The sixth annual Digifest took place on 13 and 14 September at the Durban University of Technology’s City and Ritson campuses. The festival held a series of workshops, exhibitions and presentations on the digital era.

The Dean of DUT’s Faculty of Arts and Design, Dr Rene Smith, said that the festival has developed every year since 2014. The event fundamentally centred around the work of students and their interpretation of subject matter surrounding the digital era. The goal of each year is to work towards creating digital art within the different departments in the Faculty of Arts and Design.

During the talkfest presentations, guest speakers Nhlakanipho Mashinini and Natalie Paneng held discussions on creating art within the digital age. Paneng said that she found conventional platforms of showcasing her work not as exciting as the digital formats.

“I identify myself as a multidisciplinary artist and a production designer. I went to University of the Witwatersrand and I studied Production Design and Theatre. I got really bored because I always felt like I wanted to do more. I wanted to transcend the formal elements that I learned and place it in a digital realm,” said Paneng.

Paneng works on a variety of platforms to showcase her work, this includes self-portraits, videos, film, digital art collages and art direction.

Fellow artist, Nhlakanipho Mashinini, said being an architect has not restricted him to only building buildings, but he has practiced across multiple disciplines, where he focuses on the artistic side of architecture which enables him to address issues within society.
“In my master thesis I did a project where I used music tools to create architecture. This was one of the ways that pushed the boundaries of architecture,” said Mashinini.

Other discussions included how the arts can benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, media ethics in the digital era and technovating pedagogies. Attendants were also treated to an adaption of the story Cinderella by the drama department and a fashion show.

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