Read Sara O’Brien’s review of Cliona Harmey’s Dublin Ships, which also references her work in Phoenix Rising: http://wearecollected.com/articles/cliona-harmey-dublin-ships. For more on Dublin Ships see http://www.dublinships.ie.
Tag Archives: Cliona Harmey
Sense of Place Walking Tours
A series of FREE walking tours has been programmed with Orlaith Ross from Making Space in conjunction with Mary-Ruth Walsh, whose work is included in the Phoenix Rising exhibition. Tours leave from the gallery at 2pm on the following dates: Thursday 19 February, Saturday 28 February (FULLY BOOKED), Thursday 5 March and Saturday 14 March. Join Orlaith Ross in an exploration of the local area connecting the work inside the gallery to the city outside.
Book online at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/sense-of-place-walking-tour-with-orlaith-ross-in-conjunction-with-the-phoenix-rising-exhibition-at-tickets-15614145329.
Satellite Image Capture Event with Cliona Harmey
12:30-4:15pm, Saturday 28 February
FREE drop-in event for all ages exploring the technology behind the artist’s installation, Fixed Elsewhere.
For timetable details see: http://www.hughlane.ie/lectures/lectures-past/1290-live-satellite-image-capture-event.
Coffee Conversation with Stephen Brandes
11am, Wednesday 4 March
Join the artist for a talk followed by tea or coffee in the café to allow for further discussion. Fee €5 at the Gallery Reception.
Artist’s talk by Stephanie Nava
2pm, Thursday 12 March
Hear the artist discuss her project Considering a Plot (Dig for Victory), an extract from which is on view in Phoenix Rising. FREE. With the support of the French Embassy in Ireland.
Phoenix Rising: Art and Civic Imagination continues to 29 March.
Phoenix Rising: Installation Views at The Hugh Lane
Cliona Harmey: Links and Resources
Cliona Harmey is one of the artists exhibiting in ‘Phoenix Rising: Art and Civic Imagination’ at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. The artist has provided the following links for further information related to her work.
More information on the Index Museum and Outlook Tower: Alessandra Ponte and Jessica Levine, “Building the Stair Spiral of Evolution: The Index Museum of Sir Patrick Geddes”: http://ecologyurbanismculture.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/geddes-spiral-staircase.pdf
Funcube Dongle Pro+ http://www.funcubedongle.com/?page_id=1029 most reliable, but you can also use much cheaper sticks called RTL-SDR, see details here: http://www.rtl-sdr.com/rtl-sdr-quick-start-guide
More details from security researcher Melissa Elliot about what types of signals they can receive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N1C3WB8c0o. It includes a discussion about radio emissions noise in the immediate environment and the leaks which can be monitored from everyday electronics.
Antenna: Quadrifilar Helix “QFH 137” You can also make your own antenna if you prefer: http://www.g4ilo.com/qfh.html
More info on hardware http://www.wxtoimg.com/hardware
Software-defined radio (SDR) is a method for using your computer as a radio receiver: you can listen and decode a wide variety of broadcasts from am/fm to ships and planes.
SDRSharp free radio reception software: http://sdrsharp.com/#download
A handy guide to getting started using SDRsharp with usb dongle (Receiver USB Stick -RTL2832 w/R820T). Funcube is simpler and doesn’t need driver fix.
Handy guides to receiving satellite images:
WxtoImg: software to decode the audio signals from weather satellites into images: http://www.wxtoimg.com
How to handle the audio for RTLSDR: http://dangerousprototypes.com/2013/05/04/ free-virtual-audio-cable-alternative
SATELLITE IMAGE CAPTURE EVENT
Cliona Harmey will setup a Live Satellite Image Capture event for all ages on 28 February 2014. See http://www.hughlane.ie for confirmation of date and timetable.
Cliona Harmey in conversation with Logan Sisley
Cliona Harmey is one of the artists exhibiting in ‘Phoenix Rising: Art and Civic Imagination’ at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane from 6 November 2014 to 29 March 2015.
LS: Looking into the work of Patrick Geddes, what were the things that particularly interested you?
CH: Geddes’ interest in the Outlook Tower (1) and the view from above, and also the Index Museum (2) which was housed in the same building. The Index Museum was an attempt at making a sort of micro-model of the world. I see that as having a connection to the internet, in the way that, there you can find so much information, like a digital encyclopaedia. I suppose it is now so detailed and so heavily indexed that people can actually teach themselves things using the internet.
And you would use the internet as a source of learning yourself, in terms of appropriating technology in your work.
For this project it was all facilitated by the internet, because basically I found the parts on the internet, I looked at tutorials on the internet; I used lots of different sources. I suppose what I did in the end was quite simple but there was a trajectory through doing as well. That is another thing to do with Geddes, this idea of learning through doing or experiential learning. The other thing would be his strong connection to ideas of optics. Even though on one level at earlier times the camera obscura was linked to the idea of the mind, but Geddes was using it to get people to look at their world again from this sort of omnipotent view but also by putting the local in context with its wider environment. With the satellite images obviously you can just go on the internet and get one – and a much better quality one, than the one we have received with the antenna here– but I found it really interesting to set up a physical system and to actually see it working. That was the journey for me really – learning and connecting the parts. It would have been more difficult to make it ten years ago because that information to set it up wouldn’t have been so readily available and so easy to find.
Then there is this relationship between this very distant view, the aerial view, and you being on the ground, in the city. We often think about the internet as immaterial in a way…
Also because it is this collective melting pot of knowledge. It is facilitated by a lot of people’s generosity so it is changing authorship as well. So in a way, the authorship of the work belongs to the machine, to NOAA (3) – the satellite – and in a way I am just using information that people have shared so in a way [authorship] is receding, or more related to the appropriation of a system.
And the NOAA satellites are owned by the US government?
They are, so they aren’t neutral. The other thing I was reading about is that those particular satellites will stop in a couple of years. They are using an older technology so they are also on the verge of obsolescence. On one level there is a sort of strangeness in that in two years you might not be able to make this type of work even.
So there’s a window of time?
Also the type of receiver we used is a type of digital radio that someone discovered by accident while tuning their television. So it’s a sort of mis-use or active use of technology.
And the receiver is marketed for children to engage with technology?
There are two different technologies I tried; one is a type of receiver for television. I got less successful results with that. The last one I used is aimed at making satellite reception more accessible for amateurs/schools. It was originally designed to communicate with a small amateur cubesat satellite “with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics”. (4)
In the process of working it out you are in a way exploring the city by finding locations where the receiver works, by climbing onto roofs and accessing parts of the built environment that we wouldn’t normally access.
Originally I tried to get reception in a room but when that didn’t work, I tried going out onto a flat roof… and we also made one recording in The Hugh Lane. Also the types of images you get would also depend on the other types of interference and in some ways they are corrupted by the environment so they’re not totally clean images. Many of the receptions also failed. A selection of the test images is shown in the display case in the exhibition alongside the large image that we captured while on the roof of the Hugh Lane.
So in a way it’s not just recording the information you are looking for but it’s recording this peripheral information or the absence of information.
There are timetables available for the specific satellite passes, but I think atmospheric conditions will change the reception, like the weather and things that you experience here. I think it is interesting that the satellites are like giant cameras. They’re moving and you can only receive the image when you are in line of sight so it has a link to the local as well. It’s only receivable when the two things connect then it moves out of range again.
One thing that you’re not aware of when you look at the image is that it is recorded over a period of time, that it is not an image that is instantaneously received, and also that it is an image that is transmitted by sound waves. So the recording process emits sound…
…The satellite emits a regular sound that becomes like the sound of a clock. Most of the images that we have here would have been loaded over ten to twenty minutes. So when you think usually about the speed of technology, is that it’s instantaneous, but with these images there’s a durational aspect in terms of the information reception that we often don’t see. You used to see it when you loaded an image on the earlier internet but you don’t really any more, in those days the images would sometimes load line by line.
The process you outline makes us more aware of all this invisible information all around us. Some of it we are familiar with; we see the satellite weather images on the news and they become…
Banal, very familiar; almost you don’t read them anymore. Even though they are very beautiful images you don’t really see them anymore.
And it is overlaid with other levels of information by the TV channel or the newspaper. Digital media also produces another public space, which in one sense is invisible, and I guess that comes back to what you were saying about the internet being collective.
A lot of it we haven’t even worked out what to do with. There’s a proliferation of lots of different types of spaces now where you have wireless networks; there’s a lot of traffic in the air or ether. I think that’s interesting. I’d like to make another piece where the live aspect of the work is more apparent; where you can really see the amount of information that’s moving in the sky.
You’ve made work before that charts in the real time flight activity overhead and you’ve been commissioned as part of the Dublin City Public Art Programme to make a work at Dublin Port which charts the movement of ships in real time. (5) Going back and looking at the 1925 Civic Survey maps, which record information such as hygiene, traffic, archaeology and housing, Dublin is presented as static, but technology now allows us to map things in fluid states.
I think there is a lot more potential to make work with these systems. For example I think Dublin City Council has sensors for the traffic that are feeding information in real time. There are lots of different types of information but knowing how to interface with it or catch it, is the hard part. Those works on one level are also about writing or notation. With the ship piece it will output the ship-names in real time but it is real time linked to the movement of these real vessels so while it’s instantaneous the information will only be changing maybe five times an hour so it is live but it is slow. It has a link to more lived ways of experiencing time which are much slower than instant data.
- The Outlook Tower was created by Patrick Geddes in Edinburgh in 1892 in a former observatory building. At the top was a camera obscura which is still there to this day. Geddes’ interest was in the idea of an overview of the immediate surrounding region which linked local to the wider locality.
- The Index Museum was an attempt at a type of encyclopaedic presentation; an Encyclopaedia Graphica with elements, miniature models and diagrams related to far ranging subjects in the arts, science, society, geography etc.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: http://www.noaa.gov
What is Phoenix Rising?
Phoenix Rising is an exhibition that will reflect on urban experience and civic ideals through contemporary art. It references Dublin’s 1914 Civic Exhibition which was inspired by the work of Scottish biologist, sociologist and planner Patrick Geddes and which attempted to re-imagine Dublin as “the phoenix of cities” during a period of economic, social and political strife. The 1914 Civic Exhibition was held in the former Linen Hall and featured diverse exhibits and entertainments and a related summer school. This exhibition in 2014 will present contemporary artists’ responses to the urban environment using different strategies to understand and represent the city.
Phoenix Rising takes place following another time of economic crisis and reflects a recent re-emergence of the term ‘civic’ in public debate. A related programme of film screenings, workshops, talks and discussions will further explore themes such as: historical and contemporary conceptions of the civic, the legacy of Geddes in Dublin, the role of art in public life, the civic role of art institutions, future and imagined cities, housing and urban ecology.
This newsletter will present research generated in the lead-up to and during the exhibition. It will feature diverse contributions including material generated in workshops and other events at the gallery and interviews with artists involved such as Stephen Brandes, Mark Clare, Cliona Harmey, Vagabond Reviews, Stéphanie Nava and Mary-Ruth Walsh. Printed copies will be available in the exhibition space and it will have an online presence at civicimagination.wordpress.com or the exhibition pages on the gallery website www.hughlane.ie. This first issue provides a background to the Civic Exhibition and the work of Geddes in Dublin.
For further information or to contribute, please contact: Logan Sisley, Exhibitions Curator email@example.com.