As part of our work in South Africa with the British Council’s Connect ZA program, onedotzero commissioned Yuri Suzuki for the first Tshimologong Precinct Digital Artist residency at the Kalashnikovv Gallery in Braamfontein, part of the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Festival. Tshimologong, the seSotho phrase for ‘place of new beginnings’, is an area of Johannesburg undergoing dynamic development as a home for local programmers, designers, developers and entrepreneurs.
Yuri Suzuki worked collaboratively with creative technologist Nathan Gates and local artists Bogosi Sekhukuni and Neo Mahlasela to create an installation, soundtrack and video piece entitled ‘Warm Leatherette’. ‘Warm Leatherette’ was originally produced by Daniel Miller, a song that references J.G Ballard’s 1973 novel ‘Crash’ a controversial story of flesh, sexuality and its violent melding with technology.
In the intensive five day collaboration, Suzuki and Gates created instruments from technology readily found in the streets of downtown Johannesburg, bringing together cheap Nokias, televisions, prayer horns made in India and cassettes tapes of Zulu groups sold around the Mai Mai market. The finished works were exhibited in the gallery over the A MAZE festival weekend and will also be showing at the British Council’s Blurring the Lines Exhibition in London. The project is part of SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015 which is partnership between the Department of Arts & Culture, South Africa and the British Council