NEoN Digital Arts Festival invites people to explore the spaces we're in

Published: 08 Nov 2016

NEoN Digital Arts Festival, now in its seventh year, challenges the spaces we’re in throughout this year’s festival with a series of events, workshops and exhibitions from 9 - 13 November across Dundee’s city centre including a walking tour of exhibition launches on 10 November.

The Nemesis Machine - Stanza

The annual festival will see a number of artists from across Europe and the USA come to Dundee to exhibit their work and challenge how we look at the spaces we’re in.

Highlights from this year’s festival includes an engaging digital artwork, suitable for all ages featuring a room full of interacting virtual creatures created by award winning digital artists Genetic Moo in the Wellgate Shopping Centre; an opportunity to explore the city through sound with an app in collaboration with local musician, Andrew Wasylyk; and a series of work which fuses together a hybrid between print and web-based work by J.R. Carpenter.

The festival offers an important showcase for national and international new media and creative technology within Dundee.- Morgan Petrie, Creative Industries Manager

Speaking to us in an exclusive feature on the festival, associate curator Sarah Cook said the festival recognises that digital media art and creative technologies don’t have geographic boundaries, but do cross disciplines.

Dispose( ) by Brent Watanabe and Cable Griffith

The exciting programme also includes a walking gallery tour on Thursday 10 November, which will see attendees travel to various exhibition launches across the city in one evening.

Kicking things off from 5pm at Abertay University’s Hannah Maclure Centre is “All watched over by machines of loving grace”, a group show featuring Miyu Hayashi, Ruth Kerr, Willy Le Maitre, Tom Sherman and Steina Vasulka. This exhibition looks at how machines are recognising and understanding the spaces they’re in and will have attendees wondering what we can learn from machines if we look at our surroundings in the same way that they do.

At 6pm, the audience will then move via the NOMAS*Projects windows on Ward Road, showing work by Montreal artist Guillaume Brisson-Darveau, to Centerspace at Visual Research Centre in Dundee Contemporary Arts to see Paperholm by Charles Young. Since August 2014 Young has designed, made, photographed and uploaded a model of a building to the Paperholm website every day, often animating the results. NEoN is delighted to host the world premiere presentation of the entire collection of models which together make up a beautiful and beguiling archipelago city.

At the same time, the launch of The Nemesis Machine in Centrespace will see a large installation embodying the idea of the smart city and the Internet of Things. The artwork represents the complexities of real time cities as a shifting and complex system. Made up of electronic components, and sensors, the model city will reflect in real time what is happening around it.

Then, at 8pm, it’s off to another group exhibition in the impressive West Ward, the former DC Thomson print works on Guthrie Street. Once there, attendees have the pleasure of experiencing works by Brent Watanabe - famous for creating a deer which caused havoc in Grand Theft Auto; Linda Havenstein will demonstrate 3G Flatland, a fictional social media traffic tracking system which is used to gain new insights into the population and social structure of cities; while Biome Collective and Joseph Delappe will exhibit their critically acclaimed video game, Killbox, which explores the nature of drone warfare.

Player 1


Also exhibiting is Monica Studer and Christoph van den Berg’s Hotspot Shack, the surface of which features a small housing structure with an interactive projection inside; APO33’s Thêta Fantomes - a multimedia installation exploring the connections between video gaming, art and current neuroscientific ideas; and Aram Bartholl’s new commission for NEoN, an installation titled ‘8k’, a large-scale printed screenshot of a scenic view of ‘Sin City’ from the computer game Grand Theft Auto V.

JC Carpenter

Festival curator, Donna Holford-Lovell said: “We are thrilled to be bringing so many wonderful artists from across the globe to Dundee.

“Dundee has always been a city in transition, and the digital media sector continues to be an important part of that reinvention. This year’s festival allows us to explore the future of spaces in our small city and how they could be redesigned via digital methods. Local residents are passionate about the future of Dundee, so it would be interesting for them to learn revolutionary ways that we could utilise new and existing spaces.

“Last year’s NEoN festival was extremely successful, with visitors from around the world attracted to our international programme. We’re expecting to increase audience figures again this year by having West Ward Works as the main exhibition hub.”

NEoN Digital Arts Festival is supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund. Morgan Petrie, Creative Industries Manager said: “Creative Scotland is delighted to support the 7th edition of NEoN Digital Arts Festival. NEoN has firmly established itself as a highlight within Dundee’s cultural calendar, offering an exciting programme of experimentation and innovation. The festival offers an important showcase for national and international new media and creative technology within Dundee.”

NEoN Digital Arts Festival runs from 9 - 13 November at various venues across Dundee. All events in the festival programme are free to attend, apart from Creative Dundee’s Pecha Kucha Night on 8 November, however some may require prior registration to attend.