Reviving Digital Arts in Dundee

NEoN Digital Arts Festival, 10 - 13 November 2021 
EventScotland funding helps revive Digital Arts in Dundee 

Support from EventScotland’s Scotland's Event Recovery Fund is helping NEoN Digital Arts to build a new online festival platform, alongside a number of public digital art interventions, after it pressed pause on activities in 2020. 

Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund (SERF) has been established in conjunction with the Scottish Government to help Scotland’s events sector plan and deliver events through to the end of 2021 and provide support as the industry responds and adapts to the effects of COVID-19. As part of Scotland's tourism and events recovery plan, this fund aims to help restart the events sector as restrictions are eased and support the visitor economy.

NEoN will be looking at how to present its festival experience online and emulate its annual programme that in the past has taken over many unusual spaces in Dundee. 

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting NEoN Digital Arts Festival through our Scotland's Events Recovery Fund. It has been inspiring to see event organisers pivot to online platforms during a difficult year, with NEoN Digital Arts Festival being yet another great example. I am sure audiences will be treated to another fantastic experience this year, albeit one in the digital world.”

To increase its online offer, NEoN will be working with digital artists and creative technologists to explore and rethink how it can utilise virtual space and make a cohesive event. The experimental online space will host new art commissions, screenings, talks and exhibitions, embedded with a passion for supporting women artists. As with its physical festival, this online experience will focus on increasing equality and diversity by providing a necessary support structure for emerging and established performing artists to realise new work. To nurture, develop, produce and present art that makes a difference and consistently encourage artists to consider and recognise their impact on society.


Festival Theme for 2021

Under the theme ‘Wired Women*’, NEoN will address the digital gender divide and highlight the contribution of female and non-binary artists in shaping the digital and technology-driven arts sector. For its annual festival of digital arts, NEoN will deliver a 4-day festival, being a hybrid mix of online and physical exhibitions, interventions, performances and talks celebrating works by women and non-binary artists who address social, political and equality themes, alongside an active outreach programme for schools groups, families and community groups wanting to explore these themes.


* Inclusive of Trans and Intersex women, as well as non-binary and gender fluid people who are comfortable in a space that centres women's experience.

In 2021/22, NEoN will invite female and non-binary artists from across the world to investigate how we can bridge the digital gender divide in today’s world, how to connect our communities better and highlight the contribution of female, non-binary artists and technologists in shaping our digital and technology-driven lives.

‘Wired Women*’ is inspired by the book of the same name by Lynn Cherny. Written in 1996, it is a collection of essays written by women looking at what women were doing on the internet. Then, as today it reflected the complexities of our society, with just about every topic talked about; love, relationships, censorship, gender, including its hostilities. Sadly 24 years on, the anonymous online hostility still exists and is mostly directed at women. 

However, by using the Internet and its social media platforms, women can bring together mass groups and create a powerful voice for change. Nothing has illustrated this more than the #MeToo movement started in 2017, a social movement against sexual abuse and harassment. And Black Lives Matter, a decentralised political and social movement protesting against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people. Of course, feminist and black activist artists have always been at the forefront of raising public awareness of these issues. However, today’s hashtag activism’ gives us an alternative form of visual representation that captures the prevalence of structural inequality.

Read the full description here.



About EventScotland


EventScotland team is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. With partners, they aim to raise Scotland's reputation as the perfect stage by supporting and securing a portfolio of events and developing the industry. 

They provide advice on funding opportunities, access to resources and information about EventScotland and Development teams that sit within the VisitScotland Events Directorate, alongside Business Events.
Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund (SERF) has been established in conjunction with the Scottish Government to help Scotland’s events sector plan and deliver events through to the end of 2021 and provide support as the industry responds and adapts to the effects of COVID-19.


As part of their tourism and events recovery plan, this fund aims to help restart the events sector as restrictions are eased and address additional costs which may be incurred as a result of new hygiene and health and safety requirements, allowing communities and the public to regain confidence in hosting and attending events.



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NEoN is supported by Creative Scotland through RFO funding (Regular Funded Organisation).

Image Credit: Screenshot from String Figures workshop with artist Ailie Rutherford for Round The Virtual Table with NEoN. String Figures is a project developed by Ailie Rutherford and Bettina Nissen to allow activist, feminist and creative groups working for social justice to support and strengthen each other’s work through de-centralised open-source networks centred on a principle of mutual care. https://string-figures-v1-0-3.glitch.me/
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