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Monday, June 11, 2018


(“Free Sunshine!” mini robots powered by the sun – a project by Miranda Moss (South Africa) Thulile Gamedze (South Africa) and Oliver Walkhoff (Switzerland) 
funded by Pro Helvetia)

ISEA2018 is the 24th International Symposium on Electronic Art which will come to Durban from June 23 to 30, 2018, creating a city-wide showcase of dozens of exhibitions, events, installations, walks, festivals and activities, and a major global conference on new media art, all talking to the theme of Intersections.

ISEA2018 is the first ISEA to be held in the African sub-continent. Hosted in venues across Durban, this event will incorporate the fifth iteration of the Durban University of Technology Digital Festival (DigiFest) and Innovate Durban’s 2018 Innovation Festival (IF Durban) in a strategy to build a local partnership and legacy.

ISEA2018 is a festival in two parts: an academic symposium at DUT City Campus (June 25-27) comprising peer-reviewed papers, panels and keynote presentations for registered delegates travelling from around the world; and then the dozens of events on the cultural programme (June 23-30) and public workshops (June 22-24).

To the uninitiated, the public cultural component of ISEA2018 is an intense and lively ten-day festival featuring some of the world’s most prominent digital artists, comprising a vast array of interesting, brave, fun, innovative and insightful happenings taking place in various venues across the city. The works combine existing art forms (such as illustration, design, dance, fashion, architecture, photography, film and music), re-invented and re-considered to make them interesting and relevant in a new-media, technologically-savvy world.  In most instances there is a cross-over with science; sometimes with a research component.

Expect virtual reality-based art viewed only through a tablet or smart-phone; tiny solar-paneled robots; large-scale building projections; electronic jazz performed to a silent film about dinosaurs;  underwater sound-scapes; imagining the Zambian space race; digital artworks; app-guided walking tours; video installations on the beach and animated wire art.

The cultural programme is structured in such a way that visitors can follow the daily diary and be part of a set schedule – visitors can follow the ISEA itinerary and move easily from one event to the next.

Partner venues are DUT City Campus; KZNSA Gallery; Durban Art Gallery; Denis Hurley Centre; Emmanuel Cathedral; BAT Centre; Bond Shed; Green Hub; Warwick Junction; Treasure Island; uShaka Marine World; KCap; Bulwer Park and Durban City Hall.

Most events are open to the public, are family-friendly and are free of charge.

ISEA2018 culminates on Saturday evening, June 30, with the ninth edition of Interpret Durban taking over the magnificent Durban City Hall – inside and outside the whole building from 18h00. The space will be re-imagined by a team of artists from all over the world – using the spaces in an unusual way, and displaying art in various forms throughout the building. The center-piece will be the main hall which will become a dancefloor for the evening.

“ISEA2018 / Digifest05 / IF Durban’s theme, Intersections, brings new audiences, academics, and practitioners together. It positions creative technological innovation as an activist engagement into public space and allows for creative collaboration between artists, artisans, designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and inventors. Intersections brings together projects networks and programmes that not only push the local debate on art, science and technology collaboration but builds a national network of practice and collaboration,” explains ISEA2018 artistic director and The Trinity Session director, Marcus Neustetter.

“The city-wide cultural programme will host local and international projects and presentations in public spaces across Durban and surrounding areas. These will include artist interventions and performances, site-specific workshops, talks in alternative spaces, thematic exhibitions and activation tours. This will culminate in a series of public engagements through the Technology, Innovation and Design Expo (TIDE) and Interpret Durban,” he said.

Local ISEA2018 / Digifest05 / IF Durban partners are Durban University of Technology’s Faculty of Arts and Design, Innovate Durban, eThekwini Municipality, Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau and The Trinity Session.

To find out more:
Facebook: @intersectionsdurban
Instagram: @intersectionsdurban
The detailed programme can be found on the ISEA2018 website at

ISEA symposia are coordinated by ISEA International. Founded in the Netherlands in 1990, ISEA International (formerly Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts) is an international non-profit organization fostering interdisciplinary academic discourse and exchange among culturally diverse organizations and individuals working with art, science and technology. ISEA International Headquarters is supported by the University of Brighton (UK).