From 1st to 27th November Guest Projects Digital will be revealing the process behind the realisation of Oracle Afronaut, an ambitious new work by internationally renowned Ghanian performance artist and Guest Projects Digital Artist in Residence, Steloolive. The development of the expansive piece, a dynamic convergence of sculpture, installation, performance and community engagement will be documented across the Guest Projects website and social media channels.
The project draws inspiration from the true story of ‘Afronaut’, founder of the Zambian Space Programme and arguably one of the earliest Afrofuturist, Edward Mukuka Nkoloso. The programme will culminate in a performance by Steloolive live-streamed from his 5-foot purpose-built interactive space rocket. Taking advantage of our increasing propensity to connect digitally, it will act as a global invitation for exploration of the cosmos using the imagination of the audience as its limitless vehicle and joining the dots between Ghana and the rest of the digitally tethered world.
The meticulous construction of the spaceship will be documented and shared on social media throughout the residency. Built from sheet metal in collaboration with local craftsmen, its rusty texture will mirror that of its ‘space base’, the Nima settlement in Accra, Ghana. The transformation of the substrate, used for construction in the area yet often associated with decay and dilapidation, is intended to inspire new possibilities and reconnect the predominantly Muslim and marginalised community inhabiting this locale with the material in a positive way. The residents will be amongst the first people invited inside the rocket where they will be encouraged to share their imagined perceptions of space. The resulting audio will be digitally accessible worldwide and will form the outline of a new audio piece by Steloolive.
Guest Projects Digital 2021 is generously supported by the British Council SSA Arts Digital Catalyst Fund, which supports UK and overseas cultural partnerships to develop digitally innovative ways of collaborating. The programme was conceived in collaboration with The Yinka Shonibare Foundation, Guest Artists Space Foundation (Nigeria), International Curators Forum and Foundation for Contemporary Art, Ghana.