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Play>Urban team [Johannesburg-Strasbourg] 2011-2013

Play>Urban team

In Johannesburg / WSOA :
Natasha Christopher, artist and researcher
Zen Marie, artist and researcher
Joseph Gaylard, VANSA, (Visual Arts Network in South Africa)
Donna Kukama, artist and researcher
Naadira Patel, assistante

In Strasburg / HEAR :
François Duconseille, enseignant artiste/scénographe,
Eléonore Hellio, enseignante artiste
Jean Christophe Lanquetin, enseignant artiste/scénographe, doctorant

Grégoire Zabé, enseignant artiste (plateforme 3d)

Associated researchers :
Dominique Malaquais, chercheur au CNRS (CEMAf), enseignante à Harvard, Columbia…, co-fondatrice de SPARCK
Abdulmaliq Simone, sociologue, Goldsmith University London
Barbara Morovich, anthropologue, professeur à l’Ecole d’Architecture de Strasbourg (Ensas), Laboratoire AMUP (Architecture, Morphologie/Morphogenèse urbaine et Projet)
Florence Rudolf, sociologue, professeur HDR à l’Université de Strasbourg, Laboratoire AMUP

Associated artists :
in Johannesburg
Dorothée Kreutzfeldt – Bettina Malcomless, artists, teachers
Keleketla Library (Rangoato Hlasane, Malose Malahlela)
Kwesi Gule, Hector Petersen Museum
Sello Pesa, choreographer

Others associated artists
Steven Cohen, artist, performer, Lille, Johannesburg
Calin Dan, artiste, théoricien, Amsterdam, Bucarest
Olga Mesa, choreographer


Natasha Christopher is an artist and lecturer who lives and works in Johannesburg. She completed her undergraduate studies at Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, and qualified with an MA(FA) from the University of the Witwatersrand, where she currently teaches photography and fine arts. 

François Duconseille is a visual artist and a scenographer regularly presented in different occasions. In parallel of his individual career he initiated with Jean-Christophe Lanquetin the collective ScU2 developing the Urban Scenos process which question through artistic acts the complexity of cities in the global world. They propose to artists from different origins to live and work in some specific area of emerging cities (Douala, Alexandria, Kinshasa, Johannesburg, Dakar…), these residences are organised with different collectives of artists. He has also created with JC Lanquetin the scenography department of the HEAR, in the Strasburg’s Art School, where he develops more specifically an approach of art in public spaces in link with the research program Play>Urban


Eléonore Hellio has been involved in electronic arts since the beginning of the 90’s when she became one of the main co-operating artist of the Electronic CAFE international, the pionner cyber venue for artistic, cultural and social actions founded by american artists Galloway&Rabinowitz in 1984 Los Angeles.  Since 1996, Eleonore Hellio teaches art and media at the Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin in Strasbourg where she co-founded the experimental class « Arts Hors-Format » with Pierre Mercier and Francisco Ruiz de Infante. She has also been running regular workshops since 2006 at the Academie des Beaux-Arts of Kinshasa, D.R.Congo. She is involved in art & research projects which involves the definition of context such as Play/Urban. As an artist, she develops collective open creative systems, makes films, installations, performances and publishes texts and photographic work. Network Art with or without technology is at the heart of her practice. The impact of digital globalization, postcolonial challenges, afrofuturism, auto-fiction and politics of intimacy have been ongoing issues throughout her art & life activities. She has co-founded Mowoso in 2007, a congolese art collective in Kinshasa that was dedicated to art, media and urban hybrid cultures until 2011. She regularly collaborate with SPARCK, a multiple-platform Pan-African organism and has established the Eternal Network HUB

Jean Christophe Lanquetin is artist, scenographer and academic at the HEAR (Strasbourg, France). He co-founded in 1994, with François Duconseille, the Scenography department at the HEAR; and in 2000, also with Duconseille, ScU2, an artist collective, developing the Urban Scénos residencies project in partnership with artists collectives in the world. See personal website and blog. As Scenographer he works with contemporary choreographers from the african continent (Opiyo Okach, Augusto Cuvilas, Faustin Linyekula, Boyzie Cekwana, Andreya Ouamba…), and also for theater (Catherine Boskowitz, Guy Regis Jr, among others). He has also developed numerous projects in urban space, between scenography and architecture (an itinerant theater in Cameroon, several projects with containers in Belgium, La Réunion, etc.). His artist practice and projects is currently focusing on photographic practice around the question of common space in urban metropolis.

Dominique Malaquais (Ph.D. Columbia University, New York City) is a scholar and writer. Her work focuses on intersections between emergent urban cultures, global, late capitalist market forces and political and economic violence in African cities. She has taught extensively in the United States (Columbia and Princeton Universities, Vassar, Trinity and Sarah Lawrence Colleges) and is currently based in France, where she holds the position of Senior Researcher at CNRS – the National Science Research Centre, Paris.

Dominique is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles, as well as essays, poems and short stories in English, French and Spanish. She is Associate Editor of Chimurenga magazine (South Africa) and sits on the editorial board of the journal Politique africaine (France). In 2003-2004, she was invited to lead a team of nine artists, scholars and activists in an eighteen-month multinational, trans-disciplinary reflection process around themes and approaches to be addressed by the Africa Centre. 2010 brings her to the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research, at Harvard University.

see : SPARCK

 Zen Marie lectures at the WITS School of Arts, where he teaches video art, tutors senior undergraduate students and supervises Masters students. He studied photography at the Market Photo Workshop and there after completed a BAFA degree at the University of Cape Town. Alongside this artistic training, Marie went on to pursue two post-graduate studies: a two year studio residency at de-ateliers in Amsterdam, and a Master degree at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, based at the University of Amsterdam. Marie works on projects and exhibitions, both locally and abroad, that use performance, installations and writing to explore a range of ideas relating to city and nation.


Naadira Patel (born 1988 in Johannesburg, South Africa) is a Johannesburg based artist whose work crosses between the mediums of painting, photography, video and installation, with a focus on the relationship between fear / desire / control / working with spaces of entertainment, amusement parks and playgrounds. She completed her undergraduate BA Fine Arts Degree at the Wits School of Arts in 2010, and is currently the exhibitions coordinator / assistant curator in the Division of Visual Arts at the Wits School of Arts, managing the Substation project space.



Grégoire Zabé 
applique, via le laboratoire nobox-lab, une vision sans limite tangible de la pratique du design. Il navigue entre la grande échelle et l’objet virtuel, entre la contrainte des arts appliqués et le libre espace-temps de la recherche artistique et de l’expérimentation.
Il s’intéresse particulièrement aux interactions entre espaces urbains et espaces virtuels, à travers le projet transdisciplinaire art/anthropologie/urbanisme sur le quartier populaire de Hautepierre à Strasbourg (Horizome, www.htp40.org) et son projet web3d HTP3D, ainsi que les projets de recherche UrbanD et Villes sans limite, menés avec Alain Renk au sein d’UFO www.urbanfab.org Son travail de designer se nourrit d’une recherche permanente sur les médias électroniques, notamment sur la 3d temps-réel et sur le réseau internet.
Depuis 1999, il a réalisé plusieurs installations (transport(s), ZOO au musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg, et des sites internet expérimentaux en 3d temps réel (Inframonde, Virlab, Transportrait, Sharedscapes, Buddhabrot shop) qui ont été présentés lors de festivals et d’expositions internationales (web3dart / Cornerhouse, manchester / ICA, londres / Watershed, Bristol / Experimental art fundation, Adelaide / Center of contemporary art, skopje / FILE, São Paulo City / Norapolis, Metz / Musée de l’hermitage, St Petersbourg / Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh / Festival Art in odd places, New York).
Il est nourri au quotidien par son expérience de chargé de cours depuis 2005 à l’Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg, en option design et scénographie (suivi de projets et enseignement des outils numériques 2D et 3D)


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