CHRIS THURMAN: Can transcending the tangible take us to creative highs?
'Night of Ideas' in Johannesburg challenges the boundaries of technology and its impact on our authenticity, our sense of self and our creativity
The theme for the Johannesburg leg of 2018’s La Nuit des Idées (an initiative of the Institut Francais that takes place annually in 80 cities) was presented as a question: "Do new technologies mean new creativity?" The crowd that gathered at the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein, Johannesburg on Wednesday probably left the event with more questions than answers — but perhaps that is an appropriate feeling for a "Night of Ideas". The evening began with an opportunity to sample some tech-oriented audiovisual creative projects, from Banele Khoza’s digital drawings to digitised recordings of the Rivonia Trial. The main drawcard for most participants, however, was the opportunity to don some virtual reality headgear and explore a parallel world, whether that was Mozart’s Coronation Mass performed in the Saint-Omer Cathedral or a disturbing game in which the viewer must try to avoid a knife-wielding assailant.It can be very entertaining watching a roomful of people ...