"Hotel Yeoville" is a technology driven, collaborative, participatory public art project, directed by Johannesburg based artist Terry Kurgan. It was installed into a new public library in Yeoville, an old, neglected suburb on the Eastern edge of the inner city of Johannesburg during most of 2010.
It comprised a website (hotelyeoville.co.za) and an interactive exhibition which took the form of a series of private booths in which members of the public were invited to document themselves through a range of digital interfaces, interactive media and online applications. Every physical actual space (there were 12 booths) was represented online by a virtual space. The exhibition produces itself through public participation The products were uploaded to hotelyeoville.co.za, and the exhibition produced both itself, and the content for the website.
The majority of Yeoville’s estimated 40 000 inhabitants are migrants and refugees;micro communities from every part of the African continent. Isolated and excluded from the formal economy and mainstream South African society, their dominant engagement is with each other and with home in far away places.
People who came in to "Hotel Yeoville" were invited to document aspects of their lives. They took photos, made videos, told stories of Johannesburg, home, dreams, loss, love and longing; mapped their roots and journeys across Africa and beyond; made snaps in the Photo Booth; movies to upload to YouTube in the Video Booth; advertised a business through an online directory and more ...
By opening a window onto their everyday lives, participants contributed to building a social map of the pan-African suburb in which they live. At the same time, they added to the development of the website’s community and social networks.
The project was partnered by the Goethe Insitut in Johannesburg, and supported by the Ford Foundation and the Johannesburg Development Agency. Thank you to Brenda Goldblatt for making us this short video record of a day in the life of the project.
To read a couple of really nice reviews of the project go to: