NEoN 2016 Programme highlights

The 7th edition of NEoN Digital Arts Festival (NEoN) hits the streets of Dundee between 9th – 13th November. Curator Donna Holford-Lovell gives us an insight into some of this year’s highlights in this special guest feature.

This year, NEoN brings a new media and digital art perspective to Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, by considering these real and virtual environments. International artists will explore and respond to the festival theme and consider alternative uses and futures for ‘The Spaces We’re In’, both virtually and materially.

The whole programme is an exciting mix of new commissions, exhibitions, talks and screenings – and can be viewed here. Below are some events to check out:

It’s Alive by Genetic Moo

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Wednesday 9th November until Sunday 13th November 11am – 4pm
Wellgate Shopping Centre, Dundee

It’s Alive! is an engaging digital artwork, suitable for all ages featuring a room full of interacting virtual creatures produced by award winning digital artists Genetic Moo. Projected onto the walls, and using webcams and Kinect sensors, the pieces feed off each other and what happens in the space. You can add your selfie on to a wriggling squidlet and help it search for RGB pixels of food. Play with the springy Virus disrupting its life-cycle. You can see Dundee from a maggot’s eye view. The artists will be there throughout the show to talk about how they brought the digital creatures to life and help you to get involved.

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Image Credit: Tom Sherman, Learning to see the Laboratory where the machine is programmed.

Image Credit: Tom Sherman, Learning to see the Laboratory where the machine is programmed.

Thursday 10th November 5pm
Hannah Maclure Centre, Abertay University, 3rd Floor Student Centre, Bell Street, Dundee

For the first time, NEoN have organised an exhibition trail starting with a group show at the Hannah Maclure Centre.

How are machines recognising and understanding the spaces they inhabit? NEoN’s festival theme (The Spaces We’re In) questions the differences between virtual and physical space, but are machines and digital technologies programmed to also understand those differences? For centuries the Camera Obscura and other forms of camera have allowed us to capture a view of the world and show it to others, but now machines communicate with each other, across networks and via algorithms, often without human intervention. Do technological machines – cameras, lasers, microscopes – understand the spaces they share with us and what can we learn if we look at our surroundings the way they do?

Paperholm by Charles Young

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Thursday 10th November 6pm
Centrespace, Visual Research Centre, Dundee Contemporary Arts

Paperholm began in August 2014 as a daily project by artist Charles Young.  One new structure is designed, made, photographed and uploaded to the Paperholm archive each day, gradually accumulating to form a series of islands.  All of the models are made using watercolour paper. This method allows for rapid construction and exploration of diverse areas of architecture, pushing the possibilities of this single material. By recording each separate piece of the project digitally online, life and movement is brought to the project with the use of gif animation.

The Nemesis Machine by Stanza

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Thursday 10th November 6pm
Centrespace, Visual Research Centre, Dundee Contemporary Arts

The Nemesis Machine is a large installation (adapted to each place where it is displayed) that is a miniature city. The artwork represents the complexities of the real time city as a shifting morphing and complex system. It visualises life in the metropolis on the basis of real time data transmitted from a network of sensors. So the city of electronic components reflect in real time what is happening. Small cameras show pictures of the visitors so that they become part of the city.

This then takes us to another group exhibition in the impressive West Ward Works, the former DC Thomson print works. From 8pm see works by Brent Watanabe, Biome Collective and Joseph Delappe, Linda Havenstein, Monica Studer and Christoph van den Berg, and APO33.

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Image credit: Monic Studer and Christoph van den Berg, A Hotspot Shack

Whilst all events during NEoN are free (except Creative Dundee’s Pecha Kucha Night), some events may require prior booking.

View the full programme on NEoN’s website by clicking here.