A MAZE. set to take place from 28 August until 2 September is the first international games and media art festival to be held in Johannesburg which plans to create a platform for African and European media artists and game developers.
The goal of the A MAZE. Interact Festival in Johannesburg is to create an evolving platform for African and European media artists and game developers. Basically, the festival creates / opens up a playground for everyone who wants to experience the Human-Human-Machine interaction. A MAZE. Interact provides a six day program with lectures, panels, screenings, arcade, interactive installations, street games, workshops, concerts, performances and parties.
With over 38 international and local artists, speakers and musicians showcasing their craft, the festival aims at bringing games, music, movies and art to the public in a dynamic, interactive and fun-filled 6-day event. It is the first time in South African art history that so many artists and creatives come together to showcase their work through the various mediums.
Since its inception in 2008, A MAZE. Has been successfully celebrating the convergence of game and art across Europe, with the HQ being based in Berlin.
The founder of A MAZE. and festival director Thorsten S. Wiedemann says ‚”Johannesburg has this electrified inspiring energy in the air I experienced 15 years ago when I first came to Berlin. There are somehow touch-points between the two metropolises, which I want to work out together with local and international artists and create an imaginary bridge to connect both spots. I wish that we bring together a wide range of technology enthusiasts, games and art interested people to participate in the festival program, discuss local issues and foster future collaborations.‚”
Included in the program is the Jump’N Run Party. Music is and has always been the prime medium of human-human interaction. The festival therefore features a club night with both African and European programs including DJs, live acts, performances, playful visuals, and interactive installations.
Electronic musicians included in the festival’s musical line-up include:
BY HARUO – Japan
JOAO ORECCHIA – JHB
MENEO (JOSE ROBERTO PREZ SAMAYOA) – Guatamala
OOTZ AKA OTSILE RAMARUMO – JHB
TIM GROENEBOOM (AKA WIIJ TIMSKI) – Holland
BLKJKS SOUNDSYSTEM – JHB
Game-inspired music is just one part of the mergence of party and pioneering art work based on experiments with computer game artifacts and aesthetics expect hardware hack performances, chiptune celebrities, community building, fun, musical adventure games, as well as beautiful synesthetic experiences.
LECTURES & PANELS
Focusing on the convergence of media art and games, a symposium provides the opportunity to present projects as well as to discuss and reflect upon games in the context of media theory. Lectures on the implications of games strengthen ties to the academic discourse, which can be started in the panels to diverse topics of current issues. Interdisciplinary participants bring together their respective fields and provide a valuable insight in South African and European mindsets.
These lectures provide invaluable insight for all creatives. The topics include:
COMPUTER GAMES AS A MEDIUM FOR SOFTWARE EDUCATION
HOW TO CREATE LUSH WORLDS WITH A FEW LINES OF CODE AND PHOTOSHOP
MAKING MAGIC AT THE DIGITAL EDGE
A YOUTH MULTI-DISCIPLINARY DIALOGUE ON MIGRATION
And many, many more‚Ä¶
The exhibition spaces will show artistic computer games, interactive and playful installations and video documentations of public intervention.
As South African and European culture is brought together, games and media art stands united too. Both fields open discussions, show parallels and therefore gain new insights and knowledge. Artistic arcade games, far off the mainstream, allow for different experiences and new views on (un)known topics in a playful way, whereas technology is used as playground for artistic expression and experimental interaction with oneself, the people around or the world. Interested in critical reflection on social and political issues, both combine playful interaction to stun and amaze us.
Some of the speakers, digital and traditional medium artists include:
ANDREJ BOLESLAVSK√ù Prague – interaction designer and new media artist
ANTHEA BUYS Cape Town – modern art and architectural lecturer
BRADLEY MARQUES JHB – software development, digital arts, animation, game design
CHRISTO DOHERTY JHB – digital media theorist, artist, and photographer
DANNY DAY JHB – game development
DARIO HARDMEIER Switzerland – game designer and programmer
DMYTRI KLEINER Canada social relationships in multi-media
DONNA KUKAMA JHB – performance, video, text, and sound installations
EDUARDO CACHUCHO JHB – performance, print, video, sculpture and publications
EMEKA OGBOH Nigeria – video and sounds and employs field recordings to explore the history and aural
EVAN GREENWOOD JHB game developer
GEORG RUSSEGGER Vienna curator, media-integrated knowledge-cultures
HANLI GEYSER- JHB lecturer, game design
HERMAN PIENAAR JHB game developer
INVISIBLE PLAYGROUND Berlin – a collective of game designers, artists, theater makers, musicians and academics.
JENNA BURCHELL Pretoria – interactive installations
JULIAN OLIVER Berlin – game-developer and lecturer
JUSSI √ÑNGELSLEV√Ñ Finland artist and lecturer
KIM GURNEY JHB – visual artist, academic researcher and journalist
MARKUS HUBER Berlin – program coordinator, lecturer, curator
MITCH SAID Chicago – mobile and tablet design lecturer
PIPPA TSHABALALA – JHB comic book and game inspired artist
PROPHET JHB curator, poet, writer performer
RANGOATO HLASANE JHB – visual artist, illustrator, DJ
SIPHO CHARLES GWALA JHB digital art
TIM GROENEBOOM (AKA WIIJ TIMSKI) Holland DJ, digital performer
Johannesburg’s city centre is set to be transformed. A truly over-whelming array of digital art-forms, A MAZE. Interact is the most unique installation that South Africa has ever witnessed.
Join the facebook page and stay tuned for the list of activities.
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