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NEoN at Ars Electronica 2020: Gare Loch Duality and #UndesiredLine

10:30 on 11 September 2020

In collaboration with Regional STARTS Centers NEoN is excited to present the work of Scottish based artist B.D. Owens within the Kepler Gardens – Ars Electronica’s new online festival venue for 2020.

NEoN’s current theme is ‘Share, Share Alike’ and we invite you to explore what sharing means, whether we’re talking about environmental biodiversity, community relations, or data leaks. NEoN’s programme for 2020/21 draws attention to our shared ecosystems, the empowering potential of file sharing, and the necessity of the creation of new digital economies. Artists will address the shared connections between the local and the global, the rethinking of environmental systems, and machine learning and shared data-sets.

For Ars Electronica’s Kepler Gardens, NEoN invited artist B.D. Owens to discuss the sharing of private and public space in relation to wider environmental and societal ecologies, and in the context of surveillance technology.  Gare Loch Duality and the #UndesiredLine was developed by B.D. Owens to reflect on the complicated reality of living in close proximity to the faslane nuclear submarine base. The work involves an interactive guided walk and conversation piece with leading UK research psychologists.

Over the course of 50 days in 2018, B.D. Owens undertook a daily preformative pilgrimage from his house to the main gate of the naval base – in total covering 224 miles. During the daily walks he drew an ‘Undesired Line’, with his body, along the ground next to the perimeter fence – with the fence, the surveillance operations and the ecosystem surrounding the base all becoming part of the artwork. He continues to expand this artwork using video, sound and writing. The viewer can follow, and engage with, the interactive element of this work on Twitter at the hashtag #UndesiredLine.

Note: It is not necessary for the viewer to have a Twitter account to see the tweets and links on the hashtag #UndesiredLine. Click on ‘Latest’ in the menu bar to view the entire hashtag thread.

Programme for Live Event

10:30am Gare Loch Duality and the #UndesiredLine: Duration 30 mins

B.D. Owens takes the viewer on an interactive wander through the landscape, artistic process and historical context of his ongoing, multifaceted project Gare Loch Duality and the #UndesiredLine.

11:00am Psychological Impacts of Surveillance: within the context of Gare Loch Duality and the #UndesiredLine: Duration 30 mins

Multi-disciplinary artist, B. D. Owens, in conversation with Professor David Harper & Dr Darren Ellis (University of East London) about the psychological impacts of surveillance, within the context of Gare Loch Duality and the #UndesiredLine.

11:30am Live discussion and Q&A with B. D. Owens and NEoN Director Donna Holford-Lovell

Through poetry, daily journal writings, field recordings and tweets we get an insight into the unconscious stress perpetuated by surveillance experienced by artist, B. D. Owens. In conversation with NEoNs Director, Donna Holford-Lovell, Owens will discuss his 50 day pilgrimages from the front door of his house to the front door of the Faslane nuclear submarine base, which led to his fascinating body of work exploring the #UndesiredLine.

About Ars Electronica 2020: Festival for Art, Technology & Society
9 -13 September 2020

With the simultaneity and duality of local-physical and globally networked events all over the world, Ars Electronica 2020 becomes an exciting experimental laboratory and prototype for a next-level networking that will focus primarily on new forms and possibilities of fusion and coexistence of analog and digital, real and virtual, physical and telematic proximity. Starting in Linz and working with partner gardens from Ars Electronica’s extraordinarily large international network, “real” events will take place in many places, with “real” artists and scientists for “real” audiences, all of which will be networked into a festival from September 9 to 13. Visit here for the full programme.


Gare Loch Duality and #UndesiredLine


B.D. Owens, Watching the Watcher, 2019

B.D. Owens, Watching the Watcher, 2019