A Shot in the Dark

Trying to encapsulate all that the African continent has to offer in one contemporary art exhibit is a daunting task. An abundance of countries, artists, and themes congeal in 'Africa Wired,' Eyebeam's odd mix of videos, films, a performance, two installations, net art, and a Johannesburg-based e-zine. This show and screening, running October 4-6, are meant to explore the relationships between youth culture, music, and new media, in Africa. The included work ranges from a documentary about hip-hop in South Africa and Brazil to new pieces by the brilliant duo, Mendi and Keith Obadike (who are best known for selling the latter artist's 'blackness' on eBay, in 2001). The curators have done well to combine interesting and quirky works with a few more politically-edgy pieces. The show is a necessary first step, by the new media scene, toward promoting African art as it is, without the Western premise of 'mapping the dark continent.' - nathaniel stern