Upcoming ISEA Symposium

24th International Symposium on Electronic Art

ISEA2018 Durban, South Africa – INTERSECTIONS

June 23 – 30 June 2018

ISEA2018, the 24th International Symposium on Electronic Art, is the first ISEA to be held in the African sub-continent.

Hosted in the coastal city of Durban, South Africa, this event will be the 2018 and 5th iteration of the Durban Digital Festival in a strategy to build a local legacy. Bringing new audiences, academics and practitioners together with the ISEA community, the ISEA2018 theme, INTERSECTIONS, positions creative technological innovation as an activist engagement into public space and public practice with underlying critical questions of ownership, impositon and development. Creative collaboration between artists, artisans, designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and inventors will take place in a context where survival is the most basic instigator for solutions. In such a scenario, technological developments should follow and support these solutions.

This symposium and festival will focus on accessible and alternative platforms that encourage partnerships across sectors and regions, highlighting the strength of industry, institutions and government to think about how we can improve our environments and find locally relevant approaches for everyday challenges.

ISEA2018ʼs strategy is to shape the program through a call for expressions of interest for partnership-projects, symposium presentations, artistic interventions and collaborative work sessions



hybridisation & purity / emancipation & pain / spirit & flesh / in-between the cracks

hybridisation & purity

The sub-theme provides for contributions reflecting the purity of numbers, code and technology interfacing with art, as well as hybridisation in relation to art, science and technology. This sub-theme includes contributions on notions of identities, pluralism, ‘creolisation’, as well as on migration and urbanisation and notions of democracies – all in relation to art, science and technology. We invite contributions on the purity of technology, on sound, light and the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ (artificial intelligence, virtual reality), networks and net neutrality, as well as on the digital divide and technology for development.

emancipation & pain

The sub-theme provides for contributions on the politics of art, science and technology in its broadest sense. This includes critical assessments on surveillance and intelligence; ‘high art’; elitism and exclusivity, popular culture and inclusivity. Contributions are welcomed on revolutions, reclaiming spaces and places, the ritualised everyday, contested notions of ‘informality’ and as well as on voice and voiceless. It provides for contributions on xenophobia, colonial legacies and new powers intersecting with media art practices, addressing the challenges of diversity. Contributions are welcomed on the social practice of art and science engagement, as well as on art and activism.

spirit & flesh

The sub-theme provides for contributions on intangible and tangible heritage; on mobius and teleos; as well as indigenous knowledge systems, reality and lived experiences. It also includes contributions on the self and the body as well as on infinity and life beyond. In addition, it provides for critical assessments on media art and culture, the relevance of the classic museum environment and the potential for public space activations.

in-between the cracks 

The sub-theme allows for contributions on anything in-between, which do not fit into identified sub-themes and that push the boundaries of art, science and technology. Individual scholars and artists, as well as those working in groups are welcome to propose sessions, events, roundtables, exhibitions and performances which go beyond the suggested themes and which seek to enhance the overall conference experience.

ISEA2018 Timetable


June/July Call for Expressions of Interest – Interest Work Sessions
AUGUST – Call for Papers and Projects
SEPTEMBER – Curatorial Workshops
OCTOBER – Deadline for Posters/ Panels and Projects
NOVEMBER – DigiFest 8-11 November
DECEMBER – Deadline for Papers


JANUARY – Pre ISEA2018 Program
FEBRUARY-MAY – Residencies/ Collaborations/ Workshops/ Activations
JUNE – ISEA2018 / DigiFest 23-30 June