Toggler – Edie Jo Murray

Toggler is a Fermynwoods Contemporary Art website feature allowing commissioned artists to explore, demonstrate and celebrate the potential of creativity in website design.

As websites become increasingly standardised to ensure familiarity and ease of use for online visitors, Toggler allows artists to champion the role of curiosity and creativity in exploring other possibilities for presenting content online.

Visitors are able to view our website through different lenses by toggling between styles developed by commissioned artists.

Edie Jo Murray (also working as EchoDeltaMoon) is a UK-based artist who uses art to exploit cracks in reality, focussing on perceptions of space and the world(s) we live in, often using digital tools such as 3D rendered imagery and immersive technologies to visualise alternate worlds and reimagine existing ones.

Echolalia - Edie Jo Murray, 2019
Echolalia – Edie Jo Murray, 2019

Can you tell us a bit about your practice?

I sometimes jokingly refer to myself as a reality escape artist – its a terrible pun whilst also summing up what I do quite well. My work is generally all about escapism, imaginary worlds and playing with the idea of what’s real and what’s not.

My practice is mostly digital, including AR, VR, 3D animation and web-based artworks. I like to use modern technology and vibrant colours, but many of my references actually come from fairytales and ancient mythology. I’m particularly interested in storytelling, and using iconography and recurring symbols as reference points for understanding reality.

What interested you in the Toggler commission?

I absolutely jumped at the chance to do the Toggler commission because it feels really true to my roots. My first digital artworks were all websites, and I’m part of the generation that learned to code from Myspace and Neopets.

There’s so much in the concept that I find really interesting – starting with the same elements as the other artists but all creating something so different is really fun. I also find the separation of style and content via HTML/CSS really satisfying. I like to compartmentalise things and I love patterns and code – it speaks strongly to my neurodivergence.

Can you explain the ideas behind your approach to Toggler?

I’ve been thinking a lot about nostalgia lately – I think a lot of people have been doing that during lockdown for some reason, perhaps just longing for a time before all this. Much of my work has a somewhat ‘futuristic’ vibe because of the technologies I use, but more often than not it deals more with the past than the future. I’m interested in how our memories distort and become more like stories over time, and how we can have a sense of nostalgia for a past that we’re remembering inaccurately. Like the aesthetic of Vaporwave – a nostalgia for something that never really was.

I started putting together something that felt like the sites I remember from my first experiences with the web. It was only by coincidence that I realised part-way through the process the significant link between how I actually learned to code and what I am doing now. I actually own a mug that says “Neopets taught me to code” – it’s absolutely true. I didn’t even realise I was learning anything, I just wanted to make stuff look cool. But it ended up being the foundation that I’ve built my entire career on, so it’s strangely powerful that I’m referencing that aesthetic now.

Toggler screen grab – Edie Jo Murray, 2021

To explore our website using Edie’s commissioned code select EDIE JO MURRAY from the drop down Toggler menu above. Please note Toggler will not affect your visiting experience of the home page. To return to the standard website design, please select DEFAULT from the menu.