[ISEA2019] Workshop: Marcus Neustetter et al — Searching Darkness

Workshop Statement

Curated Workshop / Local Engagement Artistic Workshop

For: The workshop looks to invite a small group of participants (approx. 6-8, maximum 20
participants) versed in using social media and to consider dark spaces in the city to explore. This group will then select the final spaces with the artist and spend an evening exploring, mapping and publishing them.

In a search for the dark corners of lit cities we find ourselves searching the spaces between the
rigidity of the organized systems and the city grids. We look for the respite from the connected,
surveilled and illuminated spaces in an attempt to find and celebrate darkness and silence. Part of this search is to experience these found spaces, attempt to capture them in image and sound, acknowledge their juxtaposition to their surrounding activity, map them onto the city grid and publish these findings. This performative workshop and performance installation is in line with a trajectory of the artist’s 10 years of light interventions and community engagement projects questioning the meaning of darkness and silence in the context of South Africa, across Africa and Europe. The play of darkness and light is one that is not only easily accessible to participants and audiences, but can be read as highly critical of social conditions and behaviour, the power of politics and propaganda, and evidence of control and surveillance.

In collaboration with Radford Univesity (USA), College of Visual and Performing Arts, Department of Dance. Choreographers: Ji-Eun Lee, Sebrena Williamson. Performers: Caroline Beard, Zoe Couloumbis, Monica Tirado, Sebrena Williamson

  • Marcus Neustetter. Born 1976 in Johannesburg he earned his Masters Degree in Fine Arts in 2001 from the University of the Witwatersrand. As an artist and cultural activist, Neustetter’s consistent focus in his art practice has been on the intersections of art, science and technology. His projects range from multimedia to site-specific, public and socially engaged interventions and installation in Africa, Europe and South and North America. He is the co-director of The Trinity Session innovating in public art, socially engaged practice, and art-business development strategies and projects since 2000. Marcus Neustetter was the artistic director of ISEA2018 Durban, South Africa.
  • Ji-Eun Lee is a dance professor at Radford University (USA). She has received multiple awards with choreography such as third prize from Euro-Scene solo tanz competition in Germany, Authorial award from International choreography competition in the Czech Republic and Art Expo in Italy et al. Lee has presented and performed more than 23 countries, and her recent choreographic commissions include Prague Chamber Ballet, Ecuador National Dance Company and Japan International Ballet Company.
  • Caroline Beard is originally from Virginia, USA and received a BFA in Dance from Radford University Magna Cum Laude. Her choreography has been presented in Virginia and North Carolina and she has recently accepted the position as an apprentice for the Virginia National Ballet.
  • Zoe Couloumbis graduated from Radford University (USA) with a Bachelor of Science in Dance. Couloumbis has performed at the American College Dance Association Conference and at the NASA Langley 100th Centennial; she has presented her choreography at the Incheon Contemporary Dance Festival in South Korea.
  • Monica Tirado was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and now resides in Radford, Virginia (USA) where she is pursuing a BFA in Dance. Monica is a ballet instructor and apprentice with Roanoke Ballet Theatre.
  • Sebrena Williamson is a Virginia (USA) based choreographer and dancer. From 2018 to 2019, Williamson presented her choreography at the American College Dance Association Conference, at the Incheon International Contemporary Dance Festival, and at the Gangnam Gallery in Seoul. Williamson’s choreographic focuses include dance theatre and research based choreography.

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