Hans Ulrich Obrist: Africa plays a big role for 89plus

In this interview in London, curator Hans Ulrich Obrist talks about digitally mapping a new generation of artists with 89plus.

Part of the event

It was the year the Berlin Wall came down, the year of the Tiananmen Square protests and the year Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal that would become the blueprint for the World Wide Web.

It was also the year a new generation of artists was born: a generation emerging with the Internet. It is this generation of "digital natives" that 89plus is about.

The project, co-founded by curator and co-director of the Serpentine Gallery in London, Hans Ulrich Obrist, aims to map the generation born in or after 1989. Through events, residencies, grants and a database of more than 1000 artists so far, the project will last for at least ten years in order to support the work of this group of artists and develop a long-term research platform for them.

Of the year 1989, Obrist said to Design Indaba that it was the beginning of “this whole digital age.”

It became all of a sudden apparent that this generation was now starting to become visible, he says.

The project will be realised in early 2014 in Cape Town at the Design Indaba where “the conference can expect to encounter a new generation of artists they haven’t encountered before,” he says.

“With Design Indaba we make more research in Africa. It is extremely important to take into account this incredible energy in Africa which plays a very big role for 89plus.”

The 89plus Marathon at the Serpentine Gallery will feature 35 participants this year of all ages, from architects to scientists. Douglas Coupland, well-known author of “Generation X”, will be one of the speakers. He has billed those born post-1989 as “the Diamond Generation”.

Check out 89plus.com for more information about the project and for an archive of the participating artists’ work.

Watch the Talk with Athi-Patra Ruga, Nandipha Mntambo, Zanele Muholi, Hans Ulrich Obrist