ifa and Cookies invite independent art spaces to join OtherNetwork, a collaborative digital platform that connects cultural projects worldwide.

Data visualisations from © Graphic design F451 (Quentin Creuzet,
Domitille Debret), 2023.

Data visualisations from © Graphic design F451 (Quentin Creuzet, Domitille Debret), 2023.

OtherNetwork – a brand new platform that connects independent art spaces through digital infrastructure – is now online. OtherNetwork provides visibility for art spaces from across the world that exist outside of mainstream institutional frameworks. The project by ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen in collaboration with Cookies, already features hundreds of self-organised cultural projects that are strongly rooted in communities across sub-Saharan Africa. From April onwards, independent artist-initiated spaces and artists anywhere in the world can add themselves to the database at

OtherNetwork visualises some of the many creative collaborations happening organically between artists, curators and cultural producers that make artistic programming possible in a diverse range of contexts. Alongside its extensive database, OtherNetwork includes specially commissioned editorial content and user-generated event listings, various satellite events hosted in selected partner cities worldwide and the continuation of a travelling exhibition that began at ifa Gallery Stuttgart in 2022. The platform is accessible on both desktop and mobile devices and has been developed by an international group of collaborators responding to the cultural contexts of Accra, Johannesburg and Kinshasa.

The website has been developed to automatically generate a data visualisation of the network for each city as it changes over time. Although each individual art space is grounded in a specific context, OtherNetwork takes a fluid approach to data visualisation that eschews geographical referencing and the limitations of traditional mapping. The platform also aims to become an active and up-to-date resource that spotlights cultural programming in independent spaces world- wide by allowing users to add their own event listings. The platform has been developed by an international group of collaborators and started with research in Accra, Johannesburg and Kinshasa. The web development and design of the website was realized by the Paris-based design studio F451 together with developer Geoffrey Oliaro in Nairobi.

OtherNetwork commissions original editorial content that deepens an understanding of independent cultural production in different contexts. A first series of essays titled ‘Interdependence’ is being co-published in collaboration with e-flux Architecture, focusing on selected projects and spaces based in urban centres across sub-Saharan Africa including Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos, Keleketla! Library, Terra Alta, Foundation for Contemporary Art–Ghana and more. Each of the texts will be re-published in a language of the author’s choice, making them more accessible to local audiences. Additional content will be released over the coming months through OtherNetwork and its partner organisations, including a podcast that will build further connections between independent cultural practitioners.

OtherNetwork has ambitions to become a research tool for curators, a networking opportunity for artists and fundamentally a place for independent spaces existing outside of mainstream institutional frameworks to gain visibility. This year, the core research team will expand beyond the African continent to host events in new cities across South America, including Santiago, Bogotá and São Paulo. As the platform and community around it grow, OtherNetwork hopes to become a supportive tool for curators and cultural producers worldwide as a go-to source for funding opportunities, grants and speculative opportunities for collaboration.

In October 2022, the first leg of a travelling exhibition took place at ifa Gallery Stuttgart as part of OtherNetwork, bringing together the works of six artists from Accra, guest curated by Foundation for Contemporary Art – Ghana. Later in 2023, this journey will continue in the form of a relay to Accra, before heading to several other cities worldwide.

OtherNetwork is a project by ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen in collaboration with Cookies.



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