Digital Skin – Alistair Grant

A collaboration between students of architecture and visual media, the Digital Skin exhibition saw the culmination of students’ efforts to create works of art that ‘skin’ the architectural context of Inspace at the University of Edinburgh. The linked video pieces they produced were projected onto the large windows of Inspace, creating a ‘skin’ to the building which could then be viewed from both inside and outside.

The videos themselves were intriguingly varied; liquid forms danced across the projector screens alongside textured close-ups of tights ripping and shots of busy Edinburgh life. The feel of the pieces, meanwhile, seemed to be greatly affected by whether they were viewed from inside or outside. Shapes and images that appeared warm and welcoming from the inside were given a peculiar edge when viewed from outside, with the cars speeding past and pedestrians walking by briskly, completely unaware. These were artworks that formed a dialogue with their surroundings, changing and adapting to their environment.

The whole effect was fairly mesmerising, and for those driving past the sight of a row of windows lit up with moving images and films must have provided quite a shock. There was something of the science-fiction film about the installation, and as the light faded completely it was rather like being given a glimpse into some intangible, indefinable vision of the future.

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