LUIS SALA

Luis Sala is a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer from Maputo, Mozambique.  He has danced for the National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique for 10 years, assuming the role of principle soloist from 2000 to 2007, inclusive.  Luis has performed for over 70 presidents and historical figures such as Queen Elisabeth, Nelson Mandela, and Hilary Clinton and had a chance to be in the Movie Ali by Will Smith.  He has toured across four continents and worked for numerous international choreographers, including but not limited to: Donald Byrd, Chuck Davis, Jawole Whila Zollar, George Khumalo, David Zambrano, Arco Renz, Bettina Holzhousen, Kwame Rose, Lia Rodrigues, Clara Andermatte, Francisco Camacho, David Abilio and Casimiro Nhussi.

In 2000 Luis started choreographing his own full length shows. He also choreographed for the FIFA WORLD CUP and for the South African Rugby League. In Luis’ creations he has worked with dancers, Capoeira masters, and musicians from Mozambique, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, England, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Reunion Island and Austria. He has taught internationally, in Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, USA, Canada, Portugal, Lybia  and China. Ssince Luis returned back to Mozambique, he started a professional training program to increase the professional level in dance throughout the country, and collaborating with other countries in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean.

Luis is also one of the main partners with MoNo, (collaboration between Mozambican and Norwegian Government).

NASTIO MOSQUITO

Nástio Mosquito born in 1981 in Angola, largely educated in Portugal, and now currently living in Belgium, Nástio Mosquito is emerging to be one of the most exciting artists of his generation and was recently awarded the Future Generation Art Prize. Rooted in the broadcast industry, where he worked previously as director and cameraman, his practice embraces video and music, performance and installation.

Theatrically, Mosquito takes centre stage in his work. He often assumes roles, through mimicry, in order to express ideas occurring to him, not so much as his own cherished beliefs but rather observations on human folly manifested in modern life. The distance between his actual identity and such characterisations enables him to express himself variously as being transgressive, cool, cynical, profane and vulgar. “Nástia”, a know-it-all with a Russian accent – a monster engendered by the Cold War – epitomises this tendency, and often makes an appearance.

Mosquito has performed at music festivals within the context of visual arts programmes – Biennale of Bordeaux (2009), Tate Modern (2012), Berardo Collection (2013) – whilst having a lively online presence, including an app, and a recently released album, Se Eu Fosse Angolano. Ikon presented DAILY LOVEMAKING, Nástio Mosquito’s first solo museum show from February –April 2015 in Birmingham

Previous group exhibitions include 9 Artists at Walker Art Center (2013); Politics of Representation, Tate Modern (2012); and the 29th São Paulo Biennial (2010).

REMIXING WAGNER

DJ Spooky and Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner’s (1813-1883) operas and conceptual writings remain some of the most influential works of the last two centuries. With their complexity, abstract harmonies and deeply elaborate use of leitmotifs, Wagner set the tone for how we think about composition and multiple interpretations of set design, architecture, and the complete use of music to create a virtual tableau for 21st century digital media. It’s been argued that he is essentially the first multimedia composer.

Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, the innovative research structure at the University of Bayreuth, have invited Paul D. Miller to explore some of the deep structural relationships between Wagner’s concepts and the tensions between his work as a composer and theoretician and the long standing controversy surrounding his career.

From 2015-2016, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky is Composer in Residence at Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies in the heart of Bayreuth where Wagner oversaw his crowning achievement – the legendary Festspiel Haus. The Residency is comprised of an exhibition, concert series. It will be part of the joint exhibition of Academy researchers and artists responding to the overarching theme “Future Africa – Visions in Time” which opens on November 7th, 2015, at Iwalewahaus in Bayreuth. Paul D. Miller’s project on the idea of Gesamtkunstwerk is devoted to explores the philosophical dimensions of Wagner’s work in relation to 21st Century aesthetics and compositional strategies. The Residency will culminate in an album that explores many of Wagner’s most well known works.

Artist statement:

I first encountered Wagner not just as a composer but as a friend of one of my favorite philosophers, Friedrich Nietzsche. The collected Aphorisms of Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and one of my favorite adages from it “For, as a rule, artists are no better than the rest of the world, they are even worse – they misunderstand love. Even Wagner misunderstood it…” are a big inspiration for my work. I did one of my degrees in Philosophy and focused on Ludwig Feuerbach, Nietzsche, Hegel, and the rise of humanism. The intriguing thing about Wagner is that his work was never meant to be “just music” – neither is mine. I started my Residency in Bayeuth by physically walking through the town and environs for many miles. I wanted to put myself in the scenario of Wagner’s architectural idea-form, the Festspiel Haus to explore the resonance between the composer as architect and philosopher. There’s also the dynamic engagement with some of my soundtrack work: Wagner’s music was used to sublimely powerful effect in DW Griffith’s deeply controversial film “Birth of a Nation.” I remixed the film and soundtrack with Kronos Quartet in 2016. The other aspects of Wagner – The Tristan Chord (which many musicologist a trace to the rise of Modernist post Harmonic tone sequences, etc), and Wagner’s relationship to cinema inform the project and Residency: Apocalype Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979), Amiri Baraka’s famous “Dutchman” (1964) on over to the Richard Burton 1983 biographic “Wagner,” to Stephen Fry’s “Wagner and Me” (2012), James Franco’s rendition of “Tristan and Isolde” (2006, Tony Scott, Director) and more currently, the rise of multimedia as the dominant global discourse of our time – all of these point to Wagner as more important than ever. From his relationship to modern cinema (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars etc) one can see his traces on almost every major aspect of Western culture – up to and including the main theme of many, many weddings: The “Bridal Chorus” (“Treulich geführt” in German), from the 1850 opera Lohengrin, is a march played for the bride’s entrance at many formal weddings throughout the Western world. Then there’s the whole issue of his concepts of Gesamkunstwerk and Zukunftmusik that anticipated our media discourse by a full century. While Wagner won critical acclaim for what he achieved in his theater works, his nuanced and passionately written, problematic philosophical works are less well known. I’ll balance music with art and philosophy in this Residency, and I hope you can join me for the journey.

Bayreuth, 2015

I’ll be exploring a digital media response to his work by looking some of the more complex issues informing his work.

relation to 21st Century aesthetics and compositional strategies. The Residency will culminate in an album that explores many of Wagner’s most well known works.

KATHARINA FINK

Katharina Fink works as researcher, writer and cultural organizer. She holds a Magister in Cultural Studies from University of Thübingen and a PhD from BIGSAS, University of Bayreuth. She is and has been engaged in various projects ranging from all cultural areas to research and teaching. Her particular interest is to combine theoretical and practical aspects of aesthetics with societal issues: What can ‘beautiful’ mean? She’s also facilitating the literary estate of late South African author, Bloke Modisane.

Currently she holds the position of a Post-Doc-researcher at the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, where she is part of the sub-project TP 5, Revolution 3.0. She not only was essential in developing a new method, used in this sub-project, called the Icon Lab, but also forms part of the curatorial and organisational team for the upcoming exhibition, Future Africa – Visions in Time. Keeping in touch with her second home university, she’s affiliated researcher at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Johannesburg.

frl_fink@gmx.net
katharina.fink@uni-bayreuth.de

www.sübkültür.de
www.revolvermaedle.wordpress.com
www.bayreuth-academy.uni-bayreuth.de/resources/TP5-poster-revolution.pdf

STORM JANSE VAN RENSBURG

Storm Janse van Rensburg (b. 1972) is an independent South African curator currently based in Berlin. He was previously senior curator at Goodman Gallery Cape Town (2007 – 2011) and curator of the KwaZulu Natal Society of Arts (KZNSA), Durban (2000 – 2006). He was a founding member of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA), and facilitated and coordinated the first VANSA Curator’s Workshop, Robben Island (2006). Curated group exhibitions include New Painting a national traveling exhibition at the KZNSA, University of South Africa Gallery and the Johannesburg Art Gallery (2006) and Nation State (co-curator, 2009), The Marks We Make (2009), and EAT ME! (2011) amongst others for Goodman Gallery South Africa.

Curated solo exhibitions include Beau Diable by James Webb for the National Arts Festival (2007) and Wonderland, the Standard Bank Young Artist exhibition by Nontsikelelo Veleko (2008). He curated the first South African solo exhibition by Hank Willis Thomas, All Things Being Equal (2010) and the first exhibition focused on the portraiture of David Goldblatt,  Portraits at Goodman Gallery Cape Town (2011).

Since his relocation to Berlin in 2012 he has been working closely with the artist Abrie Fourie as project curator for Oblique, which has been presented at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany; the Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa; Iwalewahaus, University of Bayreuth, Germany, SMAC Gallery Cape Town (2012 – 2013) and Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah (2013) and Atlanta (2014).

He curated the group exhibition The Beautyful Ones at Nolan Judin, Berlin (2013) and co-curated with Nadine Siegert the two person exhibition GhostBusters II with Delio Jasse and kara lynch at SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin (2013). Most recently he curated A temporary admission by Bridget Baker for the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown South Africa (2014). He has edited a number of exhibition catalogues and has written for African Arts journal, Art South Africa and Canvas magazines amongst others. He is a Fellow of the Academy for Advanced African Studies, University of Bayreuth, Germany, and co-curator Roundtables for the year long research and exhibition project Giving Contours to Shadows, an initiative by SAVVY Contemporary in association with Neuer Berliner, Kunstverein.

DJ SPOOKY

DJ Spooky aka Paul D. Miller is the executive editor of ORIGIN Magazine and is a composer, multimedia artist, editor and author. His DJ MIXER iPad app has seen more than 12 million downloads in the last year. In 2012-2013 he is the first artist-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC starting this fall. He’s produced and composed work for Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, and scores of artists and award-winning films. Miller’s work as a media artist has appeared in the Whitney Biennial; The Venice Biennial for Architecture, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany; Kunsthalle, Vienna; The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and many other museums and galleries. His book Sound Unbound, an anthology of writings on electronic music and digital media is a best-selling title for MIT Press. He has been featured everywhere from Elle to CNN to SyFy.

Miller’s deep interest in reggae and dub has resulted in a series of compilations, remixes and collections of material from the vaults of the legendary Jamaican label, Trojan Records. Other releases include Optometry (2002), a jazz project featuring some of the best players in the downtown NYC jazz scene, and Dubtometry (2003) featuring Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Mad Professor. Another of Miller’s collaborations, Drums of Death, features Dave Lombardo of Slayer and Chuck D of Public Enemy among others. He also produced material on Yoko Ono’s recent album Yes, I’m a Witch.

DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation was commissioned in 2004 by the Lincoln Center Festival; Spoleto Festival USA; Weiner Festwochen; and the Festival d’Automne a Paris. It was the artist’s first large-scale multimedia performance piece, and has been performed in venues around the world, from the Sydney Festival to the Herod Atticus Amphitheater, more than fifty times. The DVD version of Rebirth of a Nation was released by Anchor Bay Films/Starz Media in 2008.

DJ Spooky’s multimedia performance piece Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica was commissioned by BAM for the 2009 Next Wave Festival; The Hopkins Center/Dartmouth College; UCSB Arts & Lectures; Melbourne International Arts Festival; and the Festival dei 2 Mondi in Spoleto, Italy. With video projections and a score composed by DJ Spooky, performed by a piano quartet, Terra Nova: Sinfornia Antarctica is a portrait of a rapidly transforming continent.

In August 2009, DJ Spooky visited the Republic of Nauru in the Micronesian South Pacific to do research and gather material for The Nauru Elegies: A Portrait in Sound and Hypsographic Architecture., a collaboration with artist/architect Annie Kwon, first presented at Experimenta in Melbourne, Australia in February 2010. In January 2010. Miller was commissioned by German radio to write the composition “Terra Nullius”.

In 2011, Miller released a graphic design project exploring the impact of climate change on Antarctica through the prism of digital media and contemporary music compositions that explored the idea of “acoustic portraits” of Antarctica entitled “The Book of Ice” (Thames and Hudson/Mark Batty Publisher). The Book of Ice is includes an introduction by best selling author and quantum physicist Brian Greene, author, The Elegant Universe. The Book of Ice is a multi-media installation, a music composition for string quartet, and a book, and it has been included in the 2011 Gwangju Biennial, by Korean architect Seung H-Sang and Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

PICTURE: DJ Spooky Architecture Concert (projected mapping of structure) at Kernel Festival, Villa Tittoni Traversi Desio, Italy July 1,2,3, 2011

CONCEPTS OF FUTURE IN MEDIASPACES OF AFRICA AND ITS DIASPORAS

Our sub-project is dedicated to fictional conceptualisations of the future in the intersection and overlapping of internet, imagination and Africa and its diasporas.

Description

The sub-project “Concepts of Future in Mediaspaces of Africa and its Diasporas” is dedicated to fictional conceptualizations of ‘Future’ in the intersecting trans-spaces of Internet, Fiction, and Africa/n Diasporas. In doing so, literary studies are mobilized as transcultural and transmedial “life science” (Ottmar Ette).

Terms

Diasporas constitute societal spaces that perform entangled (hi)stories and generate transcultural futures, promising creative solutions for global challenges. Fiction does not exist in a vacuum; rather, given constellations of knowledge, power and visions are negotiated polyphonously—affirmed, and/or subverted. Diasporas transgress borders between languages and nations just as much as fiction transgresses conventional boundaries of genres and media. The Internet has become a haven and home for these kinds of intersections and interactions of both Africa and its diasporas as well as media and genres. Weblogs, informational as well as social fora (to mention just the most obvious), are mediaspaces that are informed by given geopolitical power constellations and yet offer scopes of intellectual and aesthetic mobility that transgress them. Here, a poetics arises that (re)invents itself for the future, coping with history and negotiating the present.

Methodology and Theory

Literary Studies facing transmedial and transcultural fiction has to reinvent itself and resituate its structures, concepts and agendas. The various projects will rely on an expertise in African and African-diasporic Literatures, English and Anglophone Literatures, as well as German and Romance Literatures. Yet, conventional pigeonholes such as national literatures and one-language-one-nation-only frames of literary studies are likewise transgressed. As a result, the project performs Transcultural Literary Studies, relying on postcolonial theory and critical whiteness studies, Diaspora studies, gender and sexuality studies, and queer studies.

Questions

1. How are visions of ‘Future’ mediated via the Internet?

2. Which visions and projections of ,Future’—with particular reference to Africa/n diasporas, Europe, and the USA—are negotiated in fiction, above all in Afrofuturism, Africanist Science Fiction and African-diasporic Net-Art?

3. How have Afrofuturism, Africanist SF and African-diasporic Net-Art intervened and generated visions of histories that remember into futures? (How) do they influence conceptualizations of the future and intervene in contemporary processes? What are the implications of such interventions?

4. What are the impacts of visions of ‘Future’ on global archives of knowledge, on transcultural dialogicity, and on local and translocal conceptions of ‘Future’ in Europe, Africa and the USA?

5. (How) Does the Internet influence other media? Does it open specific potentials for future-oriented, transcultural and transmedial forms of expression, as well as, e.g., new economic and ethical formats of ‘intellectual property’? How do various genres interact, how are their stakeholders and/or agencies cross-linked on the local and/or transregional levels, and how do their literary-aesthetical visions of ‘Future’ influence political activism in ‘real’ (local) settings, especially in urban agglomerations—understood as contact spaces between Africa-/Europe/Northern America/Asia, and Africa/Diaspora(s)—, respectively?

6. Different Web formats (blogs, artists’ websites, publications in social fora, etc.) will be compared in order to address the following questions: To what extent do new aesthetic genres, especially those of particular relevance for the development and/or presentation of visions of ‘Future’ in/for Africa, emerge from and through the Internet? In a comparative perspective, Internet literature of the African Diaspora(s) can be analyzed in relation to other, ‘classical’ literary media (publishers, booksellers, literary cafés, academia, etc.), and the relevance of the Internet for different regional spaces shall be considered. Insomuch as Web-based aesthetic production presents itself as polyphonic genre-crossing, prose and Spoken Word Performances will be compared with genres such as fine (visual) arts, photography, music, and theatre/film production in/of African Diaspora(s).

7. (How) Can research on new literary representations of future (e.g. ‘Afrofuturism’, SF, African-diasporic Net-Art) determine coordinates for the future of a ‘Literary Study in Motion’ (Ottmar Ette), contribute to new paradigms and mappings, and thereby result in the advancement of both literature and literary studies?