Kenya Art Fair 2015 Digital Art Competition; Call for Submissions

By Abu Okari
iHub UXlab
  Published 15 Sep 2015
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This year’s edition of the annual Kenya Art Fair will include a digital art competition. The premise of this competition is founded on the constantly evolving modes of artistic expression, catalysed by the power of digital technologies. We are seeking artists, practitioners and enthusiasts who are impassioned by this intersection of digital technology and creative art; visionaries who might uniquely meld the two into inspiring art forms.

In the context of this competition, digital art is broadly defined as artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as an essential part of the creative or presentation process.

Winners in each submission category specified below will win cash prizes and have their works exhibited at this year’s art fair in November.

Remember to use technology as a tool to create art; do not only use technology as a medium to disseminate art. This a project of art and creativity; do not submit startup ups or prototypes.

We believe that collaboration between artists and technologists for this project will lead to interesting outcomes, and is highly recommended.

The deadline for submissions is 30th September 2015. To submit, send:

  1. a written proposal of the concept behind the work,
  2. a brief profile of the person(s) submitting the work , remember to include contact details; email and phone number

to [email protected]

The proposal should be accompanied by images of the work you intend to submit for the hardware section, visuals and audio for the audio-visual section and the actual artwork for the photography/ software generated work.

Submissions must clearly qualify for one of these four categories:

Audio-Visual: For this category, we are seeking art that relies on moving pictures/video. Video in this case does not necessarily refer to film or theatrical cinema. Nor is it beholden to the conventions that define theatrical cinema. Raw video recordings are not considered digital art in themselves. Examples of this type of submission include but are not limited to: video animation, 3D capture, or projection mapping.

Exhibition space includes could either be a screen, monitor or computer mounted on a wall, or modified to fit the artist’s need.
Winners in this category receive: 50,000 Kshs

Interactive Art: Ideally, this is an art piece that will involve the spectator to be involved in a way that helps the piece to achieve its purpose. It should have the ability to respond to the presence or activity of the viewer and directly engages the audience into a (critical) discourse and to actively reflect. Whilst it would be great to allow for the spectator’s point of view in an open manner, the options of how the viewer interacts with the piece will be limited to what the artist decides. The key factor being it responds to spectator’s action. This can be achieved through, but not limited to, the following technologies: 3D capture, sensors, software or internet projects, for instance, resulting in apps, real time data visualization, and visualization.

Exhibition space includes: 3x3 metre space
Winners in this category receive: Kshs 50,000

Interactive Hardware Installation: Installations, sculptures or any other form of hardware artistic expression must include an element of interactivity. As explained above, the pieces should have the ability to respond to, and transform as a result of the action of the viewer.Expectedly, the artist must use an element of digital technology. Using parts of electronic or technology tools, like recycled parts of an engine or dead computers to build a sculpture will not be considered digital art in this category, unless it incorporates digital technology. Examples include but are not limited to robotics and 3D printing.

Exhibition space includes: 3x4 metres square

Winners in this category receive Kshs 75,000


Digital Photography: Digitally enriched photos can be submitted under this category. They should be beyond regular photos, and more into what can be considered an element of visual art, or what is commonly referred to as digital art. These are visual pieces that were originally photos, but have enriched, enhanced and altered to transcend regular photography.

Exhibition space includes: 3x3 metre space

Winners in this category receive: Kshs 50,000



*You may NOT use technology as a medium only.
    (for example: digital photos do not count as “digital art”)

*You may NOT submit digitized traditional art only.
    (for example: a slideshow of photos of paintings is not “digital art”)

*You may NOT use/reuse tech materials only and pass it off as digital.
    (for example: using recycled computer or phone parts to build a sculpture  is not “digital art”)


Please note that only finished submissions will be accepted to the competition.

Judging will be completed by a standard rubric and executed by experts in each submission category.

Note: For artists who wish to take part in the competition but need some technological collaboration, we will be glad to link you up with someone who has the required skills.

Paid staff of iHub or Kuona Trust may not make any submissions to be judged in the competition.


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