We brought a unique Cryptic Nights multi-artist event across the CCA in April, 2023. The evening was a celebration of the vibrant artistic landscape within Scotland, presenting artists who cross boundaries with sound art, installation, performance and film. Exploring themes of human transformation, Scotland’s history of slavery, white saviourist narratives within film and music, and psychogeography, the evening took the audience on a journey across the CCA to explore the work of these five emerging artists whose practices celebrate the diversity of artistic mediums, cultures, and bodies at work in Scotland today.

IHD* (extraterrestrialboy00) // Zeo Fawcett

(IHD // Zeo Fawcett)

IHD* (extraterrestrialboy00) is an interdisciplinary experimental sci-fi documentary combining projection mapping, sound and digital video to explore ideas of agency, gender affirmation/refutation and intimacy. Taking inspiration from stories found within online communities exploring obscure fetish, in which the idea of human is not a fixed entity nor object of desirability. The work explores the possibilities of the human body when placed within, and pushed into new contexts: specifically, via the narrative of the alien abduction trope, in which a transgender man is selected as a specimen to be explored.

Audience members can view this piece firstly as an installation where they are invited to become the subject as they roam the ‘operating theatre’. The roles are then switched from subject to spectator, where the audience can view this ‘creature’ come into being through a multimedia live performance.

*IHD = Increasingly Honest Desires


pidgin // Chizu Anucha (screening throughout the evening)

(pidgin // Chizu Anucha)

pidgin, is an experimental documentary, presented with its accompanying text, Sweet-Mouth Neighbours. The film reclaims archived footage to denude David Fanshawe’s saviourist narrative of its imposed white imperialism in ‘African Sanctus’ (1977). Propelled by the fluidity of Nigerian Pidgin English and modulation of the human voice, the video articulates transcendental communication with divine figures.


Quasheba // Eldin & Love (screening throughout the evening)

In their first project together, multi-media artist Helen Love and poet Noon Salah Eldin use art as a form of activism. Quasheba is a short film featuring Eldin’s powerful poem, ‘The Violence of Identity’. It begins and ends with a quote from the classical African playwright, Terentius Publius Afer: ‘I am human, I consider nothing human alien to me’. It is Noon’s personal response to the history of slavery of the gate, the location of the reading in Aberdeen, and racism in general.


Changes in Contemplation // Olesya Ilenok

In an effort to reconnect with the city she lived in during the Covid-19 pandemic, Changes in Contemplation is a sound installation consisting of nine sounding clay prints of the artist’s hometown, an industrial city in Russia – Yekaterinburg. The piece approaches the city from an active explorer’s position and appeals to the practice of drifting in psychogeography.