Jason Kofke, SD Mines’ Visiting Artist
Due to the threat of ISIS, the Sahara Desert of eastern Mauritania, Africa, has been neglected by most western academics for the past decade. The area is seeing increasing desertification due to global climate change and encroaching sands have buried ancient texts and manuscripts stored in villages along a medieval pilgrimage route. Jason Kofke, SD Mines visiting artist, has organized an expedition to villages deep in the Sahara with the intention of using technology to record what is left of the disappearing history. This project functions as an entry point into issues Kofke explores as an artist: the social ramifications of technological progress and the tendency to understand new technological processes through the perception of outdated technologies. With his STEAM presentation, Kofke will discuss perceptions of change, philosophies of uncertainty, and how what we might expect in a future may not always be an outcome that is predictable. This presentation will correlate with an art exhibition at SD Mines’ APEX Gallery, which is free and open to the public.