Middle East & Africa

Jackie Karuti
The Planets

The Planets (2017) is a short video that depicts the world at a time of great anxiety. However, it is done with a sharp sense of humor. It starts with a voice explaining that Africa will be partially inundated in the coming year, ending with the impossible relationship between the artist and a chatbot (primitive form of artificial intelligence). Using film animation and DIY techniques, Karuti proposes a history of technology based on different events such as space exploration, and the rise of artificial intelligence. As in several of her works, imaginary characters — a crow and a black silhouette — continue to wander, in search for a new world.

Jackie Karuti lives and works in Nairobi. Her practice explores themes of death, sexuality, identity and urban culture through video, drawing, painting, installation and performance. Karuti has participated in several exhibitions, residencies and multidisciplinary projects, such as curating the Out Film Festival-Nairobi (2016-2018), locally and abroad. In 2015, the artist initiated the project ‘The Case of Books' (2015), where, accompanied by artists, writers, students, filmmakers, lawyers, she travels to different library spaces and engages in the process of dusting, cleaning and arranging books, while talking about them. Designed as a travelling interactive performance, it has been presented in more than six cities in Kenya and Uganda, and has resulted in the creation of an online platform to share material about and for the Nairobi art scene.