CUSS is one of the few collectives in South Africa whose output comprises reflections on new technologies. A key area of interest for the CUSS group is the autonomy of collective creativity and functioning within the net as well as the use of new digital media for political purposes.
The video installation “Live Distillation” arose in response to the social situation in post-apartheid South Africa and to the new circumstances in which art must function, in which the internet plays a vital role. It addresses the tension existing between Afrikaners and South Africa’s black community and attempts to envision a new national identity unburdened of race and gender.
It is a vision diametrically opposed to the one imposed by the Apartheid race regime, which allowed for existence only within one’s own cultural environment based on fear that any assimilation would blur identity. This work by CUSS is a collage-like apposition of statements by local politicians and activists with stereotypes regarding South African identity which flourish the media and pop culture. The video puts forth a vision of a “rainbow nation,” a tight-knit multi-cultural community arising from the ashes of deep-rooted racial conflict.