Following huge success in 2014, onedotzero’s educational programme cascade ZA returned to Johannesburg in September 2015 in partnership with The British Council as part of their Connect ZA Innovation Month and the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival.
onedotzero are internationally renowned for their work in the creative industries which harnesses the power of collaboration. cascade ZA makes no exception.
cascade ZA 2015 provided a fantastic platform for young creatives to showcase work and build networks within the Johannesburg arts and technology scene, local creative industries and beyond. The programme offered inspiration and insight, practical advice, skills and first-hand experience of multi-disciplinary project development in preparation for working within the creative industry, bridging the gap between university and less formal educational routes and employment.
Hosted at iThuba Art Gallery in Braamfontein, cascade ZA 2015 brought together 16 of South Africa’s top recent graduates and young creatives, with this year’s participants coming from the worlds of visual art, graphic design, filmmaking and 3D animation, performance, technology, poetry and music.
This year, the participants were supported and guided by onedotzero Managing Director Sophie Walter and Senior Producer Simone Sebastian, London-based artist and ‘movician’ Di Mainstone, architecturally trained maker and coder Ling Tan, and South African digital artist and curator Jepchumba.
The team also featured three local creatives who took part in cascade ZA 2014 and have since gone on to great success – they include artist/architect Sandile Radebe who has been dubbed one of “South Africa’s leading artists”, exploring the artistic practice and meaning of graffiti art; Cukia Kimani a coder and game designer whose time in cascade led her to begin a postgraduate degree in Digital Arts; and Thato Nhplo, a painter and 2014 recipient of the Reinhold Cassier art award at the Bag Factory.
Working in multidisciplinary teams to tackle a brief, participants pooled their collective talents, insights and specialisms to produce a standout party intervention during an intensive week of multi-disciplinary workshops and inspiration sessions led by onedotzero and creative mentors. The interventions took place at The Alex Theatre in Braamfontein as part of the Closing Ceremony for the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival.
Deadly Serious v2.0 built a one-on-one immersive experience that piped sound and visuals into a custom headset built out of readily sourced materials from the markets of Johannesburg. Once strapped in to the headset, users were led around the party., creating a discombobulated experience that had them journeying through Johannesburg while simultaneouly journeying through the party. The sound and visuals were gathered around Johannesburg during the cascade workshop, with amazing footage of the streets, skies and rooftops of Jo'burg.
PAC presented a playful take on the social prominence of the 'self' and a parody of celebrity culture. Their intervention into the party revolved around a disruptive activity that thrusted party guests into a 5 minute immersive experience that was shot and then later edited into a film that was screened at the party around midnight.
Humans etc took party guests on a scavenger hunt through the Alex Theatre to #FindtheInventor. With the help of a DIY zine and dual narrative film (all written, produced and edited during the workshop) guests made their way up to the Champagne Bar where they were finally led into a small space to #MeettheInventor.
"The cascade_ZA workshop was a real blast, and seemed, to my eyes, even more successful and diverse than the first outing in 2014. I was blown away by the way that the students developed during the workshop and really impressed by the collaborative creations which they showcased at the closing party on Saturday."
Professor Christo Doherty Co-founder / Director of Fak'ugesi and Head of Digital Arts at Wits University
“Cascade was fun, intense and really rewarding, so thank you so much for organising everything. I was very happy to be involved.”
Di Mainstone, cascade ZA 2015 mentor
“For me this year's experience was as exciting as last year's interventions if not more. This year I had the privilege of being invested in everyone's project as a mentor. This provided me with an opportunity to observe how committed, organised and driven the participants were. All the teams had different challenges with their ideas but they all believed these could be overcome. The result was fun filled interventions executed in three days. Ultimately this was an affirmation to the belief that I have always had that there is strength in numbers. As such I came out with more oomph for the collaborative projects that I have planned for future. Thanks to the British Council, onedotzero, Amaze and Fak'ugesi for creating such a platform and an experience.”
Sandile Radebe, cascade ZA 2014 participant and 2015 mentor
“The experience was life changing. Brought me out of my comfort zone and made me more aware of different characters and concept's of thinking. It opened my eyes to different forms of Art and made me grow as an artist myself. Thank you very much”
Dikgang Mollo, cascade ZA 2015 participant
“This workshop really had a hugely positive effect on my work ethic and drive. It taught me skill sets that have already helped in not only myprocess, but when I work with others too. Its pushed me beyond my exceptions.”
Lauren Mulligan, cascade ZA 2015 participant
A big thank you to all the participants for their outstanding hard work and to Fak’ugesi and the British Council for making it all happen.
This project is part of the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015 which is a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa and the British Council.