Futuropia opens its doors on Culture Night 2023 showcasing fresh and innovative creative talent.
Irish artists are harnessing the potential of technology to enhance their creativity and expand their reach, ushering an exciting new era for art and Futuropia will present a selection of these talents.
In a virtual exhibition space, which will be accessible on desktop and mobile devices via QR code on promotional material. A VR booth will also be stationed at the People's Museum of Limerick, Pery Square where the exhibition will be accessible through Virtual Reality headsets offering easy access for all visitors.
Click on the images to get to the Artist's Instagram page
Aisling Burke O'Connor
My work aspires to promote wellness in the viewer through communicating the fluency of fractal patterns I see and feel in nature using textures to stimulate the viewers sensory perception. The enigmatic nature of my work and absence of figurative invites the viewer to enter into their own sensory journey.
These artworks are a response to the current emotions and realities of life unseen before now.
As a female photographic performance artist I photograph myself by turning the eye of my camera on my own image. By creating photographic set ups I create narratives based on my lived personal experiences, utilising props serving as visual metaphors. In my digital photograph 'Fragment' I present my photographic reflection adorned as an empowered female icon. A broken mirror, like a shard of broken glass placed within my hands, reflects my own image gazing directly at my spectators with the suggestion of an automatical spine in front of my dress. The fractured mirror in combination with my spinal column becomes a visual metaphor from my injury sustained from a life changing accident 12 years ago. In this work 'Fragment' I reflect on my reality of being in continuous pain as well as my strength, perseverance and resilience, despite adversity.
I'm absolutely delighted to be one of the artists exhibiting in FUTUROPIA by Daithi Magner (Irish Museum of Virtual Art IMVA) and Jacinta Moore TUS LSAD MA Research. As a photographic artist I'm extremely interested in continuous developing technologies. Conceptually the Irish Museum of Virtual Art brings such an exciting way for audiences to view Irish Art throughout the world embracing exciting new technology such as use of the metaverse. Also as a graduate from TUS Limerick School of Art and Design, BA Fine Art Painting and MA Fine Art by Research, I received an excellent and rigorous art education that has been paramount to my artistic career. It is an honour to be selected by the Irish Museum of Virtual Art as one of the artists exhibiting in FUTUROPIA on Culture Night. Coincidentally, I was one of the first students to study the pioneering MA by Fine Art by Research which is hugely successful and continues to expand exponentially.
'Appropriating Nature' (2023) is a series of playful digital simulations of organic assets and modelled objects manipulated by computer generated physics within 3D software. Digitised elements from nature such as rocks, wood and general debris have been photo-scanned specifically for the piece. This piece highlights current research within the studio of collecting and gathering data/information from outdoor settings relevant to photogrammetric processes. A tool used without physically interacting with objects or chosen subjects, creating a coherent link between theoretical education and restoration practice. It is a result of multiple tests produced by complete chance due to controlled turbulent collisions and interactions within digital applications. Objects collide with intensity and aggression within simulated force fields resulting in gradual changes to outcomes throughout the piece.
My work has strongly developed with the use of 3D software and progressed towards the creation of digital reproductions through various formats taken from natural settings. The digital aspect of my work involves the creation of digital scans/textures that are accompanied by sound pieces highlighting the thin border between physical and virtual worlds.
In the digital artwork. 'Generation Wiped' I combine fragments from different visual sources, seamlessly blending them into a coherent and visually striking composition. The juxtaposition of contrasting elements invites viewers to contemplate the multifaceted nature of their own experiences and the ways in which memories shape their identities.
EOIN is a visual artist based in Dublin. Coming from a background predominantly in painting, this piece entitled 'External Realities 10'' is part of a series of work, which follows a monochromatic journey into the use of the GIF file format. One of the main goals of this exploration was to gain a greater understanding of compression and the efficiencies to create an endless looping animation.
Through this knowledge gained, the works display the 3D elements which make up much of his digital studio practice.
I became interested in the emergence of AI generated imagery and the controversy surrounding it. The concerns over automation in the arts seemed like a dystopian idea to me. I used an AI image generating model to create images to use as source material for physical oil paintings. The resulting images were clumsy and surreal which appealed to me.
Oil painting is an age old practice and AI is a new emerging technology. My paintings are a result of the juxtaposition of the two.
Luis Enrique Martin
Unnatural Deselection is an interactive/immersive artwork that speculates about how the future could be after nature and technology got linked by humans in the Anthropocene. In the production of this piece different technologies were required, such as a microcontroller, sensor camera or real-time visual software. These technologies allowed me to create a sense of relationship and communication between the visitors and the living plants displayed in the piece. This interactivity, where our actions cause real-time reactions, would be impossible without using new technologies. I use these technologies to push the boundaries of traditional artistic mediums, and to enable audiences to become part of the artwork, shaping their narratives and perspectives. I aim to evoke powerful emotions and provoke profound reflections about where we want to move forward as a species.
Artists in this field contribute to pioneering new creative possibilities, interpreting societal changes, pushing the boundaries of art and technology, and using our works to inspire, challenge, and engage with the future in innovative ways. Our role is crucial in shaping the cultural and creative landscape of tomorrow.
A future concept for a television show titled 'Pimp my pair' - a pair of shoes in poor condition is restored and customised. My work usually includes internal electronics, a screen for movies, PlayStation 2 and GameCube games on the go, and other cutting-edge accessories. The pair of shoes is then revealed to its owner.
‘Monolith’ is part of a wider series of new paintings. I see my work as an archaeology of the contemporary past and a way of engaging with a specific type of peripheral topography whilst also alluding to speculative future landscapes.
My work focuses on the in-between spaces or edgelands that lie at the intersection of the urban and rural. I have a particular interest in obsolete infrastructure on the margins of human habitation and I see these structures as an architecture of the periphery and an allegorical reference for time, change and history. My paintings are oil paintings but I design the images, the composition and colour palette digitally before I start drawing and then painting the work onto canvas. I really like this combination of traditional and modern digital techniques. I think this kind of fusion between the different mythologies will become more commonplace in the future of art making.
SPACE RACE Muybridge's groundbreaking studies of motion and space in the late 19th century continue to exert a profound influence on contemporary technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). His innovative sequential photography techniques revolutionized our understanding of visual perception and laid the foundation for modern cinematic storytelling. Today, Muybridge's work finds new relevance in the digital realm, where the accurate representation of motion and space is paramount to creating immersive AR and VR experiences.
The running space man becomes a symbolic link between the past and the future, highlighting the enduring relevance of Muybridge's work. It represents a vision of immersive storytelling and user engagement that draws on Muybridge's foundational research to push the boundaries of what AR and VR can achieve. In this way, this work not only pays homage to Muybridge but also propels his ideas forward, offering a glimpse of the exciting possibilities that lie ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of digital technology.
In her work, Irish visual artist threadstories questions the erosion of personal privacy in our digital age and its effect on how we view and portray ourselves online. Her practice layers traditional craft techniques, performance and photography. She uses these media to investigate visually the influence new technologies and social media are having on our relationship with the image of the face - our own and others.
'Persona' is a collection of handmade masks, laboriously crafted, continually preened, animated through performance and reinvented over and over in front of the camera. She manipulates the pliable mask forms, teasing out expressions that remind us of the face but that are ultimately fabricated and fleeting facades.
In the work 'The Shadow of Meaning' I started with a video game still and made a small collage and began to paint the top of the painting to take the reality by surprise and then began to build up layers of an artificial backdrop that had an immediacy to it that moved me to want to explore its painterly qualities.
The middle section of the painting is from a drawing I made in Egypt of the first Pyramids ever built which seemed to click compositionally with the upper section of the image. The lower part of the painting is my invented use of carbon which I have been using in my work for over 20 years.
In these manipulations of oil paint, memory fluidity and erosion are an attempt to re-invent the technological world and its impact on our nervous system, and how I can incorporate this into my practice which is deeply connected to history and a collaged realism that I create on various scales.
Mícheál Ó Catháin
Singing is at the centre of my artistic practice. Orbiting this centre is the music of the early Gaelic harp. As a multimedia artist I integrate fine-art digital prints, audiovisual installation and live performance to connect outwards from this centre with contemporary audiences.
Creating both online and in-real-life (IRL) experiences rooted in the oral traditions I have inherited, I engage the emotions of today's viewers in order to make heart-felt connections with my subject matter, the harmonic nature of singing with harp. I want my audiences to have a visceral, kinesthetic response to my work - only afterwards realising it was made using computer code.
Niamh Cunningham (China)
Physically knitting your own genomic material is a very contemplative process. Each strand is tested for strength, elasticity and tensility before being selected for specific sections of the sculpture. The white hairs are strong and tensile and suspend the skull with ease. The coloured hair is soft but elastic and resilient.
All perceptions are acts of interpretation - being able to see through one’s own genome and acknowledging it as the “coded” self as well as your personal story or experience, this screen of transparent knitted hair frames your world view of perception, gene code and personal experience.
Consciousness as controlled hallucinations and Artificial Intelligence
Neuro scientist Anil Seth talks about controlled hallucinations as being our consciousness. According to Seth, instead of perception depending largely on signals coming into the brain from the outside world, it depends as much, if not more, on perceptual predictions flowing in the opposite direction. We don’t just passively perceive the world - we actively generate it. This is the world we are embarking on today with Artificial Intelligence.
Sophie Delaney (Australia)
Delaney’s work, 'HOT NEW TOY! A GIRLFRIEND WHO WON’T COMPLAIN' (2022), presents herself as an inanimate ‘sex bot’ dressed in a futuristic, space cadet-styled costume. Set in 2099 in a man’s bedroom, this work is a satirical and controversial display of the ideal ‘girlfriend who won’t complain’ as seen in many adult stores. She has ironically objectified herself to challenge the patriarchal version of womanhood, sex and identity within a gallery context.
Delaney reclaims her body through feminist motifs while critiquing how women are represented on screen and in popular media through humour and irony.
Mary Martin (Germany/EU)
'ALLTAR 5', the 5th painting in Martin’s recent Berlin portfolio ALLTAR, translates from Irish (Gaeilge) as the other side, the afterlife or otherworld. This painting is an example of the artist’s explorative work surrounding themes of metamorphosis, liminal realms and humanity’s disregard for the Anthropocene, which she contemplates and provides a way of tackling with the aid of indigenous story-telling.
Through the perspective and case study of an imaginary species, whether living amongst us or taking shelter internally, Martin discusses the themes of her work through an ambiguous and subtle lens, to allow herself to embody an interlocutory role both internally, with herself, externally, with spectators, and somewhere in the middle of these two states, with the figures she creates. With accessibility as a main motive, the use of technology has aided the artist in furthering her questions and inquiries in how to tackle hyper-capitalist society and widen the audience in the evergrowing question, whether consciously in
protest or not. Martin continues collecting stories, motifs and words which reveal themselves to her in the midst of the intricate web of the internet and enrichen the narrative of her own relationship with the alltar.
Megan Doherty (Northern Ireland)
Megan Doherty is a photographer currently based in Derry, Northern Ireland. Since graduating from the University of Ulster, Belfast in 2016, Megan continues to build upon her current body of work, embodying ideas of youth, subculture, freedom and escape. She creates a darkly cinematic atmosphere to reflect the need for escapism within small-town life.
In her native Derry, she creates a fictional, highly textured and colourful world in which recurring characters are played by friends. In her work, the scenarios are a combination of composed and documented, depicting the vibrant culture of young adulthood from a distinctly more female perspective.
Lisa McCleary (USA)
My work addresses mediated corporeality and is anchored by the embodiment of touch. My current series of work investigates the malleability of identity and the nature of the human spirit. I explore the intersection of vulnerability and resilience, materiality, absurdity, ambiguity, otherness and the tactile.
I utilize abstract figuration, focusing on physical aberrations and tactile manipulations of expression to evoke highly ambivalent emotions and experiences. I employ a layered artistic process to create surrealist distortions and anthropomorphic beings. I begin by making clay sculptures which I then photograph and render in oil paint onto wooden panel. I utilize the Trompe L’oeil painting technique; I want to create the illusion of 3-dimensionality through the skilled use of form, colour, and light. The paintings are 2-dimensional and place focus on the sensuality of the flat painted surface. The illusion of tactility creates a longing for the real and palpable. The painted works capture a vital moment in which layered elements, emotions, materials, and processes come together to create an aesthetic energy with suggestive being and force.
Tessy Ehiguese is a Creative Digital Media Graduand from the Technological University of Dublin, Ireland. She specialises in Photography and Multimedia production. Professionally she is known as Tessy Media.
Originally from Nigeria but raised in Dublin she works as a freelance photographer. She is passionate about creative direction and has built a varied portfolio of work.
'Pollinator' is the first image from a body of work derived from a co-creative storytelling process involving the public, an artist and an AI algorithm to gain a better understanding of people's hopes and fears for the future. Curated from a collection of stories created through audience participation, 'Pollinator' is an image depicting a character from the future, keeping bees alive by synthetic means. The result is an archetype that might exist in a 'future mythology', a collection of stories, symbols, and figures depicted in painted scenes and artefacts that capture the emotions and opinions of people as they project themselves forward in time.