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NEON 2011

NEoN Geocaching

Geocaching was a treasure hunt for the satnav generation. The object of the game was to hide and seek conta iners called ‘caches’ by following online directions, clues and hints using a smart phone or GPS device. Each cache contained a logbook to record successful finds and occasionally the cache storeed small items to trade. Hunting caches was great fun for all the families.

NEoN was excited to announce a Geocache competition that ran throughout the festival week. We had some big prizes on offer to successful seekers. The competition was open to everyone and anyone ready for adventure.

Venue: Across Dundee
Date: starting on the 5th November 2011
Time: anytime you can, but be safe!

NEoN Fun Day

A fun-filled afternoon for the whole family as NEoN got creative with digital technology. Participants were able to record a song, make a short film, create a life-sized character and manipulate sound and visuals with the movement of your body! NEoN was also screening a series of family friendly short films. 

Making Movies – Participants were invited to experiment with a movie camera and storyboards. Using their own creative imagination, they were able to become their own film director and make one-minute movies. 

Be a Pop Star for a day! – Participants were able to spend the afternoon recording their own version of a Pop hit! NEoN provided the backing tracks and lyrics, so all people had to do was step up to the microphone and sing! The recording was then mixed and mastered and burned to a CD for participants to keep.

Remix yourself!– Participants were invited to use live video mixing software to remix and process their own image. Isadora is a professional application used by choreographers worldwide to apply real-time effects and visual manipulations to contemporary dancers. People were able to create patterns with their bodies and project them onto a wall, or interact with the wide range of eye-popping effects available.

Crazy Characters – Ever wanted to be a superhero or a fairy princess? the 2011 workshop brought people a step closer by transforming them into a life size 2D version of their favourite character. Participants could pull a pose, draw around their bodies from top to toe and use colour and collage to transform their cartoon selves.

Symbols and Signs – Traffic signs, desktop icons, gamepad symbols… we are surrounded by imagery everyday! Participants were able to bring these boring symbols to life by transforming them into comical cartoons! People could add shape, colour, words and more in this easy-peasy workshop.

Fun Day Screenings

Little films for little people!

12pm: My Neighbour Totoro (U) 86mins
1.20pm onwards: A colourful selection of award winning European animated shorts (U) 60mins

Venue: Hannah Maclure Centre
Date: 6th November 2011
Time: 12pm – 2.30pm
Tickets: no ticket required

Move Sound Together

An exhibition of interaction, movement and sound.

Tom De Majo – Sound Design artist Tom De Majo used buildings in Dundee as a resonator for a new installation that brought to life the echoes of its past.

Memo AktenMemo Akten is a visual artist, director, musician and engineer working at the intersection of art and technology. Driven by the urge to make the seemingly impossible, possible, Akten sought to awaken our childlike instincts to explore and discover new forms of interaction and expression. For NEoN, Akten’s Mega Super Awesome Visuals Company screened Simple Harmonic Motion, a series of projects exploring the nature of complex patterns created from the interaction of multilayered rhythms.

Max Cant – Max Cant is a sculptor, illustrator and concept designer for Codemasters. Like a machine Max can churn out masses of concepts, so just give him an idea and he added his own drawing beauty.

Tim Vincent-Smith – Artist Tim Vincent-Smith {nook} built a harmonograph from found objects for NEoN. This was an instrument that traced the curves of sonorous vibrations and conducted its own digital songs.

Gayle Meikle – Glasgow based artist/curator Gayle Meikle presented ‘poff_pop’ a playful demonstration of a linguistic onomatopoeia which transcends multiple languages and cultures.  Gayle studied Time Based Art and Electronic Imaging at Duncan of Jordanstone (2002 – 2007).  Since then she has exhibited internationally as well winning a Scottish Bafta for her video ‘Secomak_477’.

Venue: Chamber East
Date: 7th– 12th November
Time: 12pm – 5pm
Tickets: no ticket required


NEoN were pleased to present for the first time in Dundee, “PechaKucha Night

PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.

It turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world and inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of conversation (“chit chat”), it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds.

It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.

Venue: Chamber East
Date: 8th November
Time: 7pm-10pm
Tickets: Free Entry but must register in advance. BOOK & REGISTER HERE

Dirty Electronics: Skull Etching Workshop

Participants were able to take part in a large group performance where the improbable and ridiculous collided through electronic sound and the technological unknown.

The internationally renowned Dirty Electronics came to Dundee delivering a ridiculously exciting workshop and inviting people to become part of the Dirty Electronics Ensemble. The workshop was central to the Ensemble in that all of the musicians (you!) had to build their own instrument for the performance. The ‘performance’ began on the workbench devising instruments and was extended onto the stage through playing and exploring these instruments. This was an incredible opportunity that required no previous experience or exceptional musical ability.

Venue: Chamber East
Date: 10th November 2011
Time: Workshop – 2pm – 6pm, Age 14+
Tickets: Free Entry but must register in advance. 

Dirty Electronics Performance

This was separate from the Workshop 

Venue: Chamber East
Date: 10th November 2011
Time: Performance starts 7.30pm
Tickets: no ticket required

Anima Boutique

Anima Boutique is a Helsinki based design & animation studio established in 2007. Their goal is to create, develop and produce characters, styles and stories that we can be proud of and that the audience will love.

Anima Boutique’s work included animation across techniques for commercials, short films, music videos, TV-series and film: “Our goal is to create, develop and produce characters, styles and stories that we can be proud of and that the audience will love. We strive to be a critical and commercial success as a studio and to foster a friendly and creative workplace for artists. To be forward thinking by nature means to respectfully challenge conventions.”

Eliza Jäppinen, 32, is a founder & creative director of Anima Boutique. Eliza has worked extensively with characters, writing, animation and design for original concepts as well as advertising since 2002. She is a forward thinker with design and storytelling. Eliza has spent most of her life between Finland and Hawaii, which brings a unique blend of popular culture and Scandinavian cool to her work. She believes in enriching our world with original and unique entertainment that has a heart.

Anttu Harlin, 31, is a founder and producer of Anima Boutique. He has worked extensively with creating & producing animation TV, film & advertising since 2002. Anttu believes in creating honest, personal & meaningful content. Having worked his way through the creative positions in production pipelines, now as a producer he strives to bring inspiration into to new projects. Since founding Anima Boutique, he has worked towards bringing the first original property to fruition from the in-house studio.

Joonas Utti, 29, is a founder and lead animator of Anima Boutique. Joonas lives and breathes the craft of animation, and is an integral part of the studio’s productions.

Anima Vitae. Finland’s leading CGI studio established in 1998, Anima Vitae is a co-founder of Anima Boutique. Its work includes the 2009 hit Christmas movie, Niko & the Way to the Stars.

Venue: Chamber East
Date: 11th November
Time: Starts 11am 
Tickets: Free Entry but must register in advance. BOOK & REGISTER HERE 


Pelmet Nites celebrated their fifth birthday with a special show featuring Electro trio Discopolis, atmospheric Synth-Pop from Midnight Lion, and Indie/Electronica from the Isle of Skye’s Niteworks. Plus City Life DJs until 2.30am.

Venue: Dukes Corner
Date: 11th November
Time: 9pm – late, free entry before 11.30pm 
Tickets: no ticket required, pay on the door/ 18+

NEoN Exhibitions & Commissions – N55

N55 work with art as a part of everyday life; designed and built low-fi technology, tools and structures which sought to empower real people in the real world.

N55 grew from a collaborative exhibition space and lab that was set up in Copenhagen, 1994, developing a collective who had a common interest to “rebuild the city from within” using everyday life situations as a platform for public events and collaborations. N55 is a platform for people who want to work together, people who have a shared interest in democratically encouraging individuals to become self-reliant.

For NEoN, N55 collaborated with artist Till Wolfer and developed Space Frame Vehicles; a project which enables individuals/groups to build their own vehicles for transportation of people and goods. A simple lightweight construction using easily sourced parts, simple tools and requires no welding. The orthogonal design had been selected for ergonomic reasons; the rider’s weight was distributed over a larger area providing greater comfort. It also had an aerodynamic advantage, minimising wind resistance.

SPACE FRAME VEHICLE symbolised N55’s mission to provide solutions to everyday problems, solutions that are accessible to all, that are low cost and require minimum specialist skills. Although N55 do not claim that their designs solve pressing social and economic problems, they do believe that the very act of setting to work can empower a person and help change the way he or she sees the world.

Venue: Hannah Maclure Centre
Date: Opening evening 11 November 7pm (open from 14 November 2011–27 January 2012)
Times: Mon – Fri, 10am – 5pm
Tickets: no ticket required

NEoN Finale

NEoN had an epic day of events bringing  the 2011 festival to a close

Utah Saints

Utah Saints are a British dance band from Leeds in West Yorkshire. Utah Saints were one of the early pioneers of bringing sampling technology into mainstream dance and pop music.

Scheinwerfer Collective (VJs Stefan Muller, Simon Schubiger – Zurich) DJ NORD (DJ/VJ – Vancouver)

Over 18’s only.

Venue: Reading Rooms (paid event)
Date: 12 November 2011
Time: 11pm – 2.30am
Tickets: £8 online/£10 at Grouchos store

Dundee Contemporary Arts

Sigur Rós – Inni
DCA cinema was delighted to be involved with the 2011 festival by organising a very rare screening of Inni.

Inni is Sigur Rós’s second live film following 2007’s highly-celebrated Heima. Whereas that film positioned the enigmatic group in the context of their Icelandic homeland, providing geographical, social and historical perspectives on their otherworldly music, with uplifting results, Inni focuses purely on the band’s performance, which is artfully and intimately captured by French-Canadian director Vincent Morisset (Arcade Fire’s Miroir Noir). Interweaving archive material from the band’s first ten years with the sometimes gossamer light, sometimes punishingly intense, concert footage, Inni is a persuasive account of one of the most celebrated and influential rock bands of recent years.

Director: Vincent Morrisset
Duration: 1h 25m
Country: Iceland / UK / Canada
Language: English & Icelandic with English subtitles
Year: 2011

Venue: Dundee Contemporary Arts
Date: 13th November 2010
Time: 8pm
Tickets: £8/£6 available from DCA Box Office

DCA Exhibition

Startle Reaction by Torsten Lauschmann

Torsten Lauschmann’s work was informed by apparently conflicting interests in the earliest forms of magical entertainment and the latest technical innovations. His work explored the use of tools, techniques and systems to solve problems, with the aim of bypassing the tension between optimistic and sceptical beliefs about technology. His immersive installations used film to create works that were inventive, playful and accessible. Over the past decade Torsten Lauschmann has become one of the most important artists working in Scotland, Dundee during the Discovery, NEoN and Science Festivals is the perfect time and place to stage this important survey of his work.

Torsten Lauschmann was born in Germany in 1970, and lives and works in Glasgow. He has exhibited, screened or performed his work widely, including The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Art Basel Miami Beach and Arnolfini, Bristol. Recently, he received the inaugural Margaret Tait Award, a Vital Spark commission from Creative Scotland and has been shortlisted for this year’s Jarman Award.

A series of cinema screenings, talks, workshops and education activities accompanied this exhibition.

Venue: Dundee Contemporary Arts
Date: 22 October – 8 January 2012
Time: Tuesday – Saturday 10.30am – 5.30pm, Sunday 12 noon – 5.30pm, open late Thursday until 8.30pm
Tickets: no ticket required