Dr. Tegan Bristow is Fak’ugesi Principal Researcher & Senior Lecturer at the Wits School of the Arts – with a specialisation on African Art, Culture and Technology. Bristow additionally acts as Editor in Chief and Digital Editor of the Ellipses Journal for Creative Research. `Bristow directed the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival from 2016 to 2020 and now works closely between Fak’ugesi Festival, Tshimologong Innovation Precinct and the Wits School of Arts developing research on the Digital Creative Industries in Africa. In this work Bristow is currently (2021 – 2022) working in partnership with GIZ to map and develop the intermediary landscape of the digital cultural industry in Africa.
In 2021 Bristow won the National Science and Technology Forum Award for Sustainable Development in the Creative Industries for her work in co-founding and developing the Fak’ugesi Festival.
Beyond, teaching, research, curation and directing festivals, Bristow is a developer of interactive digital media in installation, interactive-performance screen-based and online media. Exhibiting most recently in 2021 a work titled a School for Vernacular Algorithms with the University of African Futures, curated by Oulimata Gueye at Le Lieu Unique in Nantes, France.
In 2017 Bristow completed her PhD with the Planetary Collegium at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Arts at Plymouth University in the U.K titled Post African Futures: Decoloniality and Actional Methodologies in Art and Cultural Practices in African Cultures of Technology.
In Bristow’s role with Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival, she co-founded and Directed the multi-sector and pan African festival on the Digital Creative sector to support: VR / AR, Animation, Gaming, Critical Digital Arts Practices and questions of the digital in Creative Economies. Under Bristow’s directorship the Festival grew into an internationally recognised platform that not only critically supported the development of culture and technology in Africa, but has become an important market place for new work with in these industries in the region.
In her role as Senior Lecturer at the Wits School of Arts, Bristow developed and ran the Masters in Interactive Media in the Digital Arts Department from 2007 to 2017. And further developed three programs in Internet Art, Creative Coding and Data Visualisation and most recently theory in African Culture and Technology. Bristow has continued to supervise Masters research and more recently PhD’s in these areas.
As curator (outside of Fak’ugesi Festival) Bristow’s curatorial highlights include in 2018, Digital Imaginaries with Afro Pixel (Senegal), Wits Art Museum (South Africa) and the ZKM (Germany). In 2017, the 2nd Season of the Centre for the Less Good Idea. In 2015, Post African Futures with the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg. Outside of her curatorial and development work within culture and technology in Africa, Bristow has exhibited her own practice widely and regularly publishes her research.