80+1: Urbanet: Johannesburg-Linz

This project was part of Ars Electronica’s ambitious 80+1 project. It formed part of the Linz 2009 European Capital of Culture Year, and was sponsored by Voestalpina and Linz 09.

Details about 80+1 project
80+1 website

Artists: Stephen Hobbs [South Africa] and Marcus Neustetter [South Africa]
Topic: Civil Society
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

The Hobbs/Neustetter team aims to introduce the European audience to the harsh, unusual and often abrasive social and economic conditions that produce a contradictory experience of the city and its various suburban realities. As a backdrop to their presentation, the polarities of apartheid and democratic change in South Africa vie for recognition. In other words, many conditions within the city today either perpetuate the previous order of the apartheid city or challenge to transform it in a new and confrontational way.

This project will take the form of an interactive camera and video screen, concealed within the Hauptplatz. One-on-one interaction with the camera will allow the viewer to scan the Hauptplatz and find various windows hosting a varied range of content on Johannesburg. In the week when the topic civil society is processed, a live phone call will give viewers in Linz access to an inhabitant in Johannesburg to converse about what they both see over the screen.

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