Visiting Artist – Clodagh Emoe

Feb 29th 

Clodagh started off by showing us a power point of some of her work and her process.  I was particularly drawn to her work on astronomy and the cosmos.  She then went on to talk about the concept of mapping.  We were broken into groups of 3 and were given some time to come up with an idea based on the premise of mapping.  I was in the group with Jackie and Rosemary.

We decided to tackle the issue of public/private space boundary within the city.  We chose the spot just outside the Electric bar, as both Rosemary and myself have previously had issues with this ‘invisible boundary’.  We spent some time trying to gain the official records from the city council about the deeds/maps etc, but unfortunately were unsuccessful.  This gave us little time to actually execute our idea which was for me to shoot the girls deliberately invading a ‘private space’ and claiming it as public space.  I was shooting this from the studio window through a magnifying lens.  Unfortunately we did not have time to review or edit this footage, so while the concept was good and could have been built on, the footage produced within the exercise was unsuccessful and has since been deleted.

This is one of the test videos I took in preparation for this exercise


The following are some of the notes and bullet points that I gleaned from Clodagh’s talk

    • Theme: Mapping – an exercise; to explore and expose the obscured and unrepresented and unaccounted
    • Tino Sehgal – dancer/performer – documenta


Marina Abramovic 


  • Mapping reality – cartography
  • Fear of nothingness – on a map an area of ‘nothingness’ has historically been filled in with something, such as a drawing/ compass etc

Irit Rogoff – ‘Getting Lost’ 

  • The map gives us a sense that we can transmute ‘everything that is not…into the real’
  • Clodagh Emoe – Drawings of black holes – she drew them onto grids/maps
  • Mind Maps – writing ideas and musings down = suddenly one has control
  • In between states – neither here nor there = Limineality (prelimineal = before, post limineal = transformed)
  • ‘Very Little, Almost Nothing’ = book about nilism
  • ALICE – contemporary arts project, Francis st., Dublin
  • Yoga Nidra – guided meditation – psychic sleep
  • Collective thought
  • Invisible = show in Dublin
  • Alighiero E Boetti
  • Oulipian = OuLiPo, the “Ouvroir de Litterature Potentielle” or “Workshop for Potential Literature,” was co-founded in Paris the early 1960’s by mathematician and writer Raymond Queneau and Francois Le Lionnais. Oulipian writers impose constraints that must be satisfied to complete a text, constraints ranging across all levels of composition, from elements of plot or structure down to rules regarding letters. OuLiPo thus pushes a structuralist conception of language to a level of mathematical precision; technique becomes technical when language itself becomes a field of investigation, a complex system made up of a finite number of components. The informing idea behind this work is that constraints engender creativity: textual constraints challenge and thereby free the imagination of the writer, and force a linguistic system and/or literary genre out of its habitual mode of functioning. The results of these experiments can be acrobatic. Famous Oulipian texts include Queneau’sCent Mille Millard de Poemes, a sonnet where there are 10 possible choices for each of the 14 lines, thus comprising 1014 potential poems, and Georges Perec’s La Disparition/A Void, a novel without the letter e, which constantly refers to the vowel’s disappearance.
  • John Cage – Flucix composer (Eric Satie)


  • Jacaues Roubaud – The Great fire of London – book

The Great Fire of London consists of a main text (“story”) and two sets of digressions (“interpolations” and “bifurcations”). Although best to read the insertions as they appear (indicated in the main text with cross-reference markers), this is an “interactive” text in which readers can decide for themselves how they wish to proceed. Roubaud’s novel stands as a lyrical counterpart of those great postmodern masterpieces by fellow Oulipians Georges Perec (Life: A User’s Manual) and Italo Calvino (If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler).

  • Francis Alys – When Faith moves mountains, 2011



The Modern Procession

  • The Situationists – neo Marxists, anti capalist; social alienation, commodity fetishism; everyday hs been degraded through consumerism.

Stopping what you are supposed to do and approach things differently

  • The society of the spectical
  • The Revolution of the Everyday Life
  • Gordan Matta Clarke – Fake Estatesgordan matta clarke - ghost estate
  • Trish Brown


  • Dennis Oppenheim
  • Robert Smithson – ‘Monuments of Passai’ – Artforum, Dec 1967 – mapping things that would be overlooked
  • Austerlitz – book by W.G. Sebald – trying to map memory trauma of the 2nd world war
  • austerlitz
    • This is a on-linear book that maps his memories
  • Cardiff and Miller – Alter Banholf video Walk
    • Memories are like a different form of travel


Ottie Berger – A material alphabet


Placing Practice – week 2, 23/02/16

Week 2 started off with a presentation by Cat.  This was based on the work that we sent to her which we individually felt was important in representing the political in art.  The following are some of the artist/artworks/works mentioned:

Gerhard Richter – Uncle Rudi  1965

Gerhard Richter’s seminal photorealist portrait Uncle Rudi (Onkel Rudi) (1965), which depicts his Nazi uncle smiling in his Wehrmacht officer uniform.  Interesting discussion followed on embracing one’s past, warts and all and how this is the only way to ensure that mistakes are not repeated.

Gustav Metzger – Acid Paintings

Gustav Metzger painting with hydrochloric acid on nylon. South Bank, London, 1961/1966.


Luc Moullet – The Origins of a Meal – 1978

Luc Moullet - origins of the meal


Santiago Sierra, 160 cm Line Tattooed on Four People, 2000.

sierra-comboWEB 160cm tattooed line on 4 people


AA Bronson Felix Partz, June 5, 1994 1999 lacquer on vinyl

Felix Partz


For “Reaction: Vomiting in Nanjing” (2005), Zhou Bin walked through an art museum and vomited before any works he liked or disliked.

Zhou Bin VomitReaction-2005


Dolgun – Alexander Dolgun (co-written with Patrick Watson)


Jesse felt that the connection between all the artists/works is that the Body is the centre of gravity in the political world.

We also briefly discussed General Idea:

General Idea was a collective of three Canadian artists, Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson, who were active from 1967 to 1994.[1] As pioneers of early conceptual and media-based art, their collaboration became a model for artist-initiated activities and continues to be a prominent influence on subsequent generations of artists.[2]

Initially working in Toronto, from 1968 through 1993 they divided their time between Toronto and New York before returning to Toronto for the last few months of their time together.[3]

General Idea’s work inhabited and subverted forms of popular and media culture, including beauty pageants, boutiques, television talk shows, trade fair pavilions and mass media. Their work was often presented in unconventional media forms such as postcards, prints, posters, wallpaper, balloons, crestsand pins. From 1987 through 1994 their work addressed the AIDS crisis, with work that included some 75 temporary public art projects… – wikipedia


Following the presentation by Cat, we read Michael Taussig’s ‘The Magic of the State’

What follows are some bullet points of the discussion and artists/artworks/philosophers etc that were mentioned.

  • By changing the name (of the country) into a fictional name therefore made the book about the political in general and not just a specific state.
  • pg 11 – The after-image that surges from radical incompleteness
  • The soul disappears in politics/political art but re-emerges in relation to Marxist discourse
  • Biffo Berardi – (FrancoBifoBerardi (born 2 November 1948 in Bologna, Italy) is an Italian Marxist theorist and activist in the autonomist tradition, whose work mainly focuses on the role of the media and information technology within post-industrial capitalism. Berardi has written over two dozen published books, as well as a more extensive number of essays and speeches.) – wikipedia
  • Oscar Wilde – (The Soul of Man under Socialism is an 1891 essay by Oscar Wilde in which he expounds a libertarian socialist worldview and a critique of charity.[1] The writing of The Soul of Man followed Wilde’s conversion to anarchist philosophy, following his reading of the works of Peter Kropotkin.[2]  – Wikipedia)
  • Marxist spiritualism
  • Post transhumanist – something that connects human consciousness.
  • Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international and intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and creating widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.[1][1][2]Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as the ethics[3] of using such technologies.[4] The most common thesis is that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into different beings with abilities so greatly expanded from the natural condition as to merit the label ofposthuman beings.[2] – wikipedia 
  • Donna Harraway – writer on post human thinking – The Cyborg manifesto in the 1990s – technology is shaping the idea of the self.  – Donna J. Haraway (born September 6, 1944) is a Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and Feminist Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, United States. Haraway, a prominent scholar in the field of science and technology studies, was described in the early 1990s as a “feminist, rather loosely a neo-Marxist and a postmodernist“.[1] She is the author of numerous books and essays that bring together questions of science and feminism, such as A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century (1985) and Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective (1988). – Wikipedia
  • Magical anthropology = post human/soul
  • The state was created through a subservience to religious power
  • Magic compulsion in relation to political
  • Edward Louis James Bernays (/bərˈnz/; German: [bɛɐ̯ˈnaɪs]; November 22, 1891 − March 9, 1995) was an Austrian-American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda, referred to in hisobituary as “the father of public relations”.[1] He combined the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud.  He felt this manipulation was necessary in society, which he regarded as irrational and dangerous as a result of the “herd instinct” that Trotter had described… – wikipedia
  • Artistic strategy of Breaking the magic
  • How language penetrates the State
  • Julia Kristeva – (born 24 June 1941) is a BulgarianFrench philosopher, literary critic, psychoanalyst, feminist, and, most recently, novelist, who has lived in France since the mid-1960s. She is now a professor at the University Paris Diderot.  Kristeva became influential in international critical analysis, cultural theory and feminism after publishing her first book, Semeiotikè, in 1969. Her sizable body of work includes books and essays which address intertextuality, the semiotic, and abjection, in the fields of linguistics, literary theory and criticism, psychoanalysis, biography and autobiography, political and cultural analysis, art and art history. She is among the prominent figures in structuralist thought, while her works have also been recognized as having an important place in post-structuralism. – wikipedia
  • The materiality of marble – this stone weighed down the ships during transport – it becomes a metaphor for the weight of the master
  • The State thrives on the existing belief system of the population.  To be successful in dominating a people, it has to soak up and use existing belief systems.
  • Myth is rooted in the state
  • Marcia Salles  – Stone Age Economics is a classic study of anthropological economics, first published in 1974. As Marshall Sahlins stated in the first edition, “It has been inspired by the possibility of ‘anthropological economics, ‘ a perspective indebted rather to the nature of the primitive economies than to the categories of a bourgeois science.”
  • Colonial obliteration of anthropology was a mistake.  Exiled forms of knowledge had wisdom that was equal to or greater than colonialism/western way of thought
  • Everyone has some form of subjectivity that affects the way we interact with art.
  • Jesse – “… on-line virtual existence… disembodied perceptual deaths
  • Cat told us the story of the Death Watch Beetle  – To attract mates, these woodborers create a tapping or ticking sound that can be heard in the rafters of old buildings on quiet summer nights. They are therefore associated with quiet, sleepless nights and are named for the vigil (watch) kept beside the dying or dead, and by extension the superstitious have seen the death watch as an omen of impending death.
  • … Something that becomes present when it dies
  • World’s Greatest Dad, 2009 – directed by Bobcat Goldthwait.  It tells the story of a father who writes a fake suicide note for his dead son and how different social groups in his school remembered him – in different ways based on this bogus note.  It shows how the fact that someone dies changes how they are viewed by social groups and how in death, a person can gain a new persona or social status.
  • Jackie – Something is only legal if there is something illegal.  Interesting parallel between the official and unofficial and the power of this.
  • Marina Grzinic – migrant crisis.  Look up CREATE
  • necropolitical – idea of death of a political state
  • How do we classify humans through necropolitism
  • Anthony Haughey  “The increasing legislation and controls exerted upon migrants also affect those who hold national citizenship. We are all subjected to increasing surveillance, biometric measuring and restriction or exclusion from crossing international boundaries. Therefore, the erosion of citizen’s rights is inextricably bound with global migration policies.” – Your history is our history
  • Lisa Godson – ritual, body, state  – Making 1916: material and visual culture of the Easter Rising (Liverpool University Press: 2015)
    Co-editor of the first book to focus on this aspect of the Rising, with 22 contributors from a broad range of disciplines including history of art, visual culture, literary history, performance studies, archaeology and material culture. – See more at: – extract from
  • Helle – talked about how shared ownership (specifically of a patch of forest in Sweden) has resulted in natural diversity.  She also talked about how “Everything that is dead, is alive” and how everything is interdependent, including life on death.
  • language to a human is like the fly trapped in a glass – we exist within its structures
  • Manuela talked about ceremonies and mythology in Mozambique and the amalgamation of fact and fantastical ritual systems.
  • Dramatisation – we perform to verify the state through ceremony
  • Willy Doherty – film maker  who deals with the hidden or secret
  • Phil Collins – They Shoot Horses, 2004
  • Suzanne Lacey – The Oakland Project, 1991 – dealing with the transition from childhood to adulthood.
  • Grant Kester is Professor of Art History and the founding editor of FIELD: A Journal of Socially Engaged Art Criticism.
  • Claire Doherty – Situations – Claire Doherty is the founder Director of Situations. Following a ten-year period investigating new curatorial models beyond conventional exhibition-making at a range of art institutions


  • Martin Jay – Downcast Eyes – This has been recommended as being of particular importance to my practice



  • Think about forms of knowledge systems that exists away from and brushes up against art.
  • What kind of symbolic system can I set up in order to connect with my inquiry
  • Is there a knowledge system that I can plug into or how can it plug into me/my work


Give Peer Feeback to Rosemary

Think about the emotional relationships that we have with capital and artwork based on the concept of the monetary.  Email this to Rosemary.

Placing Practice with Jesse Jones

Week 1 – 16/02/16

General Overview

We explained our current practice and thought process to Jesse and had a group crit about where the work could go.   It was an insight into the work and how the thinking has changed and evolved since the presentations on week 1.

Jesse suggested that we use this module to destabilize what we ‘know’ about our practice.  I find this interesting, daunting and exciting in equal measure!

Other phrases that I found interesting, especially in relation to my own work in quiet a literal way is “… How do you use art to rupture how you view or interact with the world” and “heterotopic gestures under the cover of art”

There was a discussion about the role of art in relation to the political.

There were many (many!) artists,  books and other lines of enquiry  mentioned, including the following:

Judy Chicargo – Specifically in relation to her work ‘The Dinner Party’ and the use of the ‘domestic’ to make political/gender statements.  While this does not relate directly to my current practice or inquiry, I am curious to learn more about this artist and the ‘punchiness’ of her work.  Martha Rosler is another feminist artist whose work packs a punch and again, whilst it doesn’t directly relate to my work, I am interested in investigating her work more.

The Theatre of Change – This concept appeals to me at the level of my community art practice as well as where my own work would sit in relation to the current state of play with Ireland.  I look forward to reading into this further (when time allows!)

The visual aesthetic of Mark Lombardy‘s work appeals to me, as well as it’s content.  To me, it breaks down a very weighed topic into an attractive ‘object’ that provokes discussion.

Marie Brett:  I find Brett’s work evocative, moving and aesthetically magnetic and beautiful.  There is a wistful quality to some of her work that attracts me.  It has an ephemeral ‘not of this world’ quality that I would like to explore in my own work, and yet it tackles weighty, emotive issues – something that I admire and would like to be an integral part of my practice.

Altered States – a movie by Ken Russell, 1980.  Not only does the trailer for this promise to be a damn good movie, but the area of the unconscious and collective unconscious interests me in relation to my work.

Economics of Stone Age – This book sounds interesting in relation to my thinking on current economic and political practice.  It doesn’t have a direct connection to my work, but I would still like to study this book in more depth, in time.


In relation to my own work – Jesse suggested that I should consider do my placement with a clinical psychologist.  I had not thought of this before for my placement, as I was thinking more in the lines of Tyndall or another company/institution that deals with the use of optics and lasers etc.  It is an interesting synopsis of my work and where it could go and I am going to give this more thought.

The reading for week one was ‘The Magic of State’ by Michael Taussig, which I will discuss in a separate post.

Trip to Cork City Gaol

On a beautiful sunny Tuesday afternoon, we all piled into Linda and Manuela’s car and made our way up to the very scenic Cork City Gaol.  I personally have been there before, about 12 years ago but I still found the tour informative and interesting.  Our guide led us around the gaol and we visited the different cells to play court to the various inmates, albeit wax representations!  She explained their individual stories in context of the goal’s documentation.





An extra bonus was the stunning light that streamed into this imposing stone building, causing an interesting interplay of ephemeral light and shadows.  I got quite caught up with capturing this fleeting dance of fluid light.










After our tour, we all huddled in a circle underneath the overhead heater at the back of the gaol to begin our placement reading of Discipline and Punishment, Panopticism by Michel Foucault, (1975).  What follows are the disjointed notes and bullet points that I took from that converation

  • Foucault – The scale of his gaze is as from a ‘height’ – a bird’s eye view of social science
  • In the piece of writing itself, the body was the subject matter, whereas the middle was about the tower of Bentham’s Panopticon.
  • We had an interesting discussion on the effects the Panopticon or any building for that matter, can have on a viewer, and in terms of presenting art, be mindful how the art and the viewer interact with the building
  • We talked briefly about the need of many of us to be ‘present’ in our studios, because they were allocated specifically to us. – It is not a gift, it is an expectation.
  • There has always been something ‘scary’ about Utopian society, or maybe the consequence of the unattainable ideals thereof.
  • Robert Smithson = 1960’s artist
  • Interesting discussion on Safety v’s Autonomy
  • Art itself is a kind of institution,  We as artists have to inhabit that, but always be aware of placing ourselves within its framework.
  • “Artists are always aware of their position in society”
  • “Are we approaching things from the ‘inside'”
  • Jackie – “Art can start conversations about topics that could be closed in other facets of society
  • Alice Maher – her art was viewed and criticed differently depending on the political and social situation in which was viewed.
  • Be aware of the system and the power relations
  • Use writing as a process of thinking
  • Phalanstery – communist societies/ societies living together
  • Raunchier talked about the power of the viewer
  • Lauren Bient wrote a book about the death of Barth????
  • Benjiman Bouko ???
  • Michael Serres – french philosopher
  • You don’t need a physical place to be an institution; don’t need to situate institutions in a physical space
  • Art loves a vacuum!!!
  • Institute of Art v’s Art Institution

After our reading came to its natural conclusion, we broke into smaller groups, some exploring the gaol further.  A group of us hopped into Linda’s car and drove up to the abandoned section of st Anne’s for an exploration!  I have put photos based on this into a separate post. =)

Impromptu Trip to St Annes – 23/02/16

When we alighted (pun intended!) from Cork city Goal and our musing on Betham’s Panopticon, a crisp Spring day of dazzling sunlight greeted us.  Linda suggested that a few of us take a trip up to the deserted part of st. Annes, so Cat, Jackie, Linda and myself ventured to that  building on the top of the hill that looks imposingly down on us mere mortals, insisting on giving us a lesson in dichotomy.  It did not disappoint.  It’s elegant dilapidation offered up gifts as well as awe in the quickening  twilight.




Cat discovers an old record player


20160223_161936a relic of this imposing building’s imposing past


The church to the back of St Annes


Let there be light!



one word speaks volumes



The adventurous Linda
Odd symbol of work in this jewel of dilapidation


General musings about my progress – 3 weeks in

The first three weeks have been a roller coaster of exposure to new artists and ways of thinking and working.  I am reeling a bit from it all and feel I need time to process all this new information and figure out where my practice sits in all of it, and who am I as an artist.  It hasn’t helped that I’ve been laid low with a flu since I started.

Some points that have come up is to deconstruct my actual objects and look at the optics as objects in themselves, as well as ‘vehicles’ to perception.

This along with the suggestion of looking at ‘old science’, such as Newton’s exploration of light and vision, excites me.  I like that cross over between science and the sense of wonder/mysticism.

I am still a little stuck as to what I am actually looking ‘at’ through the optics – what are my visuals – Is it necessary to have visuals.

Another thing that I am concerned with is that at present my work and explorations are all at an intellectual level and have no emotional draw (excuse the pun!) as yet.  This concerns me because I want my work to resonate with an audience and myself at a ‘real’ level.  I want my work to ‘mean’ something and have depth and social commentary.

Today’s Art in Placement session has given me an awful lot to ponder about my work and where I go from here with it.  There is some amazing explorations going on and I feel that I haven’t grounded myself yet in what it is I want to say or what I want to explore.  I feel a little discombobulated, to be honest and need to do a bit of soul searching about myself and my art.