Friday, December 13, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Must check out this internet oasis of Sahel digital art. Nothing like digital graphic ephemera from the heart of Azawad. Thanks to Melissa for sharing on facebook!
The Sahel area has recently been thrown into political turmoil with an ongoing rebellion in Northern Mali and the creation of an independent nation known as "Azawad" in june 2012. Over the last years, the introduction of digital tools of creation have resulted in an abundance of graphic ephemera circulating via Facebook, Cyber Cafes, and cellphones.Challenging the concept of folk art and ethnography, 'Sahel Digital Art' showcases these digital creations collected in country and via the internet: personally crafted avatars, viral propaganda, imagined geographies of non-existent states... the attraction discusses not only the role of new media and democratization of tools of creation, but the beauty of uninhibited inspiration. Utilizing PC based templates, automated web based montage, and built-in cellphone photo manipulation, and combining personal photos with superimposed graphics, those self described designers of the digital realm reveal a unique and evolving aesthetic. Their identity is altered and re-imagined into new forms, expressing desires, hopes, and fantasies in hyperreal manifestations - invoking a colorful and sometimes garish world of montage, digital distortion, lens flares, and pixelation.
Many of these images speak to this collective dream, a dream that has henceforth been thrown in chaos as fundamentalist extremists have taken over."