Apathy Engine: the artistic intervention by CUSS Group, represented by Ravi Govender

As screen-based, networked digital technologies are seemingly a precondition for participation in contemporary everyday life, algorithms have become highly agentic semi-presences that massage our psyches, subjectivities and social systems.

Represented by Ravi Govender, CUSS Group presents a screen-based work, Apathy Engine, created specifically for the symposium. Based in Johannesburg and consisted of Ravi Govender, Jamal Nxedlana, Lex Trickett and Zamani Xolo, CUSS Group’s activities have spanned the founding of a web television, online publications, digital art, and curatorial projects. They respond to commercial and technological super-hybridity through the filter of urban trends, material artifacts, and youth culture in contemporary post-post-colonial South Africa.

The symposium, The Digital Divide, in three parts pushes algorithms into plain sight and considers their production and use as political acts, raising questions about claims to infrastructural neutrality, and highlighting programmed bias and resulting social injustice.


THE DIGITAL DIVIDE symposium was the launching event of the series of programs of the 2-year Creative Europe project ATTENTION AFTER TECHNOLOGY, a cross-border collaboration between Kunsthall Trondheim (@kunsthalltrondheim), Art Hub Copenhagen (@art_hub_copenhagen), Tropical Papers (@tropicalpapers_), State of Concept Athens (@stateofconceptathens) and Swiss Institute (@swissinstitute), funded by the European Union.