Artcasting at the Edinburgh Art Festival

Artcasting is a mobile application that invites visitors to selected exhibitions to choose an artwork and digitally ‘cast’ it on a trajectory to a new location, adding information about their choice of cast and their associations with the artwork, and potentially re-encountering their own or other artcasts in the future.

Artcasting was designed to simultaneously help visitors make imaginative connections with artworks, and help cultural heritage organisations understand how people are experiencing and engaging with their exhibitions, both in and beyond the gallery. It was developed as part of an interdisciplinary AHRC-funded project, and piloted during two exhibitions with ARTIST ROOMS On Tour in 2015-16.

In summer 2016, the artcasting concept is being used in a new context, with University of Edinburgh researchers working in collaboration with the Edinburgh Art Festival, the UK’s largest annual festival of visual arts.

The artcasting app, previously in pilot phase, was developed into a stable and scalable platform to be used during the Festival in August 2016, as part of its commissions programme. Commissions are new works developed specifically for the festival, focusing on projects developed for beyond the gallery, whether in public spaces such as streets/bridges/railway stations; or in important public buildings which are not generally used for art, or historic buildings which are not generally open to the public. The programme is distributed through the city, and is deliberately intended to engage with new audiences, as well as to encourage debate about our city and its public spaces.

Artcasting supports and enhances this approach, allowing the Festival to engage more deeply with audience members, and capture and evaluate their responses to these projects as well as the city itself.

Research areas
Digital Cultures
Research team

Jen Ross, Jeremy Knox, Chris Speed and Chris Barker from the University of Edinburgh; Sorcha Carey, Helena Barrett and Rosheen Murray from the Edinburgh Art Festival.

Key contact
Dr Jen Ross

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Knowledge Exchange and Impact Grant


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