The Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) approached us to conceptualise and design the first online platform of independent contemporary art spaces for the African Continent. The aim of the platform, named PAN!C, was to serve as a point of entry into the existing infrastructure for visual arts in Africa. Consisting of an archive of independent spaces, a library, curated projects and research maps, the PAN!C platform had to be representative of Africa without using outdated colonial perceptions or literal representations of the continent.
Our project consisted of the design and development of the identity of the PAN!C platform. With Africa as our conceptual framework, we decided to represent the content by using shapes and motifs commonly found in the national flags of African states. This deconstruction of flags as symbols of national identity served to create a new, ever-evolving PAN-African flag for contemporary art.
Each shape was chosen to represent a section of the platform: triangles for spaces, lines for the library, squares for curated projects, and diagonal lines for research maps. To avoid accidentally showing national favouritism, we chose an acidic, contemporary colour scheme instead of the traditional primary colour pallet of African flags. We wanted to ensure that the website provided fair exposure for each independent art space, thus it was programmed to reshuffle the sequence in which spaces are presented every time users loaded the website.
Visit the website: www.panicplatform.net