As part of the EUCIDA (European Connections in Digital Arts) program, I had the privilege to be the French artist invited in Ireland for a 2 weeks residency at RUA Red – a contemporary art space in Dublin. Two others Irish and Latvian artists were respectively at Muiza in Latvia and Espace Multimédia Gantner in France, as part of this European exchange, and we had the pleasure to converse during a Skype call.
I came with the intention to start a new piece, which will certainly be the last of my series SUBLIME GESTURES I have been working on these past few years. That’s why I was looking to get an inspirational kickoff to pick up that project – and the residency definitely gave me a time-space out of my everyday obligations to do so.
Having chosen Ireland, I was hoping to get inspired by its magnificent natural landscapes. I was not disappointed; over the first week, I had the chance to see the beautiful lakes at a very sunny Glendalough, then I headed west of Ireland to Galway and Clifden (at the same time as its Arts Festival!), and lastly the impressive Cliffs of Moher.
I wasn’t disappointed by its cultural scene either – in Dublin, IMMA was a must-stop with the newly opened exhibition ‘Desire: A Revision From The 20th Century To The Digital Age’. Another personal favorite was Mother’s Tankstation with the work of Yuko Mohri – I particularly enjoyed witnessing the contrast between the physical tension and the overall slowness of her pieces.
Talking about Mother’s Tankstation, it was actually recommended by the artist Adam Gibney I got the chance to meet at his studio. I enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes of his new piece, as he is preparing his solo show for the end of the year.
There were a few others stops, such as MART with the opening show of Richard Forrest, Niamh O’Malley’s work at RHA, EPIC and its interactive displays, and The National Gallery of Dublin – all that definitely gave me food for thoughts, in terms of concepts and executions.
My work-in-progress did fluctuate a lot during that time – I started out with a temporary title ‘PULL TO REFRESH, which refers to the gesture I knew I wanted to challenge. In the same line of work I did previously, my concept is to hijack an addictive gesture and re-transform it into a meaningful moment – as a critique of my own behaviour, the contrast between losing so much time refreshing my feed, and almost being lost in a daze.
I sketched and iterated many times, as I had a hard time materialising what the installation could actually look like – would it be a video, a physical mechanism as I first envisioned, or both?
I figured out prototyping was the best tool against my lack of time, and make actual progress.
I made a video presentation of this prototype, the piece is now called ‘HOLD ON TO REFRESH’ – a multi-interactive installation in which each individual will create their own time-space filled sounds and visuals. You can access the video at the following link: https://vimeo.com/362591320
Lastly – something that I’ve anticipated and became one of my biggest highlights was the opportunity I had to give 2 talks at TU Tallaght, respectively for the 3rd and 4th years of the BA Creative Digital Media. I talked about my work methodology and theme, and shared some technical behind-the-scenes of my projects – since the students also learn physical computing (e.g. Arduino) in their cursus, it was a good common ground for my talk.
As a recent graduate, the ‘student’ mindset is still very fresh for me – I clearly remember how overwhelming how a final project and the anxiety of life after graduation felt. I really enjoyed being able to exchange with students on that, and give them advices that I hope will be helpful. I also had the pleasure to exchange with the lecturers Sinead Mc Donald and Sinead Jean O’Halloran afterwards, and got very interesting insights.
I’m now hoping to give lectures more frequently – I previously had the opportunity to talk about my work, but not in an educational environment. There is something that I find very inspiring about art and design education, and it’s actually something I talk a lot with my former classmates about how hard it is to re-create a similar environment after graduation.
The residency felt like that – inspiring and exciting, giving me a time-space where I can fully think about my practice. The EUCIDA program happened in a very decisive time for me, as a recent graduate – and it definitely did sign off a promising start for my new piece.