American Arts Incubator: A Gallery Take-over with Ram Devineni

11 April - 05 June 2019

Durban, January 2019 — KZNSA is pleased to announce the launch of American Arts Incubator — South Africa led by artist Ram Devineni. American Arts Incubator (AAI) is a creative exchange program that utilizes community-driven digital and new media art projects to instigate dialogue, build communities, bolster local economies, and further social innovation. Each incubator addresses a relevant social or environmental challenge such as economic equity, youth empowerment, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. In spring 2019, AAI exchanges will occur in Mexico, Nepal, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.

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AAI sends a U.S. artist abroad to collaborate with local communities in each exchange country during a month-long incubator. These creative collaborations transfer skills in art, technology, and entrepreneurship. Through a digital and new media art workshop, they facilitate dialogue and explorations of the social challenge. AAI provides small grants to participants who break into teams to prototype creative projects applying workshop skills to the challenge. Each exchange culminates in an open house that showcases the prototypes and solicits public feedback. After the international incubators are complete, ZERO1 hosts one visiting international participant from each exchange country for 10-day professional development workshop in the San Francisco Bay Area during the summer to further build participant skills.


In Durban, Ram Devineni’s workshops will focus on youth empowerment. Participants will learn the process of creating pop-culture artwork such as comic books, street art, and other formats with added levels of interactivity using augmented reality. The first part of the workshops will focus on determining local social challenges that participants would like to address, and sourcing stories around them using standard documentary methods. Interview stories will then be used create socially-engaged comic books and street art, which will then be tied together using augmented reality to create an interactive experience.


KZNSA will host the program between April 12 - May 6, and people interested in art, technology, and youth empowerment are invited to participate; no prior experience necessary. The artist will also guide participants through a team-based project development period with funding from AAI’s small grants program. The exchange will close with a panel review and open house to the public at KZNSA Gallery, 166 Bulwer Rd, Durban on May 3 and May 4, 2019.