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Gair Dunlop MSc, BA

Course Director (Time Based Art & Digital Film)

Tel: 01382 388944
Graduate Centre, Room 303, Crawford Building,
DJCAD, 13 Perth Road, Dundee, DD1 4HT


Gair Dunlop makes artworks which explore entropic Modernism: the New Town, the military airfield, the film archive and the memory of progress. Beginning as a photographer in London, he gained a degree in photography from the Polytechnic of Central London, and now has an MSc with distinction in Electronic Imaging from Duncan of Jordanstone College, Dundee. He is interested in combining elements of site-specific practice with digital technologies. Investigations have developed into engagements with sites of secrecy: military zones, scientific test establishments, and other evidence of the ’dark side’ of modernism. The works investigate and play with different eras of discovery and propaganda.

Research Projects

Atom Town

Archive and contemporary imagery from the Experimental Nuclear Reactor site at Dounreay is simultaneously projected, with the soundscape locating the viewer as an active participant and constructor of meaning. Unprecedented access to the reactor facility, access to the UKAEA, STV, and Scottish Screen Archives, and dialogues with the public in Caithness combine to make a unique insight possible. The project will be launched at the InSpace Gallery, University of Edinburgh in late May 2011.

Main site:


Traces of everyday life. But this is not an everyday place.
RAF Coltishall, Norfolk, is hard to find by road, a junction of the pastoral and the apocalyptic. The airbase is in the process of closure, its assets to be dispersed. As the base empties, and buildings are sealed to await new owners and new purposes, small human marks and responses take the hard edge off the fading concrete and steel.

Three artists- Angus Boulton, Gair Dunlop and Louise K Wilson - have been given unprecedented access to the site, and have been working there over the past 2 years. Gair Dunlop is working with the related themes of militarism and modernity, creating video and photography that contributes to a sense of place.

The military airfield is a modernist environment par excellence; it consists of an interlocking series of utilitarian structures, where highly codified behavioural cues prevail. Removed from most people's experience, and shrouded in secrecy, the imagination takes over.

Collaborators : Louise K Wilson, Angus Boulton, Dr John Schofield and the Characterisation Unit of English Heritage

Themes: Entropy, memory and the Cold War

Vulcan: sublime, melancholic (2005)

Site specific exegesis of the relation between the English country estate and the militarized countryside. Elements of 18th century landscape theory and situationism combined to produce an incursion of the nuclear threat (in the form of a full-scale lawn drawing of a Vulcan nuclear bomber) with an artists book and a hand-printed edition. Bolwick Arts 3, Marsham, Norfolk.

Residency: 20th May- 11th June 2005 Exhibition: 12th-26th June 2005

3 other exhibitors: Claire Morgan, Tomoko Takahashi, Imi Maufe.

Drawing 111 by 93 ft, artists book A5, print edition 100 copies, 18 by 12 inches._Documentation filmed with the assistance of Wing Commander Willie Cruickshank, RAF Coltishall.

Artwork cited by Dr John Schofield, director of modern military programmes at English Heritage in forthcoming publication "Constructing place: when artists and archaeologists meet"

See more at -

The Tomorrows Project (2004)

Interactive online visual and sonic mixing  arena, where viewers become players and mix their own sense of 'former futures' as portrayed in the archive of Scottish Screen. The question was to discover if an element of uncertainty in the sense of control of the interface would echo a sense of uncertainty in a sense of the future, which would be constructed in a neo-Eisensteinian montage effect differing for each player. In addition, the project has been presented as 'expanded cinema', with live accompaniment from members of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra.

See the project online at

Performances have taken place at Glasgow Film Theatre 17th November 2004 (launch)

And at the Green Room Manchester on May 2nd 2005. A text site exists alongside the main site, with commentary and information on the original source material, plus an online downloadable publication reflecting on the political uses of 'the future' in 20th century Scotland.

Collaborators : Dan Norton

Century 21 calling (2003)

Site specific image/text work exploring the relation between Maurice Wilkins life in science and the social context of the discovery of DNA. Biographical material was interleaved with newspaper clippings in order to explore how a biography relates to and responds to socio-historic conditions. Research included visits to Imperial College Archive and the British Library Newspaper Collection.

Site-specific installation in the Biographical Reading Room, WellcomeTrust Library, London. 7 co-exhibitors throughout Wellcome trust headquarters, including Ruth Maclennan, Richard Dedominici, Penny McCarthy.

4th April- 29th August 2003.

Limited edition bookwork produced: a flickbook paralleled the transposition of 2D x-ray crystallography into a 3D structure by translating film frames in to a book format which required 3D movement to function.

Idealisation of science through archive imagery; re-sitting sense of wonder within the biographical

Cumbernauld; town for tomorrow (2003)

Investigation of the new town aesthetic and its condition as part of the 'entropic modern'.

Interactive website and text site comprising dialogues and interviews with some of the designers, planners, architects and residents.

Funded by SAC Research Award and RIAS Millenium Award. In collaboration with GROSSMAX landscape architects, the interactive section of the project became part of the Re:motion project, shown around Scotland and at the Rotterdam International Architecture Biennial (May 7th-July 7th 2003). In this context, work was shown as a projection in a 'tent' structure within the gallery.

Catalogue ISBN 0 953653374
Collaborators : Dan Norton
Themes: Modernism, entropy, and the archive

digital dialogues: connecting in art and science (2003)

An interdisciplinary initiative at Acadia University investigating the shifting grounds of collaboration and dialogue in the age of digital media. New imaging technologies have provided new tools to explore the world around us: they have also enabled new ways to communicate and share this information. Interviews, site-specific imagery and sound recording, curation.

Using an action-research approach to art, dialogues with Acadia faculty have been integrated in an audio-visual interface which allows viewers to access differing perspectives on this vital topic.

Exhibition: Acadia University Art Gallery, Beveridge Arts Centre, Wolfville 11th-24th September 2003. 4 co-exhibitors incl. Chris Campbell, Mauricio Duarte-Niera, Scott Olszowiec.

Workshops: 9th, 18th and 30th September, 9th October 2003

In addition, a 2-DVD set of the interviews and dialogues have been produced.

Project funded by the Fondation Daniel Langlois.

Collaborators : Acadia institute of Teaching and Technology. _Academic Liaison: Dr Jan Marontate. Project research assistant: Janice Hudson._Acadia University, Wolfville