NEoN Digital Arts (SCIO) is a charitable organisation whose aims are to advance the understanding and accessibility of digital and technology-driven art forms and encourage high quality within this medium's production. NEoN utilises many platforms to deliver these aims, including festivals, exhibitions, workshops, talks, conferences, live performances, and public discussions. NEoN commissions new and nurtures the development of ongoing work.
NEoN believes that contemporary culture is linked to digital technology in profound ways, and through its collaborative programme, a greater critical understanding of and accessibility to digital art can be fostered. NEoN aims to nurture and present a collaborative programme of digital art that fosters a greater critical understanding of contemporary culture within the context of today’s technology-driven society through an exploratory and accessible programme.
NEoN is changing from a festival-based organisation to an organisation capable of taking up the continuous demands of caring for audiences and workers of the current technological, environmental, economic and social conditions. We live in a neoliberal world that requires high productivity in a short period of time, which has the effect of isolating employees and creating work conditions so unrealistic and stressful that burnout is commonplace. This often adversely affects audiences too. For high-quality, fruitful creative experiences, you need time: time for engaging, innovating, experimenting, organising, evaluating, and inspiring.
NEoN is developing a feminist ethics of care approach that challenges these working conditions and provides a feminist digital infrastructure. We aim to develop and implement new strategies that emphasise collaborative, collective, and communal approaches. By slowing down and claiming time for collective action informed by feminist theory, we are exploring alternatives to neoliberal models that are fast-paced and metric-oriented.
In order to achieve a balanced art creation and leadership system within the arts, NEoN acknowledges the urgent need to address historical power imbalances. In particular, we will support artists and practitioners experiencing systemic oppression and discrimination, those who sit at the intersections of several minority identities, and those from economically marginalised communities.
Reflecting the diversity and complexity of the digital and technology-driven art scene is a core value of NEoN. We believe the arts can be a powerful platform for social change, and we strive to include a multitude of voices and perspectives in the planning and implementation of our artistic work and operations. Bringing together like-minded emerging artists and well-established artists, we aim to influence and reshape the genre with an organisation founded on feminist values.
NEoN creates opportunities for collaboration and spontaneity and will always push beyond expectations. Our program of international and regional artistic exchanges aims to nurture diverse grass-roots art of the region whilst drawing in the art world's most interesting talent.
Going forward, we will continue to foster a greater critical understanding of the contemporary culture within the context of today’s technology-driven, diversely complex society.
*NEoN acknowledges that this growth is a process and that this document is a living one and subject to the process of change as we continue to learn.
The NEoN team consists of three people who work collectively to plan and drive the programme. Team members work from home and in the office. The small size of our team means that we share responsibilities for tasks between us, such as social media updates, bookkeeping, cleaning and fundraising. As a charitable organisation, we hire freelance artists, gallery technicians, technologists and others to help us accomplish and deliver what we're trying to do. Here are details about the current trustees and team.
Meet the team:
Donna Holford-Lovell, Director - Donna has been with NEoN since its conception in 2009. She co-founded NEoN with a small group of artists to promote digital media activity in the North East of Scotland. NEoN has been successfully developed over the years as a leading organisation in its field that contributes to international discourse and has achieved RFO status from Creative Scotland. At present, NEoN is the only RFO in Creative Scotland's portfolio dedicated to digital and technology-based creative practice. As an activist for digital (social) change, Donna works with digital art makers to change the binary systems that parallel heteronormative patriarchal structures. Particularly, she promotes nonhierarchical and inclusive forms of digital art and tools that bypass systemic barriers.
Sabrina Logan, Development Officer - is an experienced community development officer, with a deep interest in expanding the accessibility to the arts. She has been involved in the charity sector in Dundee for over a decade, continually building networks and community outreach. After graduating with a degree in Computer Arts, she continued to be involved with the Bengali Arts community, working for the Dudhope Multicultural Centre, and with Amina MWRC. Sabrina co-authored and ran the Trainee Tour Guide Programme, in partnership with V&A Dundee; a project instigated for their official opening. V&A Dundee and Amina partnered to recruit and train Muslim, Black & Minority Ethnic community members to become Tour Guides for the V&A Dundee. Sabrina now leads on NEoNs outreach programme, focusing on community networks and women’s digital lives.
Majsko Sekula, Programme Assistant - Majsko is a visual artist and illustrator, Computer Arts graduate at Abertay University from 2021. Their honours project was awarded by NEoN for "the best consideration of addressing issues relating to gender, identity or accessibility". In their artistic practice and beyond, their primary interests are queer-feminist movements and storytelling.
Elaine Dusk, Social Media Storyteller - An Avatar, keeping fellow humans safe from the toxicity of Big Tech.
Beatrix Elizabeth Livesey-Stephens, Accessibility Officer (Freelance) - Beatrix (Bea) is an undergraduate studying Language & Linguistics at the University of Aberdeen. A member of the Artificial Womb feminist arts collective, and an ambassador for the student-led TABOU Disability Magazine. Last year Be was on the steering committee for the WayWORD cross-arts festival, and this year acting as a legacy committee member and disability and accessibility consultant.
Bilyana Palankasova (PhD Student)- Bilyana is a researcher and curator of art and technology who holds the SGSAH Collaborative Doctoral Award with NEoN: Valuing festivals as incubators of digital creativity – capturing the process of commissioning and presenting digital art. Her PhD is supervised at the University of Glasgow byProf. Sarah Cook, who from 2013 to 2019 was a co-curator of NEoN and founder and chair of NEoN’s annual symposium.
Past team members:
NEoN Digital Arts would not be what it is without the contributions of many people over the years. Check out the archive directory to see just how many amazing people have contributed over the years. NEoN Archive
Eleanor Whitby - Being a part of the NEoN team for the last 10 years has helped to develop many of my ideas and allows me to bring those thoughts to the table in a safe environment. As a trustee my strengths are event planning, organisational skills, book keeping, policy, note taking, chairing meetings, action taker and generally bringing smiles to the zoom room! I like to bring good people together for great conversation and I can honestly say I enjoy every single minute.
Andy Robertson - Andy is a community worker, designer and artist living in Dundee. Working as Creative Arts Lead for Hot Chocolate Trust, a charity that engages, builds relationships with, and grows community with young people, supporting them on their own terms. His role there includes partnering with the creative and cultural sectors to bring high-quality opportunities to those that are often marginalised and face significant barriers and using the arts to support young people around mental health and trauma. Andy is passionate about the interplay between design and community - both in terms of the positive social impacts that good quality creative engagement can enable, and the need for design to be rooted in real-world needs and demands of the contexts in, and people for, which it exists. As an artist, Andy is interested in the spaces between possibility and impossibility, reality and imagination, known and unknown, ordinary and extraordinary. https://www.hotchocolate.org.uk
Jen Southern - Jen is an artist, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art & New Media at Lancaster University, and an Associate Director at the Centre for Mobilities Research. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally for over 25 years and specialises in Art, Technology and Mobilities Research. http://www.theportable.tv https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/lica/about/people/jen-southern
Jessica Armstrong - Jessica is a Project Manager and Creative Producer. She works as a freelance agent based in Edinburgh working with clients and partners from across industries and sectors, including the creative industries and academia; working with themes of digital, data, research and technology; and with micro-businesses, SMEs and corporates. She strives to enable, empower and mentor growth and leadership. Her work supports creative practitioners, professionals and those with aspirations to do not only new or more but also different. Jessica helps them to design and deliver strategies to achieve their mission and vision. Jessica is also an active contributor at Creative Edinburgh, supporting the CE team, the organisation and its members as the chair of its Steering Group. She volunteers with Scottish based charities Move On and the Super Power Agency. https://jessicaarmstrongpro.com
Natallia Nenarokamava - Natallia is a Digital Account Manager at Cast From Clay, a London based agency that works with NGOs, think tanks and policy experts to shape conversations that strengthen democracy. She previously worked as a campaigns editor at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and as a freelance curator. In the past Natallia has developed and implemented strategic digital campaigns on a wide range of topics, including political, human rights, climate, science, education, art and culture.
Quintana Beattie - Quin is currently in education. They decided to become a NEoN trustee member because they felt it would be a great opportunity for them to get a real insight into how a business works. Catch Qins excellent Pecha Kucha talk here
Rebecca Rodgers - Rebecca has worked in the Events Industry for well over a decade, focusing on large-scale high-profile cultural and sporting events. Rebecca has an extensive operational background, creating and delivering key logistical and resourcing plans for events such as the opening of V&A Dundee, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, and the launch of Event Scotland’s ‘Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design’, Hinterland (NVA) Rebecca currently works at Dundee City Council as the Events Officer, delivering key council events including public Fireworks Displays and Christmas Light Nights, as well as welcoming and facilitating event organisers who use Dundee’s parks and public spaces.
Zoyander Street - Artist-researcher and critic working at the fringes of indie videogames for almost a decade. My practice focuses on videogames but also involves other forms of media art and (mis)uses of technology. Led by ethnographic and historical research, I create lo-fi glitchy games and custom hardware for festivals, galleries, and museums, using interaction design to harness the expressive potential of audience participation. After becoming increasingly sensitive to the limitations of linear text, I began exploring interactive and tactile mediums of communication, in order to surface ambiguity and allow the mess to stay messy. I like to work with toxic garbage, be that through recycling old computers that were destined for landfill, or through recontextualising trauma. https://zoy.itch.io
NEoN Digital Arts SCIO, is a charity registered in Scotland (SC043355). We are regulated by OSCR, the Scottish charity regulator.
You can download our constitution here - SCIO Constitution NEoN
Reports & Accounts
Directors' Report and Unaudited Accounts, 31 March 2019
Trustees' Report and Unaudited Accounts, 31 March 2020
Trustees' Report and Unaudited Accounts, 31 March 2021
Trustees' Report and Unaudited Accounts, 31 March 2022