Profile: Maggie Roberts

Profile: Maggie Roberts

2013-02-01 Maggie Roberts

My art is science fictional and immersive, fusing an everyday futurism with fantastical possibility and melting boundaries between the ‘real’ and the imagined. I am looking beyond contemporary apocalyptic preoccupation to explore untethered becomings and scenarios. I am fascinated by the opportunities that both high tech new materials and the radical recycling of the discarded, offer for the future. These preoccupations are embedded in lyrical and sublime references to ocean, cosmos and mythology. In response to living close to a huge turbulent ocean, many states of mesmeric fluid abstraction permeate the images. 

The work uses digital formats – photoshop, video and animation - fused with watercolour, photographic collage, oil paint and sheen mediums. It coalesces out of an often intricate remixing process between digital and traditional methods and materials, onto paper, canvas and video screen. 

After some years of exhibiting in Europe, I co-created the collaborative artist and hive mind 0rphan Drift in London in 1994. I have participated internationally in well over a decade of exhibitions, screenings and performance as part of 0D, exhibiting extensively in the UK, Europe, Canada and the States, including at the Cabinet Gallery and Tate Modern; writing the Scifi-theory text 'Cyberpositive'; and featuring in DJ Spooky's 'Sound Unbound' in the 'Renegade Academics' chapter. Since moving to Capetown in 2002, I have continued to produce collage, paintings and experimental video, that explore speculative futures and science fictional transformation. In 2014, I exhibited collage works in ‘Another Dimension’ at the Casamento Showroom in Capetown. The pieces shown here were ectoplasmic and fantastical explorations into mutation and futurism, but as always with my art, containing many art historical references and traditional media such as gold leaf.

I am currently working on a new series of works on paper and a video with animation, for exhibition next year. It involves painting from photographic collages finalized in Photoshop and video stills, and then incorporating the paintings and collages into the video animation. This new body of work engages with contemporary global concerns of survival, insecurity and the unknown through the invention of future possible cities and their fictional inhabitants. Haute couture meets nomadic and urban Africa; contemporary moments assembled from newspaper articles and local and global events abstract and morph into fictional worlds.

Please see for an up to date portfolio of all works.


Video work, Screenings, Live Mixing and Performance

Upcoming 2015

0D video screenings at ‘Edge of Wrong Arts’, Capetown, South Africa.

‘GIR Ghost River’ 0rphan Portal major video collaboration with Ranu Mukherjee andKode9. Concurrent with my working on a new body of associated collage, paintingsand animation.

‘The Chaologist’, video animation for Planetaria screening. Applying for residenciesto develop this piece in 2016.

Current 0D videos and symposium discussion at ‘Wild Screen’, Connemara, Ireland.


‘Black Water ghost prescient’. new 18 minute 0D video screening at ‘After Finitude’,Sydney, Australia. ‘You Its Eyes’ with Plastique Fantastique in ‘Alternative 23 Visitation’, IMT Gallery, London & Newcastle


‘Shadow Operators’ 29:32 min HD video exhibiting in ‘Grotto Heavens’ at CAC Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania. 0rphan Drift videos and text work at ‘Schizo-Culture’, Space Gallery, London.

0rphan Drift videos for PAF’s Get Reassembled: Time, Intelligence, Acceleration and the Pharmakon, Switzerland.,

‘Shadow Operators’, 30 minute video commissioned for LCCT’s ‘Sounding the Counterfactual’ at Goldsmiths’ London. With Kode 9 and Plastique Fantastique.

Excerpt on 0rphan Drift vimeo ‘Another Dimension’ Exhibition of recent collages and watercolours at the Casamento Showroom, Capetown.

‘Voudon. Art, Uprising and Gnosis’, video screening with Leah Gordon and John Cussans, Regent Studios, London.

‘Rumblings From The Deep’, collages in group show and A/V event, FrankyCongo Studios, Capetown.

‘Floral Ocean’, collage installation, Kalk Bay Capetown. Further worked into Flower Bomb artist profile shoot with Missibaba, Elle Decor Magazine, Capetown.


0rphan Drift:0rphan Portal, video screenings at bolo’bolo, Capetown 2013.

‘You Its Eyes 94-13′ 0rphan Drift retrospective video commissioned for ‘The Death of Rave & Virtual Futures’, CTM13, Berlin.

‘Becoming Animal’, slide show for Delphi Carstens UCT talk, Capetown. 0D archival website ONLINE.


‘Spectral Flow’ Video piece for ‘Hyperstition’, TED talk by Delphi Carstens, Capetown.

‘A Wilderness Of Elsewheres’ 0rphan Portal screening and panel discussion, Virtual Futures Salon, Birmingham City University.

Presentation of recent work at ‘What Is A Photograph?’, Birmingham City University.

Appointed International Research Fellow, CFAR, Birmingham City University.


0rphan Portal in Virtual Futures 2.0’11. ‘Digital Narratives: Fear of the Flesh’. University of Warwick.

0rphan Portal. Apocalyptic Postcards in Shadowshop, ‘The More Things Change’, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


Screening of 0rphan Portal’s ‘A Wilderness of Elsewheres’ in ‘Videohole’, Noma Gallery. San Francisco. 5 screen video ‘I Don’t Do Terrestrial’, Assembly Rooms, Capetown, South Africa.


0rphan Portal ‘A Wilderness of Elsewheres’ in ‘Obsidiana’, Galeria AFA, Santiago. Also screened at ScreenLab at Studio for Urban Project(ion)s, San Francisco. Screenings at the International Tattoo Convention, Capetown, South Africa.


VividWild, Fort Gallery, Oakland, California.

0rphan Portal’s ‘A Wilderness of Elsewheres’ in ‘Eccentric Spaces and Serious Pleasures’, The Colony Room at New Langton Arts, San Francisco.

Video pieces commissioned for screening at Groovy Troopers/Simulflow events.

(‘Zombie Skate’, ‘Whaletail Morph’, ‘Broken Doll Burnt Mountain’, ‘Broken Doll On Jetty’ and ‘Viral Ocean Spirit Mix’)


Rituals of Vodou. Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Nomad Wall Rant. San Francisco.


‘South African Ghost Stories’. Screening of four shorts, Raindance Film Festival, London.


‘Ocean Sentence’ and ‘Intimatter’ – Narrative/experimental short films, Capetown, SA. Re edited for 0rphan Drift’s ‘Double Walker’ solo exhibition, Vancouver.

Academic Work, Presentations and Panels

2001 Haitian Art Show, October Gallery, London.
1996 Caribbean History Month, Goldsmiths College, London. 'Thinking Alien', Leeds University, UK.
1995 'Technophobia', I.C.A. London. 'Virtual Futures 2', University of Warwick, UK. 'Embodied Knowledges', Goldsmiths College, London. 'Out of Control', Royal College of Art, London.


2012 AL on The Bigger Picture module, CSM, UAL, London.
2008- Studio classes in Painting Technique and Contemporary Context. Capetown, South Africa.
1994-2002 Studio Lecturer in Visual Arts, Goldsmiths College, London.
1999 New Media Committee and Video workshop Lecturer, Goldsmiths College, London.
1996-2002 Studio Lecturer in Fine Art, Central St Martins School of Art and Design, London.
1995-2000 Visiting Artist and Lecturer in Fine Art, at Hatfield University, Middlesex University, Oxford University, Winchester College of Art, Canterbury College of Art, UK.
1992-1994 Studio Tutor on Fine Art BA Hons, Middlesex University, London.


1990-92 M.F.A. Royal College of Art, Painting Department, London.Thesis with Distinction- An Essay on Experimental Film and Video:the orders of perception and temporal registers invoked by non linearentranced film and video makers.

1987-1990 BA Hons Fine Art Painting at St Martins School of Art, London.

Video Editing

2011 Editor for teaching DVDs for Thai Yoga Massage, Capetown.
2009 Ongoing Occasional camerawork and editing for Urban Legend Research, Capetown.
2007-2009 Video Editor for MISA films, Johannesburg. Various tribal documentary projects.
2004-2005 Video editor for 'Scratching the Surface' pilot and episode 1. Capetown, South Africa.
2000-2001 Editor with Suzanne Karakashian for Notting Hill Publishing Saatchi & Saatchi launch project.

Email and Website

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