MWX 2017

Every year, MW’s North American conference showcases innovative work by contemporary artists to inspire attendees with new ways of using and thinking about their tools and practices. This year’s MWX exhibition at the MW conference in Cleveland, Ohio, features the work of Simphiwe Xulu and Water Bar & Public Studio, as well as the “Tin Pan Time Machine” exhibit from the Corning Museum of Glass.

The Water Bar is a pop-up bar at the heart of the Exhibit Hall provided by Water Bar & Public Studio. Serving tap water from a range of local and national sources, the Water Bar invites participants to share their stories of water as they sample the different flavors, colors, and scents of tap water from around the country and listen to water stories collected during the Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition in Minnesota. Water stories told around the bar at MW17 will be added to the #BeHereMainSt community storytelling project from the MuseWeb Foundation, which is touring with the Water/Ways exhibition, and can be heard through a range of platforms including the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street website.

The Water Bar will be open with the Exhibit Hall from Thursday evening’s exhibitor reception until noon on Saturday and is supported by the Johns Hopkins University’s MA in Museum Studies program and GuideID.

Simphiwe Xulu’s MAMBOKADZI is a completely original deck of playing cards presented as an interactive art exhibition exploring African cultural symbols as part of MWX in the MW17 Exhibit Hall. Through an integration of expertise in augmented reality, game design and Interactive arts, this project seeks to explore ideals of modern African art and gaming experiences, and will challenge you to reimagine the African continent’s digital landscape. The installation and related presentation looks specifically at Africa’s rich history of languages including urban culture slang, words and phrases and how these can be represented through the use of symbols and technology.

The team behind the MAMBOKADZI Playing Cards includes:

Cebo Simphiwe Xulu; New Media Artist & Founder of Something Else Design Studio | South Africa: Xulu creates projects that bring the art, online and tech worlds into the same conversation. In 2015, his project #Selfie25, was selected as one of the 17 most innovative projects in South Africa by the Arts & Culture Trust of South Africa.

Regina Kgatle; Founder of Educade and 67games | South Africa: Regina is the founder and MD of Educade [], and its sister non-profit startup, 67games. At Educade, Regina focuses on designing and building educational games. Regina has received numerous national and international awards for her groundbreaking work .

Vuyi Chaza; Graphic Designer & Social Media Consultant | Zimbabwe: Vuyi’s designs have appeared on billboards, publications, books and album covers. Vuyi hopes to create spaces and opportunities where women in Zimbabwe can pursue a career in digital arts, while shaping the narrative surrounding women and Zimbabwe.

The “Tin Pan Time Machine”  is an award-winning “maker” project incorporating hardware store parts, 3D printed components, a Bluetooth controllers and tablets to create public viewing stations. The viewers were a part of a temporary installation around the Little Joe Glass Tubing Tower in Corning, New York, allowing the public to travel back in time to learn the history of the tower in glass production. A “Time Machine” viewer and related historical artifacts will be available in the exhibit hall, and participant Scott Sayre from the Corning Museum of Glass will be at the conference to answer questions about the project.