May 2020 2nd Edition

Technology brings art to life

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

The Free State Digital Creative Festival brought poetry and visual and digital arts together in a virtual exhibition.

Artists in the Free State have made the best of enforced social distancing, brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19), for the Free State Digital Creative Festival.

The aim of the festival is to raise awareness about COVID-19, by fusing the work of artists such as Mpho Thulo, a poet  and Luis Kruger, a digital artist. 

The poem, written about COVID-19, was transformed into a painting and then brought to life by Kruger, using Augmented Reality (AR) – technology that enables one to watch a video by scanning images.  

“I looked at the havoc that has been caused by the pandemic. The artwork I created looked at how the pandemic is moving us towards a digital space. How it can be a catalyst for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” says Kruger.

The festival, organised by art promotion company Infini3, enables people to go online to view the exhibition and scan the artwork through the AR app, Artivive. When the painting is scanned, a video recital of the poem comes to life and the painting is converted into a digital artwork that plays as a video.

Kruger says that as people cannot visit art galleries during COVID-19, virtual exhibitions can bridge the gap. “Even beyond the lockdown, people will not be able to visit galleries. When they do, the numbers will not be as high as they were before. So, we must use such exhibitions,” says Kruger.

Owner of Infini3 Roxanne Konco says the festival focuses on how the virus has impacted people’s lives. “Digital exhibitions can help preserve artworks that tell the stories of the past, such as the lives of the baSotho people,” she says.

The festival was funded by the National Arts Council.

To view the exhibition, visit   


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