Welcome to Johannesburg Lasts, a special issue of the Ellipses Journal for Creative Research and a creative research project spanning two years, twelve contributors and an editorial collective of seven. The contributions in this issue cover a range of creative research practices focused on specters and hauntings, beginnings and endings, things lost, and legacies that last and linger across the Greater Johannesburg region. The contributions stretch across and compress time and space, speaking to movement and migration, geological and ecological decay, dust and particulate matter, radioactive energies and emerging forms of workplace control.
This issue was edited and facilitated by Naadira Patel, Ruth Sacks, Karin Tan, Skye Quadling, Tara Weber, Andrei van Wyk and Jarrett Erasmus, and was realised with the support and digital expertise of Andrea Hayes, Glen Mudau, Laura Seal, Mitch Said, and Paul Sika.Full Editorial
Special Issue: Johannesburg Lasts
Naadira Patel, Issue Editor
Naadira Patel is a Visual Artist, Graphic Designer and Arts and Architecture Lecturer. She currently leads studiostudioworkwork, a multidisciplinary art, research and design studio covering a range of publishing related practices with a focus on issues of social justice, new surveillance landscapes, and questions surrounding productivity and work. She has an MA in Cultural Analysis (2015) from the University of Amsterdam’s School for Cultural Analysis, and a BA Fine Arts (2010) from the Wits School of Arts. Naadira currently co-teaches in the Unit18: Hyperreal Prototypes program at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg alongside Sarah de Villiers. Her research areas cover issues arising from new forms of technology that shape, manipulate or augment our experiences of and our existence within the world; emerging forms of surveillance capitalism; and questions on the new world of work, with a focus on ideas of precarious labour, and productivity.
Ruth Sacks, Issue Editor
Ruth Sacks is an academic and visual artist who lectures at the Graduate School of Architecture , University of Johannesburg and is a postdoctoral fellow in the SARChI Chair for South African Art. She has exhibited widely as a visual artist both locally and internationally and been involved with several group and individual artist book projects.
Jarrett Erasmus, Issue Editor
Jarrett Erasmus is a former resident artist at Greatmore Artist’s Studios and a member of Burning Museum collective. He graduated with a BFA from Rhodes University (2011) and received the David Koloane award from the Bag Factory Artists Studios (2012). Erasmus has also completed a summer school course at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdk) in 2016. He recently completed his Masters in Fine Art at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2017. Erasmus has been invited for residencies at Nafasi Art Space in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Is’Art Galerie in Antananarivo, Madagascar; OpenLab in Richmond, South Africa; attended the Thupelo artist Workshops of which he is now a board member. Erasmus has presented his work at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York in 2014, and participated at the African Art Forum in Venice, Italy. He works in various media, focusing on collaboration while thinking about post apartheid realities and its effects on the social dynamics between communities in South Africa as well as the diaspora.
Tara Weber, Issue Editor
Tara Weber graduated in 2013 from the Curatorship Honours at UCT, whilst working part time in the Special Collections archives. She has been working as registrar (and opportunistic curator) at the Johannesburg Art Gallery since 2014. She enjoys working to create new narratives within the collection, and has worked on the exhibitions: The Evidence of Things Not Seen (2016), Moments in a Metropolis (2015) and Free From My Happiness (2015). She has a fascination with ruins and their peculiar effects on imagination.
Andrei van Wyk, Issue Editor
Andrei van Wyk is a composer, musician and sound artist who has worked in the mediums of dance, film, performance and sound installation. He is currently an MA student in History at Rhodes University focusing on sonic history and dispossession in the Eastern Cape. He is also a member of film production company News From Home alongside Simon Gush and Victoria Wigzell.
His most recent compositional work includes a score for ‘Ghost Dimensions’ for Glasgow-based dance company Project X (2019), a musical score and sound design for ‘Land is in the Air’ (2019) and ‘S.G., 59 Joubert Street, Johannesburg’ (2020) artist Simon Gush , ‘Sounding the Land’ at the Virtual National Arts Festival (2020) and ‘Waiting in a Platinum City’ by Joseph Mujere (2021).
He is also a member experimental jazz group The Wretched, alongside drummer Tumi Mogorosi and singer Gabisile Motuba, who have released their self-titled debut album with SAVVY records in 2020 and were included in the 2021 compilation ‘Indaba Is…’ released by UK-based Brownswood Recordings.
Karin Tan, Issue Editor
Karin Tan graduated from the Wits School of Art with a BAFA in 2015. She is currently the Information Officer at the GALA Queer Archive, predominantly contributing to their publishing, design and cultural work. Karin is also one half of the Johannesburg-based artist duo, Skye and Karin.
Skye Quadling, Issue Editor
Skye Quadling tries to do one art related project per year. She was born in 1992 and graduated from the Wits School of Art with a BAFA in 2014. She ran the short-lived PUSH gallery that was housed in a small red vending machine. Her work is featured on Google Arts and Culture and she plays well with Karin Tan.