ISEA2018: 24th International Symposium on Electronic Art

ISEA2018:  [Overview] [Venues] [Presentations] [Workshops] [Art Events] [Gallery]

24th International Symposium on Electronic Art


Durban, South Africa


23 June – 30 June, 2018

Organised by:

Durban University of Technology (DUT)

In Cooperation With:

Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau and The Trinity Session



The academic symposium took place at the DUT City Campus and was mainly organised by DUT faculty. Surrounding the acamic programme was an artistic programme, mainly organised by the Trinity Session and the local creative industry, like Ilifindo. Exhibitions took place at the Durban Art Gallery (Durban’s major art museum), Kwazulu Natal Society of the Arts (KZNSA) gallery, the DUT City Campus, the Denis Hurley Center, the Ushaka Aquarium and other locations. Performances where held at the BAT Centre, the park at the KZNSA gallery, the City Hall and other locations. Many, workshops, artist presentations, institutional presentations, posters, panels and roundtables, usually part of the academic programme of ISEA, were organised as part of the artistic programme. The ISEA2018 workshops were mainly aimed at local participants, among which were many young students from the townships of Durban. A number of General Events took place in the streets of Durban.

ISEA2018 incorporated Durban University of Technology’s annual Arts and Design Digital Festival, Digifest. This event promotes interdisciplinary exchanges across design and art disciplines in workshops, talks programs, performances, exhibitions, and public activations on DUT campuses. ISEA2018 coincided and co-operated with Innovate Durban, the innovation programme for the eThekwini region, sponsored by the eThekwini municipality. These events mainly took place around the Innovation Building at Durban Point.

Organising Committee:

Click to Collapse the Organising Committee
  • René Alicia Smith, Durban University of Technology: Symposium Academic Director
  • Marcus Neustetter, Director of Trinity Session: Symposium Artistic Director & Curator
  • Gabriella Peppas: Artistic Deputy Director
  • Ismail Farouk, Durban University of Technology: Keynotes Coordinator
  • Tyla Coppinger: Programme Co-ordinator

Introductory and Welcoming Notes:

Associated Events:


Click to Collapse the Symposium Theme

The overall theme of this year’s ISEA, Intersections, allows for a reflection and engagement on the transformative nature of art and its convergence with science and technology. In conceptualising the ISEA2018 experience we were guided by ISEA International requirements for a localised symposium, offering unique experiences of an interdisciplinary symposium, comprising “an academic conference, art exhibitions, performances, public events, and related activities”, as well as incorporating “aspects of local culture, history and traditions”. We are located at intersections of African and colonial heritage; first and ‘second’ economies; local and international cultures; simulated and lived experiences. ISEA2018 provides a platform for encounters and interaction with innovation and activist engagement in public and private spaces. Symposium subthemes include: hybridisation and purity; emancipation and pain; spirit and flesh and in-between the cracks and submissions explore (amongst others) art interfacing with networks, urbanisation and social justice. Significantly, we find ourselves at the intersection of ISEA2017 in Manizales, Colombia where the focus was on critical considerations vis-à-vis Bio Creation and Peace and ISEA2019, which takes place in Gangjun, South Korea.


Click to Collapse the Subthemes

Hybridisation and Purity
The sub-theme provides for contributions reflecting the purity of numbers, code and technology interfacing with art, as well as hybridisation in relation to art, science and technology. This sub-theme includes contributions on identities, diversity and pluralism, migration and urbanisation as well as notions of democracies – all in relation to art, science
and technology.

Emancipation and Pain
The sub-theme provides for contributions on the politics of art, science and technology in its broadest sense. This includes critical assessments on surveillance and intelligence; ‘high art’; elitism and exclusivity, popular culture and inclusivity.

Spirit and Flesh
The sub-theme provides for contributions on intangible and tangible heritage; on mobius and teleos; as well as indigenous knowledge systems, reality and lived experiences. It also includes contributions on the self and the body as well as on infinity and life beyond.

In between the cracks
The sub-theme allows for contributions on anything in-between; which do not fit into identified sub-themes, and that push the boundaries of art, science and technology. Individual scholars and artists, as well as those working in groups are welcome to propose sessions, events, roundtables, exhibitions and performances which go beyond the suggested themes and which seek to enhance the overall conference experience

Other Committees:

Click to Collapse the Other Committees

Production Team

  • Dr Rufus Adebayo
  • Eric Apelgren (Durban Municipality)
  • Noxolo Blose
  • Gianpaolo Bresolin (Project Manager)
  • Andile Dube
  • Ismail Farouk
  • Steve Jones
  • Dr Maleshoane Rapeane-Mathonsi
  • Prof. Richard Millham
  • Marcus Neustetter (Artistic Director),
  • Shakeel Ori
  • Gabriella Peppas (Ilifindo)
  • James Seymour (Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau)
  • Shireen Singh
  • Dr René Alicia Smith (Academic Director),
  • Dr Mduduzi Xakaza

International Programme Committee:


    Click to Collapse the Details
    • Durban University of Technology’s Faculty of Arts and Design
    • Innovate Durban
    • eThekwini Municipality
    • Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau
    • The Trinity Session, Johannesburg