NEoN Digital Arts Festival 2018 programme launches

Celebrating its tenth year, NEoN digital arts festival’s theme in 2018 is “Lifespans” - addressing both our socio-digital lives online and real-world lives offline. Tomorrow we launch our online programme of events for October & November 2018 at:

NEoN – which stands for North East of North, a reference to Dundee’s geographical location on the east coast of Scotland – is the only digital arts festival in Scotland and the majority of our events are free.

In Scotland’s Year of Young People, NEoN will envision the paths of ‘digital natives’, those born into a digitally-enabled world. The festival will investigate how we perceive the lifespan of both humans and technologies through group exhibitions, screenings, a mini symposium, performance nights, and workshops from artists and organisations. Lifespans includes new commissions - never before seen art and design projects - from artists including AL and AL, Heather Dewey-Hagborg & Phillip Andrew Lewis and Had Mehrpouya & Robert Powell.

Director Donna Holford-Lovell said: “In today’s world of technology our young people have a dual identity that’s both physical and virtual. These ‘digital natives’ are the first generation to grow up online, while the rest of us are still struggling to wrap our heads around this technologically-enhanced future.

“Our artists are exploring these ideas. I’m particularly excited about AL and AL’s piece. It’s just going to blow everyone’s mind, I’m sure.”

Al Holmes and Al Taylor, known professionally as AL and AL, are developing a new commission for NEoN influenced by a clock in the city’s Wellgate Shopping Centre and notions of space-time.

They said: “We are really looking forward to our adventure in Dundee. We are going down the rabbit hole and exploring the mind-bending reality of spacetime in an installation at the most loved clock in Dundee. This special clock in the heart of the shopping centre has mesmerized generations of children in Dundee. This clock has inspired Dundee to watch time, mark time.

“Influenced by this magical timekeeper our installation will take Dundee into our new evolving conception of time. And when all of this is up and running we will enjoy seeing what everybody else is up to and eating some Dundee cake!”

More information about AL and AL commission can be found here:

Also in the Wellgate Shopping Centre will be the exhibition ‘Lifespans: Forever And Ever’ curated for NEoN by Weave by Abertay, bringing together works of gaming and design, alongside other hybrid creations that reflect on the endlessness and expansive nature of our digital lives. This will include work by Cassie McQuater, Hadi Mehrpouya & Robert Powell, Tale of Tales, and Marius Watz.

American artists Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Phillip Andrew Lewis will also be exhibiting new work for NEoN at LifeSpace Gallery. They have been developing a conceptual project they call ‘Spirit Molecule’, where they’re exploring the possibility of genetically modifying psychoactive plants with human DNA to create what they describe as “genetic memorials”, that later could be consumed to create intimate experiences with the deceased.

Every year NEoN Festival brings new work to Dundee from international artists and screens it alongside favourite works from the last 25 years of digital creativity. As part of the screening programme, workshop and mini-symposium line up, expect to catch inspirational art by the infamous Internet-star Mouchette, South Africa’s Francois Knoetze, and digital wunderkids including Jeremy Bailey and Floris Kaayk.

As a special addition to the festival, this year NEoN is also partnering with the National Theatre of Scotland to launch their Citizen Of Nowhere festival, led by artist and curator William Galinsky, which explores how theatre can use technology to respond to a world that is increasingly fractured.

NEoN digital arts festival is a Creative Scotland RFO (regular funded organisation) and this year is receiving support from EventScotland, through their National Programme Fund, towards digital marketing.

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