Since 89plus's launch during an introductory panel held in January 2013 at the DLD – Digital, Life, Design conference in Munich, Castets and Obrist have been on a mission to find out what 'instant knowledge' and technological know-how means for a generation growing up with the Internet.
To date, 89plus has realised over 30 projects in more than 20 countries.
“It’s very much about the polyphony of centres” Hans Ulrich Obrist pointed out during the 89plus Accra Workshop.
More info: 89plus.com
The Google Cultural Institute 89plus Residency
Both Castets and Obrist greatly benefitted professionally from residency programs early on in their careers, and see it as one of the key support systems to offer emerging practitioners.
Since 2014, the 89plus Residency program has brought young international creative practitioners to France, and to the unique setting of The Google Cultural Institute’s Paris headquarters.
Seeking to procure support for the next generation of creative minds, the Google Cultural Institute has partnered with 89plus to begin an ongoing engagement with the—demographically-speaking—youngest continent in the world, Africa.
89plus Research Visit 2015
With the support of the Google Cultural Institute, Castets and Obrist's latest effort took them to Accra, Johannesburg and Addis Ababa on an 89plus research trip. Conceived together with Another Africa, a cultural publishing platform, and its Founder & Editor Missla Libsekal, they kicked off their trip in July 2015. Joining from Johannesburg, was the visual artist and previous 89plus Google residency participant, Bogosi Sekhukhuni.
Another Africa is an independent new media publisher focused on the African perspective. Established in 2010 by Missla Libsekal, it is a space to engage with existing and emerging lexicons within contemporary African visual practice. With a view on publishing not merely as an act of documentation, but also as a means of inquiry in its own right, Another Africa continually explores the technical and artistic possibilities of storytelling made possible through a digital medium.
More info: anotherafrica.net
Bogosi Sekhukhuni (b. Johannesburg, South Africa, 1991) is a conceptual artist and creative director based in Johannesburg. A product of the fabled rainbow nation, in 2013 Sekhukhuni was selected by the Mail & Guardian as one of the Top 200 Young South Africans. Sekhukhuni studied Visual Arts at the University of Johannesburg and is a member of CUSSGROUP; a pioneering South African artist group working primarily in digital art. In 2014, Sekhukhuni exhibited his first solo presentation at the Whatiftheworld Gallery, Cape Town, and he has exhibited in group exhibitions in South Africa and abroad. He has participated in various 89plus projects, including a solo show at Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, as part of their exhibition 'Co-Workers'. His work was included in 89plus's exhibition 'Filter Bubble' at LUMA Westbau, Zürich, 2015, and 'Qidian' as part of the Shanghai Project, 2016. He also participated in the 89plus panel discussion 89plus Presents: Nouvelles Expériences en Art et Technologie at Foundation Cartier, Paris, 2014.
More info: bogosisekhukhuni.tumblr.com
Time and time again, we hear how creators typically face high costs of living, funding deficiencies and other hindrances to their trajectories. Nevertheless, the nature of critical reflection, resistance and creative production emerging suggests that these are exciting times.
89plus Research Program: Workshops and studio visits
The group met with of some of the most influential creative figures—from pioneers to emerging talents based in Accra, Johannesburg and Addis Ababa.
89plus ran three workshops during the trip at Nubuke Foundation (Accra); Keleketla! Library (Johannesburg); and Ale School of Fine Arts and Design (Addis Ababa), where more than 50 participants presented their practices.
Often multidisciplinary, they included activists to visual artists, poets to architects, fashion designers to system engineers. In the face of little to no financing for the arts, paradigm-shifters often come in the form of DIY protagonists.
Discover who the team met, the questions they raise, the dreams they hold and the ideas they offer.
The 89plus Accra research program was initiated by 89plus co-curators Simon Castets and Hans Ulrich Obrist, in collaboration with publishing platform Another Africa, and its founder, Missla Libsekal. They were joined by 89plus art residency participant and South African emerging artist, Bogosi Sekhukhuni.
This project was made possible with the support of Google Cultural Institute.
With thanks to the following individuals and institutions for their support:
Akilas Abera, Joe Addo, David Adjaye, Art Africa, Desta For Africa, Kofi Agorsor, Geoffrey Biekro Akpene, ACCRA [dot] ALT, Dr Dorothy Amenuke, Adwoa Amoah, Federica Angelucci, Patrick Okanta Ankra, Ato Annan, Mantse Aryeequaye, Nana yaa Asare-Boadu, Meskerem Assegued, Lunetta Bartz, Brendon Bell-Roberts, Lerato Bereng, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Joost Bosland, David Brodie, Pierre Caessa, Katherine Campbell, Zoma Contemporary Art Center, Serge Attukwei Clottey, Berhanu Ashagrie Deribew, Katherine Dionysius, Godfried Donkor, Buyani Duma, Olafur Eliasson, Studio Olafur Eliasson, Liza Esser, Lindelwa Farisani, Lwandile Fikeni, John Fleetwood, Nubuke Foundation, Beatrice Galilee, Artists Alliance Gallery, Goodman Gallery, STEVENSON Gallery, Laurent Gaveau, Tamrat Gezahegne, Caroline Gfeller, Foundation for Contemporary Art – Ghana, Elizabeth Giorgis, Ablade Glover, Teddy Goitom, David Goldblatt, Rangoato Hlasane, Nicholas Hlobo, Carsten Höller, Florian Hollunder, Iceaddis, Mihret Kebede, William Kentridge, Prof "Castro" Kwaku Boafo Kissiedu, Meir Kordovani, Lara Koseff, Cyril Kpodo, Selom Kudjie, Benjamin LeBrave, Marcos Lemma, Keleketla! Library, Bongani Madondo, Ibrahim Mohamed Mahama, Malose Malahlela, Kabelo Malatsie, Anne McIlleron, Mitchell Gilbert Messina, Santu Mofokeng, Molemo Moiloa, Zanele Muholi, Aida Muluneh, Dr Sionne Neely, Gabi Ngcobo, Bekele Mekonnen Nigussu, Kafui Nyavor, Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, Senam Okudzeto, Giovanna Olmos, Kwabena Afriyie Poku, Francis Nii Obodai Provencal, Nayak Reisen, OfKob Artist Residency, Robin Riskin, Kąrî’kachä sei’dou, Ato Ale Feleghe Selam, Kofi Setordji, Max Shackleton, Warren Siebreitz, Elias Sime, Selasie Awusi Sosu, Michael Sowah, Emile Stipp, Stocktown, William Kentridge Studio, Nuku Studio, Maker Studios, Mikhael Subotzky, Philip Tabane, Thabang Tabane, Fitsum Tefera, Robel Temesgen, Lorraine Two Testro, Odile Tevie, Eve Therond, Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts & Design (Addis Ababa University), VANSA, Netsa Art Village, Mfundi Vundla, Rikki Wemega-Kwawu, Photo Market Workshop, Yared Zeleke, Mifta Zeleke.