Art

Virtual worlds & video trails: 8 Digital artists making Glasgow International great

By Kitty Knowles 7 April 2016
Lawrence Lek, Bonus Levels. 2013-ongoing. Pic: Lawrence Lek
Summary

Scottish secrets & cinematic stories unfold at Glasgow International, one of Britain's most anticipated art festivals.

The world-renowned Glasgow International contemporary art festival kicks off tomorrow.

Taking place across the city’s galleries and public spaces, the 17-day event includes a roster of events, talks, performances and projects by renowned international and Scottish artists.

A total of 150 artists from 24 countries are involved in this year’s exciting lineup, including a number of up-and-coming digital artists.

Here are some of our favourite artists working with everything from virtual worlds to erotic videos…

Lawrence Lek, Sky Line, October 2014. Pic: Lawrence Lek.
Lawrence Lek, Sky Line, October 2014. Pic: Lawrence Lek.

1) Lawrence Lek: virtual worlds

German artist Lawrence Lek lives and works in London, where he creates weird and wonderful virtual worlds.

His installations often include a heady mix of software, hardware, and performance art and explore themes of mimicry, vertigo, and dystopian futures.

Lek’s digital video gaming-like simulations are often site-specific and we’re particularly excited as he’s due to unveil a new work at Glasgow International.

Amie Siegel, Provenance, June 2014. Pic: Amie Siegal & Simon Preston Gallery, New York.
Amie Siegel, Provenance, June 2014. Pic: Amie Siegal & Simon Preston Gallery, New York.

2) Amie Siegel: video trails

American artist Amie Siegel lives and works in New York, USA, and Berlin, Germany (Provenance, above, was commissioned for the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Her short films focus on the trails left by people, objects and environments, and pull at ideas around wealth inequality, cultural appropriation and the power that the few have to shape the lives of the masses.

Sam Smith, still from Variations, 2014. Pic: Sam Smith & Atre Contemporanea, Lisbon.
Sam Smith, still from Variations, 2014. Pic: Sam Smith & Atre Contemporanea, Lisbon.

3) Sam Smith: cinematic stories

A contemporary Australian artist, Sam Smith works across video, sculpture, performance and installation, and his work (including Variations, above) are often cinematic in style and scale.

The slick Smith will be unveiling a new large-scale architectural installation at Glasgow International: The Horizontal Window involves both video work and performance.

 

4) Pilvi Takala: breaking the rules

Award-winning Finnish artist Pilvia Takala, lives and works in Berlin and Istanbul and has  studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helskini and Glasgow School of Art.

A video artists, Takala’s work documents her attempts to break and challenge often unspoken rules. The Real Snow White, for example, shows a fan banned from entering the Disneyland in a Snow White costume.

 

5) Andrew Houston: pop diva power

Andrew Houston is a Glasgow-based performance artists who often combines live art and digital film.

An ‘avid pop diva follower’ who has exhibited in Paris, Hong Kong and Glasgow, onlookers can expect powerful, provocative pieces that challenge the notion of personal identity.

Duncan Marquiss. Pic: Duncan Marquiss & Glasgow International.
Duncan Marquiss. Pic: Duncan Marquiss & Glasgow International.

Duncan Marquiss: Scotland’s secrets

A true Scotsman, Duncan Marquiss lives and works in Glasgow, having graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2005.

He predominantly works with drawing and the moving image and often explores the hidden or discrete meanings of subjects – like the multiple meanings of a word.

In one recent project Search Film, he documents a biologist’s field study of goshawks.

7) Rachel Sharpe: sculpted films

Blackpool-born video installation artist Rachel Sharpe now lives and works in Glasgow and aims “to blur the boundaries between what is considered film and sculpture”.

Previous works have explored everything from fetishisation of advertising to the grotesque elements of human spectacle.

8) Catherine Street: sexual technology

Edinburgh-based artists Catherine Street regularly uses her body to explore our relationship with digital; and themes relating the political, sexual and spiritual structures of the modern world.

Street’s installations will often combine video projection, with physical objects: expect the artist to participate by physically wearing of audio and visual technology.

Glasgow International will run from 8 – 25 April 2016 across the city.