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NEoN Digital Arts annual festival takes over Dundee!

10 November 2016

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Scotland’s only digital arts festival, NEoN, now in its seventh year, will challenge the spaces we’re in with a series of events, workshops and exhibitions from 9-13 November across Dundee’s city centre. The festival’s theme ‘The Spaces We’re In’ questions the differences between virtual and physical space, and how machines and digital technologies are programmed to also understand those differences?

One of the key exhibitions ‘All watched over by machines of loving grace’ will be on show at Abertay’s Hannah Maclure Centre from 10 November – 24 February 2017. The exhibition will ask if machines recognise and understand the spaces they inhabit. Do technological machines – cameras, lasers, microscopes, scanners – understand the spaces they share with us, and if so, what can we learn if we consider our surroundings the way they do?

The title is taken both from the poem of the same name by Richard Brautigan, describing a technological utopia where machines exist to enrich and protect our lives, and the documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis, which considers what happens when we let our computer networks have too much oversight – in his words distorting and simplifying our view of the world around us.

The exhibition is co-curated by Sarah Cook and Clare Brennan, and features the work of
Miyu Hayashi, Ruth Kerr, Willy Le Maitre, Tom Sherman and Steina Vesulka. It will be open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm with a special Saturday opening on 12 November from 12pm-4pm.

Abertay’s Hannah Maclure Centre will also host a very special Atmosphere cinema screening of Disney’s Wreck-it Ralph. With prizes for high scores and best costumes, come explore the spaces inside and between the arcade machines. It'll be everyone's duty to have a sugar rush. Prizes for best video game costume!

The full NEoN programme is online and updated daily at

Here is your handy guide to the not-to-be-missed events:

Wednesday November 9:

Vision building Workshops, hosted by NEoN artists.

Thursday November 10: 

Exhibition openings 5pm-10pm.

Includes the openings of ‘All watched over by machines of loving grace’ and the DCA’s Charles Young's Paperholm and Stanza's Nemesis Machine - two astonishing visualisations - model cities made of paper and circuit boards.

Friday November 11:

Mini-Symposium 10am-4pm at DCA.

Followed by an opening at Generator Projects, ‘Ludicrously Ideal and Beautifully Placed’ by Amy Boulton and Lydia Yuile, and then Atmosphere’s expanded cinema screening of the Disney’s Wreck-it Ralph.

Saturday November 12:

A talk in the morning at LifeSpace, 11am by artists Genetic Moo.

A musical performance work stretching across town in the afternoon by Knifeandfork collective.

The finale performance events at West Ward Works featuring DJCAD's Gair Dunlop and Adam Lockhart, and in person from Berlin the amazing Yasmin Gate (aka Killerrr) with the interactive visual system designed by Tatsuru Arai.

Sunday November 13:

Artists' Shorts, Verdant Works at 2pm.

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