and explores the politics of development, infrastructure, and militarism in Pakistan. Together with Shahana Rajani she is the co-founder of Karachi LaJamia, an experimental pedagogical project founded in 2015.

Lark Alder

Lark Alder aka. Lark VCR explores the personal, political, and social implications of an increasingly digitized and bioengineered world. VCR stands for Virtually Conflicted Reality–the state of perpetual disconnect we navigate as cognizant individuals who have no choice but to participate in systems defined by injustice. Leveraging hybrid forms of video and web-based media, their projects offer queer feminist visions for future technology’s role in mediating magic and intimacy.

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