Type of initiative, mission and objectives
PULSE is an artist run initiative founded by Durban based visual
artist Greg Streak. PULSE is linked to the international umbrella
network RAIN the brainchild of the Rijksakademie van Beeldende
Kunsten in Amsterdam. RAIN consists of six other artist run initiatives
all based in developing countries including Argentina, Brazil, India,
Indonesia, Mali and Mexico.
The aim of PULSE is to create platforms for cultural cross-pollination
through annual projects.
PULSE endeavours to establish and strengthen relationships
with other developing countries in an attempt to re-address those
PULSE also seeks to have dialogue with the centre, however
with projects initiated in South Africa, it also looks to shift
the previous bias of the "centre" dictating debate and
rhetoric by shifting context and therefore the perceived position
of power (the "centre" has usually always addressed the
"margins" in the centre according to its own perceptions
of the "margin").
PULSE looks to address critical contemporary debates that
carry credence at the time. It therefore does not prescribe a long
term "schedule" of projects.
PULSE looks to include emerging cultural producers in order
that there be further visibility and exposure and that quality is
PULSE is not aligned to any political organisation and strives
towards presenting projects around proposals for the future.
PULSE looks to address local isolation by encouraging participation
of visual artists from different regions in South Africa.
PULSE is aware of the poor visual arts literacy in South
Africa and through intensive education programmes looks to address
this. Artist lectures and walkabouts aimed at schools, art schools,
general public are organised within an intensive schedule during
the projects duration.
PULSE attempts to produce a quality publication and in future
documentary videos of the projects. The publications include transcriptions
of all papers delivered at the conferences as well as an overall
visual / text summary of the projects. This is seen as critical
within a country where so little information is available about
contemporary South African Art. PULSE therefore sees these publications
as an addition to a paper thin archive. The publications are sold
well below cost price to ensure access to all.
Internal organization of the initiative and human resources
PULSE has been the labour of love of visual artis Greg Streak who
has taken the roles of project conceptualiser, fundraiser, travel
agent, tour guide, documentation, curator, artist, accountant, etc.
- Collaborations within projects are restricted to basic INETERCATIONS.
The last project involved voluntary art students who facilitated
in the participant with the production of their works. It is difficult
to acquire quality input in the project because of a lack of funds
to pay people for their time and energy.
Maximum and minimum projection of the initiative's objectives
In order for PULSE to continue, funds need to be acquired, not only
to secure the project logistics, but over and above these funds
to pay for administration costs and the employment of people to
facilitate in the project co-ordination.4-The point of view of the
community PULSE is aimed for on the initiative.
1. Five senior students from the Technikon Natal work as one on
one assistants with some of the participating artists throughout
the duration of the project. Aside from the personal experienced
gained by these students, it also formed a part of their formal
curriculum in that it was considered a major part of their Professional
Practice in which all senior students have to engage a set number
of hours with an art related activity outside of the confines of
2. Three schools from the NSA Galleries education outreach programme
responded to the
invitation of a personal walkabout. Each school brought approx.
15-25 children between the ages of 8 10 , and of mixed race.
PULSE sees these forums as valuable opportunity to educate, at grass-roots,
about the visual arts.
3. Four separate walkabouts were held with the Technikon Natal Art
School addressing the different years as well as a more specific
walkabout for senior students who had to write an essay of the VIOLENCE
exhibition as within the context of Post-modern discourse.
4. One massive walkabout was conducted in Nieubethesda (with all
the participating artists) with a convoy of 10 vehicles and about
130 people all residents of Nieubethesda and the township of Pienaarsig.
Programme and projection for 2003
For next year I want to work on a rural organisation that deals
with HIV positive and traumatised kids. The idea is tricky because
I am not interested in social work. Rather I would like to develop
a project whereby the selected artists work in and around the centre
bettering lives of these people but by making real work. By this
I mean works that retain poetry and concept but integrate into the
Curriculum Vitae of the initiative
founded in february, 2000 by Greg Streak.
October 2001 - OPEN - CIRCUIT - mini conference at Technikon Natal,
Durban, South Africa.
October - November 2000 : OPEN-CIRCUIT : group exhibition of
International and South African artists.
February 2001 : OPEN CIRCUIT (closing) - exhibition (Jo Ractliffe
Africa and Sebatian Diaz Morales - argentina )
60 page publication of both exhibitions and transcriptions of
PULSE represented in publication : Silent Zones
July 2002 : VIOLENCE - group exhibition at N.S.A. gallery in Durban
international artists / 4 South African Artists)
July 2002 : SILENCE - group exhibition in Nieubethesda . Great
South Africa (4 international artists / 4 South African Artists)
July 2002 : Violence / Silence - mini conference
November 2002 : VIOLENCE / SILENCE - culmination exhibition at
in Stellenbosch, Capetown.
November 2002 : Launch of publication and documentary video of
July 2003 : PULSE invited to Jakarta Video Festival