MART @ PQ 2015 – Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space The curators of MART; Matthew Nevin & Ciara Scanlan are delighted to be curating Ireland in this year’s PQ Festival in Prague.
Ireland at PQ 2015 : Activating Affective Atmospheres
On the themes of weather and technology, Matthew Nevin and Ciara Scanlan (MART) have curated a sensory, participatory environment working alongside Composer: Tom Lane | Visual Artists: Brian Duggan and Stephanie Golden | Critic/Historian: Siobhan O’Gorman and Producer: Noelia Ruiz.
Activating Affecting Atmospheres
An augmented space. A monument to madness.
On the themes of weather and technology, Matthew Nevin & Ciara Scanlan (MART), have curated a participatory environment working alongside Visual Artists: Brian Duggan and Stephanie Golden | Composer: Tom Lane |Critic/Historian: Siobhan O’Gorman and Producer: Noelia Ruiz.
Human consciousness has transformed the world it occupies more than it has humanity itself. The power to observe our own mortality is fraught with anxiety, leading to urgency concerning making one’s mark. But, this has also stirred us to become makers / creators of new ‘things.’ The opposable thumb began our evolution towards a refined mind that can craft and mould structures and objects that aid our existence. As we gradually turned away from biomimicry and moved towards the Industrial Revolution, we made a potent choice: to use rather than adapt to nature. Our intimate connection with our environment has for centuries been a source of inspiration, but to what extent does our performance as makers require disruption, disturbance and even destruction?
In this installation the curators have created a construct to observe and produce the audience as ‘activators’ who directly affect the atmosphere. The installation consists of a simple mechanism that graphs the pressure exerted by the room’s atmosphere, as well as the temperament of a sound composition below; this awaits activation from the participants within the room. By triggering this paper-rolling mechanism, the audience begin their own short-term documentation of the atmospheric changes within the space during their visit. This captures the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of a marker, activating a temporal movement and recording, while calculating a specific vibration range and length of time.
Through such encounters, we prompt questions regarding the role of technology in the shared affective atmospheres central to both weather and scenography. Two large projections, in conjunction with the central structure and a soundscape, use a range of technologies to synthesize sensory experiences of weather, which are co-created by participants and atmospheric elements. As such, the installation aims to probe the interrelationships of weather, technology, atmosphere and collective affect. Placing the visitor as a performer, it features elements of the weather and of its disruption/disturbance. The project aims to examine the audience’s shared experiences through changes in atmosphere and one’s place in space.
In addition to engaging with the public, this work incorporates multiple disciplines in order to facilitate our audiences’ inhabitations, interactions and performances within an in-door, technologized sensory environment. While some visitors may become responsible for the analysis of our ‘weather’, others may respond viscerally to its disturbance. As such, we wish to promote shared sensory experiences that are both distinctive and transient, created anew each time through the diverse actions of our participants. Although the collective experience is central to our work, convergent and divergent activities / emotions point also to the agency of individual participants and their active roles in engaging with, responding to and shaping the atmosphere. We hope to stimulate consideration of how human behaviour and technologies influence space and weather, reassessing what it is to hold power over weather. – Matthew Nevin & Ciara Scanlan.
Matthew Nevin & Ciara Scanlan are co-directors of the Irish-based visual arts organisation MART. As a curatorial partnership, they have curated over 50 exhibitions nationally and internationally. As artists and cultural producers, they are advocates for the arts, facilitating the collaboration and creation of sustainable opportunities for artists from different disciplines. www.mart.ie | www.ciarascanlan.com | www.matthewnevin.com
Brian Duggan is a visual artist who lives and works in Dublin. He trained in sculpture, and his work utilises installation, text, video, sound, print and publishing, and stone and glass sculptures. He is represented by balzer projects in Basel. – www.brianduggan.net
Stephanie Golden is a Visual Artist based in Dublin. Her work is installation based, incorporating elements of animation, sculpture, sound and light. www.stephaniegolden.org
Tom Lane is a composer and sound designer based in Dublin. www.tom-lane.com
Siobhán O’Gorman is a scenography theorist, theatre critic and performance historian. She is currently Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-2015) at Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin. www.tcd.ie/Drama/staff/ | www.facebook.com/PerformingSpace
Noelia Ruiz is a Producer & Social Media Manager with Pan Pan Theatre. She is also a theatre-maker & academic researcher (PhD) www.panpantheatre.com | www.facebook.com/PerformingSpace
‘Activating Pangea: The Voyage’
Nov 5th – Dec 4th 2016
CB1 Gallery Los Angeles
Dublin based curators Matthew Nevin & Ciara Scanlan of MART have embarked on a 3 year initiative to bring leading and emerging contemporary Irish art to Los Angeles through their series ‘Activating Pangea’.
This the second exhibition in the series titled ‘Activating Pangea: The Voyage’ showcases recent work by Irish Artists Brian Duggan and Adam Gibney. It reflects on geopolitics over time and space, as we transverse language and negotiate real and imagined places in a global context. The artworks crossing in the gallery are Adam Gibney’s ‘Euclid, I miss you…’ and Brian Duggan’s ‘A Cause for concern but not alarm’.
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Gibney’s work targets the quest for certainty. He states, “Man has created an abstract language in Mathematics to convey underlying governing principles of our reality, and in so doing a platonic world is created. This world can often become difficult or impossible to convey in everyday language; it is in these places that our imagination and perception are tested.” In this exhibition the points of which Gibney’s work targets reality, linguistics and technologies intermingle with the symbolic annotations of the everyday.
Duggan’s work is informed by the way in which we live now. Duggan’s work questions the aspirations and assumptions that are interlinked within the scientific and social framework of energy consumption and legacy planning. The systems in place are always evolving, attempting to catch up to an elusive plateau that is inherently unstable. Through the work presented here Duggan “plunges the viewer into a realm where seemingly casual navigation of space bespeaks chilling (hi)stories”
‘The Voyage’ allows the visitor to refocus their own experiences and memories through the interpretation and assimilation of language and analyse their own exploitative journeys through space and time. Focusing on the quest for answers of our own existence and our place within an imagined world without borders, without physical and cultural barriers, the exhibition suggests new ways of being and thinking, while investigating the conditions of concerning events and symbolics of reality.
Download the Exhibition Handout Here for full details.