NEoN Digital Arts Festival: Dundee

“Oh my god it’s TALKING!” I squeaked as I beamed up at J. Before us a television lit up as strips of white flickered and flashed across its screen. The stripes were being picked up by a camera which was converting their width into soundwaves.

“Yeah I could tell when you figured it out,” J shouted over the din of the crowd exploring the NEoN Festival exhibition, “your face totally lit up”.

J and I also watched an arm try to snatch a clock pendulum, we created music with televisions and our bodies and we took a picture with a guy who couldn’t see unless people touched him. Man this sounds so bizarre when I write it down!

Check out the video to see proof!

Dundee here in Scotland used to be famous for its Jute, Jam and Journalism. Unfortunately, as the industrial revolution began to wind down—and big industries shifted their factories to cheaper countries with more flexible (abuseable) labor laws—Dundee’s citizens found themselves stripped of their livelihood.

There was a massive economic downturn for Scotland and it hit this town particularly hard. But. The region has a collection of hardy people who’ve seen tough times a’plenty and many picked themselves up and dove back in for another tussle.


This time the population focused its energy on a new growing industry. Digital software. They fostered video game knowledge and began to explore the digital arts.

The NEoN Festival is a celebration of digital and technology driven art, and it’s the only one of its kind in Scotland! It was developed by Interactive Tayside in 2009 and was meant to showcase moving images, music and information technologies.

This year the theme was Asia and artists from Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan came to Scotland to showcase their work.

It was a pleasure to explore! There were so many things to see and many featured ideas I’d never seen before!

The staple PechaKucha event was a thrill as well! Artists from all around the world, as well as local shops and entrepreneurs, showcased their passions in 20 seconds for 20 slides. I suppose you could think of it as mini TED Talks!


I learned so much about the local art industry through this event! In fact, my favourite part was the “pass the mike” time slot in the middle where everyone around the room was invited to share an event or invitiations for collaberation! So many artists and organisations were happy to share their upcoming goodies! I look forward to checking out their work!

The best bit though was when one woman asked for “a duck-shaped boat” hahaha.

“If you happen to have one lying around…”

Anyone here have a duck-shaped boat to ship to Dundee?

NEoN Tips

Budget: Most events are free.
• Pecha Kucha event was £5.

Age group: 5+
• Fun for all! Though I suppose small children may get bored.

• Whatever you want.

• Not as snobby as you’d think.
• It’s good to bring a friend/s so you can discuss the art with someone.

Food: Often free drinks (wine and juice), though often no food.
• The Pecha Kucha featured cake and drinks.

• Walk.
• Many events are close to the train station.
• Biking is fine, it’s in town.
• Car and bus are fine too.
• The events are scattered across town, but they are also spaced across the week so reaching them should be easy enough.

Time: Some events are during the day, but most are after work hours.

Leave a Reply