[Overview] [Presentations] [Workshops] [Art Events]

24th International Symposium on Electronic Art [ISEA2018]

Durban, South Africa 23 June – 30 June, 2018. Organised by the Durban University of Technology (DUT), in co-operation with the Trinity Session, Johannesburg, the  Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau and others.


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, 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.

Introductory Notes

  • René Alicia Smith — ISEA2018 Introduction
  • Rufus Adebayo, Ismail Farouk, Maleshoane Rapeane-Mathonsi, Richard Millham & René Smith — ISEA2018 Proceedings Preface


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

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


Theme: Intersections

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.


  • 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

Partners, Sponsors & Funders

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


  1. Proceedings (PDF)
  2. Catalogue
  3. Book of Abstracts
  4. Final Program
  5. Photos
  6. Artefacts