Aideen Barry, Lynda Devenney, Benjamin Gaulon, Vera Klute, Bea McMahon and The Grafting Parlour
August 31 - October 24 2009
"Science is meant for the progression of man, but using science for evil can also lead to the downfall of men. There is conflict between man versus nature."
20,000 leagues under the Sea, Jules Verne.
The LAB is pleased to present Force Majeure as part of the series of events for ISEA 2009. Force Majeure is commonly used in relation to natural disasters (‘acts of god’ such as hurricanes or earthquakes) or war, strikes or riots for example. In suggesting these events are due to circumstances beyond our control, it relieves us from the responsibility of our actions. The artists in this show all explore how natural and man-made power operates and reveal some of the mechanisms and connections that make us, and the world we have built, operational. They share a common interest in process-driven experimentation and a scientifically influenced playful approach. They also have an interest in technology as an interface for them to explore and dissect parts of our world to the audience.
Barry's practice is informed by her diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder which manifested in her obsession with cleanliness and germ free environments. Her Spray Grenades which are shown here are informed by her recent residency at Kennedy Space Centre in NASA but also reference Barry's interest in the Gothic and the dystopian view of the future domestic. In Barry's future the War on Germs is exaggerated to a more militant level and here it is reflected in her Weapons of Mass Consumption series. Barry also completed a film project which she shot in Zero Gravity while undertaking parabolic flights at NASA. Vacuuming in a Vacuum is showing in the Royal Hibernian Academy as a part of Futures from September 3rd 2009 and the documentary of her Arts Council of Ireland funded, New Works Award, entitled 0G will also be screened during Force Majeure at The LAB.
Lynda Devenney’s Intercepted and analysed explores the remnants of one of The US National Security Agency largest listening stations based in Berlin. Once a secure protected environment accumulating heavily classified information and technology now abandoned and transformed into a vulnerable space with no function. The station was built to gain the best vantage point for eavesdropping on Soviet and East German military traffic and continued to operate until end of The Cold War. The stations visual presence within the landscape is illusory seemingly more plausible for it to be the set of a science fiction movie. The buildings and radar domes still remain in place although recent plans were announced to raze the facility and reforest the hill.
Vera Klute’s practice stems from an interest in exploring systems of human behaviour. She looks at the repetition of everyday life, its cycles and its monotony. The piece ‘Loop the loop’ in particular is looking at the domestic world as well as the greater mechanisms of the world. Taking the perspective of an outside observer it sees only details but never the whole picture. By quoting isolated observations and fragments, the piece creates new connections between them in an attempt to understand how everything works together. It sees the environment in constant metamorphosis, energy is endlessly transformed from gravity to movement, from one object into another - an impossible perpetual motion machine.
The Cleaners [Kronecker]
With characteristic wit and a disarming (domestic) economy of means Bea McMahon’s The Cleaners [Kronecker], 2009, conjures a whole history of ‘retinal’ art, stretching back through 1960’s Op art to the rotoreliefs of Marcel Duchamp, while simultaneously suggesting an idiosyncratically reconstituted ‘Systems Art’ that is entirely her own. [Kronecker] refers to the Kronecker Delta δij which assigns value to the symmetric order of matrix-like systems.
Benjamin Gaulon presents two new works, The 2.4Ghz™ and RandomMe™ CCTV Randomizer. The first of these projects uses a wireless video receiver to hack into wireless surveillance cameras. This device can be use for wireless surveillance but what most users of those devices don't realise is that they are broadcasting the signal. The last decade has seen an impressive increase in CCTV surveillance in public and private spaces. In the name of Freedom our every move is monitored. This invasion of privacy is in itself unsupervised. Most surveillance systems are privately owned. RandomMe™ is like a virus that can corrupt CCTV footage, instead of a regular linear recording, the software produces random recordings of a location. Each of the frames are randomly recorded which makes the perception of time random too. Thus it becomes impossible to make a clear reading of events taking place in a defined location.
The Grafting Parlour
The Grafting Parlour’s collection takes the form of live and time-based samples collected from remote habitats of the natural world. Using both contemporary media technology and classical gardening techniques, nature (both fearful and magical) and man are grafted together in a hybrid world of micro and macro perspectives. For this work, the Grafting Parlour will be creating a surround sound micro macro forest, projecting a new video work, White Stag, and growing wheatgrass in the gallery.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Aideen Barry is a Visual Artist, working in performance, film, drawing, animation, sculpture, photography and sound installation. Recently she has shown in Galway Arts Centre ( of hypothetical evolutions of [an]other Solo ), The Mermaid Arts Centre (disjoined and the morphological Solo), and Limerick City Gallery(Behind Smoke and Mirrors), St Anne's Park for Dublin City Council ( Park Life). Barry has shown work internationally at, Moderna Museet, Sweden (Sound Design for Future Films), The Other Gallery,Walter Phillps Gallery, Banff, Canada, and will show the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio in September 2009. Sean Kissane of the Irish Museum of Modern Art,selected the artist, to present work at FRA GIL (LOOP Video Art Bienniel) in Spain in May 2008. In 2007 Barry was Artist in Residence at the Banff Centre in Canada, and she also undertook a residency for Convoy, in Seydisfjourder, in Iceland in May of 2007. In 2008 funded by the Arts Council of Ireland: Projects: New Work Award, Barry undertook a residency at Kennedy Space Centre, NASA, filming in Zero Gravity environments and informing her concepts of evolution of the domestic uncanny, some of the work created out of that residency is shown here in Force Majeuire at The LAB and in Futures at the Royla Hibernian Academy from September 2009. In 2009/10 Barry shows in Delaweb (Belfast) Crawford Gallery (Cork), and The Butler Gallery (Kilkenny).
Lynda Devenney completed a Masters in Virtual Realities from the NCAD, Dublin in 2005. Since then she has been an associate lecturer in Visual Arts Practise at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire and a member of the Blackchurch Print Studio since 2001. She has taken part in numerous exhibitions, ‘Reading the city’ Ev+a, 2009 Limerick, ‘ Defining Space’, ‘More often sensed than understood’ in the Original Print Gallery in Dublin, as part of the Digital Fringe in Melbourne, Australia and has exhibited in 6 x 6 for Ireland, China, Iontas 16th Small Works Exhibition, Sligo. 60 Seconds, 291 Gallery, London, Source, Original Print Gallery, Temple Bar, Dublin, RHA, 173rd Exhibition, Dublin.
Bea McMahon grew up in Bray, Ireland.
Upcoming Projects includes Reverse Pedagogy at the Model Niland, Sligo and a residency at The Mattress Factory, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Recent solo exhibitions include Present at the Green on Red Gallery, True Complex at Void (Derry) and The Curated Visual Artist’s Award, The Douglas Hyde Gallery (Dublin). Group exhibitions include Flicks The Highlanes Gallery (Drogheda), House Warming, Rua Red, Tallaght, Into Irish Drawing, Limerick City Gallery, Chronoscope Newman House, (Dublin), Black Boxing Project Arts Centre (Dublin), Exploration The Highlanes Gallery (Drogheda), ev+a (Limerick) and Crawford Open (Cork). She has been awarded Visual Artist Bursaries from the Arts Council and the Curated Visual Artist Award in 2007. Her work is included in private collections and the Arts Council of Ireland Collection and the Office of Public Works. She is represented by the Green on Red Gallery, Dublin.
Benjamin Gaulon is a researcher and artist, who also works as an art consultant, curator, public and conference speaker, graphic designer and art college lecturer. He is also organiser / Curator for Data 2.0 (Dublin Art and Technology Association) and co-founder and co-director of IMOCA (Irish Museum of Contemporary Art). Benjamin belongs to the young generation of artists in the field of technological and new media art who, adhering to a DIY-ideology, love to make physical pieces. His works mostly involves the design of tangible interfaces, custom hardware, and aims at performances where the audience plays an active part. His approach to his use of technology often concerns recycling or finding new ways of working with existing tools and electronic parts to custom build devices.
His work has been shown at events such as Interzone (03), Turbulence (04), No/Copy/Right (04), SonicActs (04), Cite Rap (04), PopUp2.0 (04), Axis Festival (05), Ososphere (05), Numéripop (05), EVA (06), Art Rock (06), €10 000 Show (06), SuperFlux (06), Hansaflux (07), Showcase (07), Sous la Plage (07), Come out and Play (07), Cluster (07), DEAF (07), LightWave 08 (08), Garden of digital lies (08), International design biennale (08), Plane/Site (09), ReFunct 09 (09), The LAB (09), ISEA (09). www.recyclism.com
The Grafting Parlour
The Grafting Parlour is a collective of artists and researchers who exchange and combine their methodologies through experimentation. Formed in Athens in 2008 through e-MobiLArt (European Mobile Lab for Interactive Media Artists) as part of its initiative for collaborative enquiry. The collective is made up of Lucy Hg from LA and part of The League of Imaginary Scientists, Kelly Andres, Canada, Nurit Bar Shai, USA-Israel, Saoirse Higgins, Ireland and Antti Tenetz from Finland. For this exhibition Kelly, Nurit and Saoirse come together to make a piece of work for the group. Also in collaboration with Jon Stevenson, sound designer.