Immersive artwork transforms gardens

Ghostly presences, shadowy figures, and eerie sounds will inhabit George Square Gardens this week as part of a critically acclaimed artwork.

Audiences will wander through the University's park, encountering characters projected on to trees, smoke and mist. Images will crawl over the landscape and around visitors.

The Influence Machine

George Square Gardens, Edinburgh, EH8 9LH

23-26 November,  7pm-9pm

Entrance is free

Immersive experience

Coming to Scotland for the first time, The Influence Machine is an immersive outdoor sculptural experience by American artist Tony Oursler. The show is part of the University’s digital arts programme.

The Influence Machine uses state-of-the-art digital projection techniques to capture the haunting atmosphere of magic lanterns, Victorian light shows, camera obscura and parlour tricks.

Tony Oursler

Oursler is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts and pioneer of video art in early 1980s New York. He specialises in radical experimentation using projection, animation, montage and live action.

The Influence Machine draws widely on art history, parapsychology, and neuroscience. Oursler has been inspired by how people use new technologies to try to communicate with the dead.

To have an artist of such international standing present his work here is a real coup for the University and the city. Tony Oursler is a pioneer in his field, and visitors will be enchanted by his unique, immersive artistic vision. We hope that people of all ages will come and enjoy this magical experience.

Stuart BennettActing Edinburgh College of Art Principal

Artangel Collection

The artwork was commissioned and produced by Artangel in 2000 and is now part of The Artangel Collection, an initiative to bring outstanding film and video works to galleries and museums across the UK.

The Artangel Collection has been developed in partnership with the Tate Gallery in London. It is generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Foyle Foundation and uses public funding from Arts Council England.

There couldn't be a more meaningful place for Tony Oursler's The Influence Machine than Scotland. John Logie Baird and Alexander Graham Bell are amongst the great figures in the history of disembodied communication who inspired Oursler's extraordinary work. The Influence Machine has animated cities all over the world, and it's particularly exciting that the ghosts are now being let out of the machine to haunt George Square in Edinburgh in November.

James Lingwood Artangel Co-Director

Additional events

The Influence Machine is part of Being Human, a UK-wide festival of the humanities.

Tony Oursler will be in conversation with James Lingwood, chaired by Maria Fusco, as part of a free public event on Wednesday 23 November at 5.15pm. Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite.

Related links

Edinburgh College of Art


Being Human - A festival of the humanities

Find out more about Parapsychology at Edinburgh