Human pigs and Matthew Herbert show to launch NEoN digital arts festival in Dundee

By Culture24 Reporter | 01 November 2012
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A photo of a man wearing a pig mask looking into the camera outside a theatre
Scotland's only digital arts festival has a pig theme for 2012© NEoN digital arts festival
A herd of human swines will launch NEoN, the Scottish digital arts festival which boasts the premiere of a pig-based performance by Matthew Herbert, in Dundee this Sunday.

Themed around pigs, the launch party will take place in the city’s Tay Square, where 20 performers in masks are expected to be held in a sty before being released onto the streets for a series of “unusual activities”. NEoN is the only festival of its kind north of the border.

A photo of a man wearing a pig mask looking into the camera outside a theatre
The week-long festival begins with a performance by acclaimed musician Matthew Herbert© NEoN digital arts festival
“The human pigs are a must-see part of the launch,” promises Lyall Bruce, the director of the festival.

“The activities in Tay Square and at Dundee Contemporary Arts are all free, so it’s a great chance to come along and enjoy something out of the ordinary and find out more about the
digital arts.”

Physical and virtual performances are also planned throughout the day, including an animation on the side of Dundee Rep, sessions with local and international game designers at the DCA and entertaining flourishes of digital technology.

The highlight of the opening is likely to be One Pig, a performance by the celebrated electronic musician Matthew Herbert which will visit Dundee for one night following tours to London, Tokyo and Berlin.

The story follows the life of an animal from birth to being butchered. “It is an amazing show and the creation of some of the leading artistic talents in sound art,” says Bruce. “It’s great that the Rep is staging such an unusual and exciting performance.”

Herbert used the skin and bones of the pig in the performance as musical instruments. He aims to highlight the waste caused by killing animals and the plight pigs face during their often-brief lives.

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