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Out of Africa Emerges Digital Art and Animation

‘Digital’ has become the latest buzz word not just in Kenya but in Africa where most things are still analogue. However, Digital Art is a rather new term to even the most seasoned art aficionados.

Digital ArtDigital Art most commonly refers to art created on a computer in digital form. In an expanded sense, “digital art” is a term applied to contemporary art that uses the methods of mass production or digital media. Digital technology has transformed traditional activities such as painting, drawing and sculpture, while new forms, such as net art, digital installation art, and virtual reality, have been recognized artistic practices.

East Africa Collective is a wordpress design feed, a side project of Barbara Muriungi Kenyan born designer, currently based in Boston, MA.
This is what he states as the idea behind EA Collective:

As an African living abroad I fan my passion for art, music and bits of fashion by staying culturally astute on happenings in and out of the African continent

EA Collective is about seeking fine content from humorous local designers.

Some of the interesting highlights on the blog are on Tinga Tinga – African Folk Tales that are soon to find a wider audience through animation, a project by artists in Kenya and Tanzania.

African Digital Art an online platform designed for digital artists, enthusiasts and professional to seek inspiration as well as showcase their artistry and connect with other artists.

The blog was created and developed by Jepchumba, a Kenyan digital artist living in Chicago Illionis. Jepchumba confesses that she dreams in digital in her personal blog. Her amazing Africa collection of digital art is enchanting to say the least.

Tears - by Jepchumba

Tears – by Jepchumba

African Digital Art is the ultimate site for anyone who is into digital art. It has featured the likes of Wangechi Mutu, Jim Chuchu, Kenneth Shofela Coker among many other emerging excellent digital artists.

Jimmi Chuchu is a photographer extraordinaire`, film maker and the third member of Just a band.
He still hesitates to call photography his profession as he confessed to African Digital Art – but one only needs to sample his works from his website that also links to his blog.

Though his website features, his photo exhibits, music videos, recent projects and contacts, one has to go to his blog for news and other links about him. There one gets more intimate details of what he is currently working on, what he just finished and what his upcoming projects are.
Some of the videos featured on his blog might be a repeat of what is in the band’s blog but he does also give insights into his solo projects like song video editing
.

An Animation from Kenneth Coker's blog

An Animation from Kenneth Coker's blog

Kenneth Coker is a Nigerian by birth but currently residing in Memphis, He is currently seeking a Character Artist/Animator position in an animation or video game studio.
His blog ushers one into a world of where African digital art is headed.

In an interview with African Digital Arts, Coker speaks about his love of animation, what inspired him to venture into Digital Art as well as how being an African has influenced the kind of animations that he does. Read the interview here.


Wikipedia
describes Animation as the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. It is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in a number of ways. The most common method of presenting animation is as a motion picture or video program, although several other forms of presenting animation also exist.

Just a Bandwidth or simply Just a Band is a ‘an experimental’ Kenyan house/funk/disco band whose career was launched with their debut album, Scratch To Reveal, in 2008. Their music has explored various musical directions such as, but not limited to jazz, hip-hop, disco and electronica. Their blog has been running from March 2008. Their first posting was:

Greetings, Earthlings!
Hello everyone,
Welcome to our little space on the Net. We’ll use this particular section to keep you updated with what’s going on in our little world, and we’ll probably use this space to rant about random things.
Bear with us.
We’re always happy to hear from all of you, so feel free to send us a [...]

And this is the avenue that they have been using for every new video, event, information or rants that they have – their blog. Recently they posted their first single from their coming soon second album “82” for their fans to sample. All their videos can be found on their Youtube Page

Look out for their album

What one will find quite unique about the videos produced by Just a band is their use of animations. This has set them apart from other music videos and has seen their videos receive a lot of airplay on local TV stations as well as on their page on youtube

African Painters on the other hand is a blog that hosts art collections from a host of African painters and a review of photography books on Africa. It was started in the year 2006. This is how they describe their blog:

Here is a blog about contemporary art on and off the continent of Africa. To push forward the concept of African cultural development I have created this blog but more importantly than that it's a place where we can blow-off steam and discuss the impossible task of defining a continent.

To show the art collections by artist, they have incorporated slide, an application that enables one slide through different images without leaving the blog and has a feature where one can also review the images and even rate them individually.

The blog also contains a list of other contemporary art websites and makes an interesting read for anyone interested in knowing more about African Art.

With all these emerging African Digital Artist, it is undeniable that technology is redefining African Art in a way we never imagined possible.

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