New Media Scotland: Alt-w (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

*4 New Media Scotland: Alt - W

Donna Leishman, Front. Courtesy of the artist.

Works by Donna Leishman, Calum Stirling and Mehrpouya and Powell on show at Edinburgh Art Festival

Bringing traditional aesthetics and digital programming together, the artworks showcased in Alt-w approach ‘new media’ in a variety of ways. Two large sculptural works by ~ in the fields are first over the threshold, though they sit uneasily in the stark gallery space. A similar disjunction of space and artwork threatens Mehrpouya and Powell’s ‘The Thinking Machine’, though these objects – gaming boards, rules and etchings – encompass a microcosm of historical time and space, and do reward an inquisitive viewer.

Donna Leishman’s ‘Front,’ with its pre-programmed Facebook parody running on a computer, tackles a major issue of social media – privacy. In time, via a retelling of Apollo and Daphne, the narrative marches unstoppably on to a chilling finale that focuses on the dark side of self-presentation online.

Calum Stirling’s ‘Gadroon Bagette Cartouche,’ comprised of digitally produced cornices based on a rather random group of statistics, brings the aesthetic and the mathematical into conflict as well as combination. But it is ‘Help Me Obi’ that most successfully combines the technical and aesthetic, a whirring holographic video that holds the viewer captivated and reveals the emotive power that can be attained by artworks embracing new media.

Evolution House 650 2750 until Sat 30 Aug, free.


  • 3 stars

Work by Scottish artists who are developing artworks that expand the idea of what new media creativity can be. Featured artists include ~ in the fields, Chris Helson and Sarah Jackets, Hadi Mehrpouya and Robert Powell, Donna Leishman and Calum Stirling.