7 May 2014
The List

Craig Coulthard, Yann Seznec and Jacqueline Donachie are devising original works for the festival.

A film about military drones, chalk lines on the city’s streets, and breezes produced by discarded computer fans are the unusual products of the Edinburgh Art Festival’s three 2014 commissions, announced today. On display in unexpected locations around the city, the three works aim to reinterpret and reimagine afresh some of Edinburgh’s overlooked spaces.

The Drummer and the Drone by Edinburgh-based artist Craig Coulthard is a video work contrasting the evolution of the military drone with acts of remembrance, and it will be shown in 15th-century gothic kirk Trinity Apse, located just off the Royal Mile.

Edinburgh-based artist, musician and software developer Yann Seznec’s Currents will be housed in a former police box on Easter Road. Using specially designed instruments constructed entirely from computer fans, the work will draw on real-time weather information from around the world to move air around the visitor and generate a sonic and physical experience.

And Glasgow-based Jacqueline Donachie will devise a work that takes in the whole city, connecting key physical and historical points in Edinburgh through a series of lines drawn in chalk which all converge at a central point.

EAF director Sorcha Carey said: ‘Our commissions programme has always recealed new perspectives in the city. This year, our artists draw on the past to reflect future possibilities.’

Also announced today, Where do I end and you begin brings together five curators and 20 artists from across the Commonwealth for an exhibition spanning four floors at the City Art Centre and exploring the sometimes uncomfortable history of the Commonwealth. As part of the exhibition, Indian artist Amar Kanwar’s film installation ‘The Sovereign Forest’ will be shown in the debating chamber of Edinburgh’s Old Royal High School, which is being opened to the public for the first time since it was redeveloped in 1979, in anticipation of the need for a Scottish Assembly chamber following that year’s devolution referendum. ‘Where do I end and you begin’ by Kanwar’s compatriot Shilpa Gupta, which gives the exhibition its overall title, is a neon work that will be installed in an outdoor city location.

And in a series of co-commissions with the Talbot Rice Gallery, the EAF will focus on emerging Scottish artists, with film, performance and digital work (including cannons whose activation depends entirely on the result of the independence referendum) by figures including Shona Macnaughton, Michelle Hannah, Ellie Harrison and Alexa Hare.

David Kettle