Aidan Moffat takes a detour at Edinburgh Art Festival

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The Independent Culture

Aidan Moffat is a name you might not expect to see featuring at the Edinburgh Art Festival. This year, however, the musician, formerly of Arab Strap, is one of several figures from outside the visual art world – including comedian Josie Long, poet Ross Sutherland and Shunt theatre makers Nigel Barrett and Louise Mari – who will be carrying out performances in the city's art galleries.

The events, titled Detours, present playful responses to a handful of the festival's shows, offering alternative interpretations of the work of artists including Ingrid Calame, David Mach, John Byrne and Ellie Harrison.

Moffat's second performance at Inverleith House on Monday will be a response to Botanical Vaudeville, an exhibition of work by the American artist Robert Rauschenberg.

Influenced by Rauschenberg's technique of creating collages from discarded material found in the streets of New York, Moffat will create an audio work that similarly pieces together aspects of the city, albeit his hometown of Glasgow.

"So what I started to do was take lines out of the local newspaper, finding the first lines of the stories and trying to get a picture of the city through them," says Moffat.

Moffat began noticing a pattern emerging, even if it perhaps wasn't one he wanted to see. "It actually paints a pretty grim picture of Glasgow I have to say... I don't know if they have a quota in the newspaper to have a certain amount of stories about crime... nothing seems to change, day to day, it's always the same."

Detours takes place from Sunday until 20 August as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival (