Skip to content
Arnolfini - est 1961

Dzata is a network 

Dzata is a school

Dzata is a fictional institute of technological consciousness

Prepare to enter the Dzata institute. Start by making a backpack, which is also a laboratory containing the cosmos. Traverse the realms of ancestral handwork, networks of things and people, and mobile laboratories set amongst forests floors, rivers data systems, and dreamstates. Remember to resist the glare of radiant pixels.

The fictional institute is set up by South African artists Russel Hlongwane, Francois Knoetze, and Amy Louise Wilson which is a repository of technological practices across the African continent over the past centuries. They present an in-house film made by the artists as channeled by various scientists to archive Dzata’s extensive work.

Part documentary, part poetry, the meditative and transportive film is an assemblage of found footage, collages, costume, and performance, crafted together with an original soundtrack to create an intimate and visceral history of the Dzata Institute. 

The film will be screened on loop in the Arnolfini auditorium, 11am-6pm, 1st and 2nd April (free, no booking required). 

Dzata is part of the Control Shift Feeling Machines programme.

The project was supported by Mozilla Foundation under the Creative Media Awards.

Artist bios: 

Russel Hlongwane, Francios Knoetze, and Amy Louise Wilson

Francois Knoetze and Amy Louise Wilson formed Lo-Def Film Factory, a participatory community art-making initiative based in Cape Town, South Africa. Their work involves archival research,dramaturgy and visual strategies associated with video art, collage, sculptural installation, virtual reality and emerging media. Employing an experimental praxis which emphasizes co-creation and mistake-making, it aims to create space for video and new media storytelling.  The initiative places value on the transmission of ideas and experience over high production value.

Russel Hlongwane is a cultural producer based in Durban, South Africa. His work obsesses over the tensions in Heritage, Modernity, Culture and Tradition as it applies to black life. His practice includes research, cultural production, design theory, writing, film and curatorship. He has shown work in extensively across Europe, Argentina, Japan and the United Arab Emirates as well as throughout South Africa.

dumama + kechou 

dumama (Gugulethu Duma) and kechou (Kerim Melik Becker) traverse a wide sonic landscape from cyclical song structures to chant making driven by an experimental music making nerve, dubbed nomadic future folk music converging synths with traditional instruments from Southern Africa.