NEoN digital arts festival goes back to the future

NEoN, Scotland's digital arts festival, is taking place this week in Dundee.

NEoN (North East of North) aims to advance the understanding and accessibility of digital and technology driven art forms. With free events running all this week, this 6th edition of the festival focuses on the theme of 'Futureproofing'.

This year’s festival includes exhibitions of work by international artists, screenings, a mini-symposium, artist talks, workshops and closing night party to which guests bring their own digital content and projector. In keeping with the Futureproofing theme, the programme looks back across the recent history of digital art, while simultaneously aiming to share its support for digital art production more widely across Dundee.

It also marks the first time the festival has invited outside contributions to the programming, with leading arts agency New Media Scotland taking a role for NeoN 2014, through its executive director Mark Daniels and associate curator Sarah Cook (also a fellow at DJCAD and established international curator of new media art).

Tonight sees one of the highlights of the festival, the film Europe in 8 Bits. A documentary exploring the world of chip music, it reveals how musicians are redefining old videogames hardware into tools capable of creating a new sound, a modern tempo and an innovative musical style. Machines designed for leisure in the 80’s, such as the Nintendo GameBoy, NES, Atari ST, Amiga and the Commodore 64 have been turned by skillful artists into surprising musical instruments and graphical tools.

The film is followed by a special performance from Edward Shallow, electronic music-maker and visual artist, who will perform a selection of chiptune tracks inspired by trips across hyperspace and beyond.

Taking place on Thursday is All Your Media are Belong to Us, a mash up screening night of retro tech and seasoned art works, with each contribution in its ‘native’ format from 16mm film to 16:9 digital video. The evening will feature works from REWIND Artists’ Video in the 1970s and 1980s, alongside works from both NEoN’s own digital asset archive, and that of the Alt-w awards and New Media Scotland. The evening is choreographed to allow reflection on the changes technology has brought to moving image art

Friday sees Show Us Your Assets, a mini symposium for art historians, academic researchers, archivists, curators and artists to debate tactics for ensuring legacy for moving image and media art in all its analogue and digital manifestations.

A full programme and tickets for events can be found on the NEoN site

Elsewhere on IDG sites

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