The Digital Globalization of Art

META Foundation
June 23, 2021

This panel discussion is under the project umbrella of "The problem with African contemporary art is....?" This panel discussion seeks to unpick access to markets and how the digital and social media movements have impacted this access for artists, galleries and audiences. It will look to consider the benefits and potential detrements of this level of access and what kind of impact this can have on African contemporary art. The discussion was moderated by: Palesa Suthane - Curator & Content Creator Palesa is an independent curator from Johannesburg. She is the founding member of the online platform called the Grand African Art Society, which concerns itself with popularising contemporary art made in Africa while digitising the art experience. She creates digital content for this purpose, in the forms of videos, interviews and event broadcasts. She has curated exhibitions at Vodacom, FNB Art Joburg, Bowmans and Mazars. She currently works as a project manager for the Blessing Ngobeni Art Prize. The panelists include: Vivien Kohler - Artist Born 1976 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Vivien Kohler is an experimental mixed media painter. The concept of liminality; the liminal city and its people, lies at the core of Kohler's work, which explores migration, marginalization and displacement in the urban landscape of post-Apartheid South Africa. Kohler constructs two and three-dimensional assemblage pieces; appropriating discarded material, painting naturalistic figures and detailed replications of packaging material (a layered visual metaphor signifying transience, migration, displacement), to articulate challenging social and economic circumstances that affect those on the periphery. "My works do not hide the realities of the unfair perception, but symbolically display it in relations to the liberating verdict of the human spirit". Fascinated by man's ability to transcend 'the conceptual decay', he captures with gentle rawness the complexity of the human disposition. His work seeks to illuminate the duality of lived experience. Edward Tsumele - Journalist Edward Tsumele is an award winning journalist with over 20 years experience working for different publications in South Africa and abroad. His journalism writing started at Sowetan in 1998, and has since been published in leading mainstream publications such as The Sunday Independent, Business Day, Sunday Times, Sunday World, New African (UK), Contemporary And (Germany) and The Star among others. A Holder of a BA (HONS) in Journalism and Media Studies from Wits, Tsumele is currenty Editor and Publisher CITYLIFE/ARTS (, a Johannesburg based publication that focuses on visual art, theatre and literature content.