UNFORESEEN?: a question in progress…

We asked each of our resident and guest artists a question about their work and its potential within the indeterminate situation of the unforeseen.

Their contemplations, expectations, and apprehensions will in turn be reconsidered and reflected upon after the event.

Check out their thoughts below…

PS: The physicality of your work inversely reflects the intangible nature of the relationship between artist, idea and audience. How do you feel this might manifest itself within the boundaries of UNFORESEEN?

HC: I’ve recently been pondering the shadow side of an artist’s creativity, the potential that exists through creative endeavours to spoil something, to diminish the power and beauty of a place, object or atmosphere in an effort to make a creative intervention. It seems important, to know within the creative process when to act and when not to act, in sculptural terms to harness the tension between addition and reduction and the possibility of non-action. This is a dialogue that might play out in my contribution with Unforeseen. By its nature any ideas or notions I have today about Unforeseen may change tomorrow but at time of writing I’m hoping to find a way of reducing the control I have over my contribution through giving additional control and choice to the audience, I see my collaborative contribution as that of a creative conduit. I believe there’s power in incidental compositions and creative energy in spontaneity both of which are often lost, suppressed or sanitised in a gallery environment. I hope Unforeseen will give us the opportunity to harness this power and energy, the freedom to play within the landscape and sound-scape of a space while messing a little with the creative dynamic between artists, audience and ideas.

PS: How important is the development rather than just the outcome in your work? How do you think this will relate to the idea of UNFORESEEN?

JR: Working towards an outcome is the same as testing a hypothesis. It’s important that I have a vision of what I’m setting out to make, but what I’m really interested in is how this abstract ideal can be undermined by the construction process. A work often begins with a drawing; and here I am able to control all parameters of the idea as it rests on paper, but when I begin to develop the idea as a performance, sculpture or installation; a whole variety of environmental factors and forces come into play that are completely beyond my control.
One of my recent works Earth Rise is a good example of this undermining process. I began with a small idea on paper, a drawing that showed a piece of grassy turf being inverted and held aloft by a human figure. Attempting this idea as a performance piece required weeks of strenuous training doing headstands with a heavy clod of earth tied to my feet and mostly resulting in repeated heaving, toppling and exasperation. In the end it was completely impossible to achieve the triumphal inversion of my drawing, and the resulting performance became about the muscular strain required in order to hold the inverted piece of earth aloft.

UNFORESEEN sets up the parameters for a different way of working that feels new and experimental to me. Usually I work in response to environmental factors, but during this event I will be responding to environments or performances set up by other artists, which makes the process even less predictable. The potential for unanticipated moments where things somehow just work, as well as moments where everything falls apart is very exhilarating.

PS: One could describe your work as relational, creating a space for social interaction, rather than a mere spectacle. What problems do you foresee as unavoidable due to the forced nature of event in general, and specifically during UNFORESEEN?

CK: I like to think of the performance element of my work as a series of public experiments, testing out different ideas in different settings. I generally like to create a space for an audience to experience rather than a show for them to watch. These spaces do provide a context for social interaction but that is not really what I’m focused on. I am more interested in the relationship between the audience, the space and me as a performer.
I don’t think I have an issue with these performance events being in some way “forced”, indeed it is exactly that that I am interested in playing with. I design ambiance and construct experience through the diffusion of sound and light. How the audience responds is really up to them – there is no right or wrong reaction. Like I say, they are experimental in nature so i guess the only issue would be if no one turned up!
The most challenging – and I think most exciting – aspect of Unforeseen will be engaging in genuinely meaningful dialogue with both the wide range of different artists and guests as well as with the audience themselves. We will have to speak carefully and listen well to make it a real conversation rather than a group of individuals just sort of saying their bit. I often find clarity in these discussions quite difficult, especially face to face, in real time! But I think it should be interesting and look forward to it!

PS: Haptics is a way of experiencing and understanding an object virtually before it becomes tangible. Do you think this theory could translate to UNFORESEEN and the idea behind event?

AMS: As our package, Anarkik 3D Design, is more than haptics (which is virtual 3D touch) and experiencing and understanding an object virtually before it becomes tangible, the theory of virtual touch can translate to UNFORESEEN and the many ideas and interpretations behind the event. Yes, our package of software and haptic device is a great way of experiencing and understanding an object befor it becomes tangible but more than this, it is an easy to learn and use tool for exploring and playing with creating 3D forms in a risk free environment before making them in the real world. 3D printing is but one method to make the forms tangible.

Anarkik 3D Design presents a virtual 3D space as big or as small as you want and is about experiencing and exploring that space by creating forms within it, re-configuring and re-combining within the space to understand both content and context. Being in a risk free environment, and without real world constraints, mind-sets can be blown open, boundaries expanded and pushed, new ideas taken to the nth and the thoughts generated translated back into real world materials and media to inspire new approaches.

Just one example of our approach to developing our product that fits Unforseen’s consept is serendipity. Serendipity is a majorly important feature in Anarkik 3D Design and is the default that enables happy accidents, unforeseen consequences and form creation. Being quick and easy to learn and get into being creative is also fundamental as is having a non-complex interface for ‘flow’.
We have the haptic device as it makes navigating the 3D space easy: with ‘touch’ it has movement in all directions to zoom in and out of the space and rotate the whole space to explore it all from all angles and magnitudes. Touch and proprioception tap into our natural ways of interacting in the real world and these senses introduce a comfortable and familiar element in to the virtual environment so can we can concentrate and be open for exploring the unforeseen.

PS: Audience participation is an important question within the context of UNFORESEEN. How important is audience interaction within your work in order for it to achieve its purpose?

MS: Audience participation? with a question mark. Is how I like to label my work.
The sole purpose of my work is to engage with the audience and it often brings people together with a sense of play.
I like to hand over control to the audience, so the visual element is not controlled by me but the audience instead.
I build in interactive elements to the design but I don’t like to give the audience instructions. I prefer the audience to use their logic to figure out how they can interact with the work and use visual hints to guide them, but often the audience can miss these hints.
This is ok though, you get out of my work as much as you are willing to give to it. If you want to play the option is there.


It’s all free! Tickets available here:


Seeing Sounds – with Deaf Joe

An ethereal soundscape fills the space, framing the meditative installation of colour and light, created by Emma Macleod, for our first venture with the Mash House. It was, we admit, accidental (and maybe slightly panicked!) happenstance that led us to discover Joe Harney, aka Deaf Joe, and his experimental dreamlike work. Yet the work of Deaf Joe and Emma Macleod could not have complemented each other more – almost as if planned….

With the release of his second album earlier this year accompanied by a publication in collaboration with artist Paul Hallahan, Deaf Joe is no stranger to exploring new mediums of art, expression and space. We chat about his work and the unexpected collaboration at The Mash House as part of Vault 23 – now PARADIGM, August 30 2014.

_MG_2283__Vault 23, image by Chris Scott

Your music has a reflective quality about it, the layers of sounds seemingly create narratives and uncover memories. Would you agree? How do present space (/environment) and past events influence your work?

Yes I’d agree. I’m interested in incorporating found sounds, field recordings into studio recordings of songs in such a way that they sit right up at the front of the mix and feature alongside acoustic intruments. The last batch of songs I finished was me playing with that idea of past and present happening at the same time.. the way you can be on a train staring out the window and be completely reliving something from your past in your head. And they’re both happening at the same time. or you open an old book and the feel of the pages can trigger an odd, random childhood memory. You’re never really in control of your memory, of what it might throw up at you. Environmental triggers are everywhere.

It is fair to say then your music has a prominent visual element to it. How do you feel a different environment- such as a nightclub – affects or changes the tone of your work?

A nightclub would be an odd place for some of my music! I think of a lot of the stuff I do being, as you said, reflective. which means it’s a bit drifty and spaced out and probably works best for people listening on their own, in their own head space. I’ve always thought of it like that anyway. I find it doubly weird cos a lot of the music I’d listen to would be fairly full-on (I’m a huge lightning bolt fan for instance). I’ve just never been able to make music for a fucking dance floor. Have plenty of ambient odds and ends knocking about that would serve an old school chill out room well though..

True! I’m thinking a slightly run down, smokey, wine bar possibly in France!? So how did you feel when Project Space asked to pair your piece ‘Angles of Light’ with a visual installation in a club night setting? What were your impressions of the space on the night?

I was delighted.. as you said about ‘prominent visual element’, I’ve always got fairly strong narrative or visual elements in my head when I’m putting music together. Some people play off groove, I need an image or a place to be making it for. I’m always thinking stories or pictures. So to put the music with Emma Macleod’s really strong installation was great, it’s as if I’d tailored it for the room! That particular piece of music was an ambient homage to a piece of music by Finnish composer Rautavaara, his 7th symphony third movement. It’s dubbed The Angel of Light so I flipped the title to ‘Angles’. Check Rautavaara out by the way, that’s not me being a pretentious obscure-o muso-twat, its harmony twists and turns in very beautiful unpredictable ways, there’s something of the natural world about it. Sounds like it has inspired the composers of many a soundtrack for BBC and David Attenborough documentaries.

for each and every
film still, For Each and Every One of Them, Deaf Joe

Wow that’s incredible! – thank you for the recommendation. After this experience, would you be tempted to make more work in collaboration with visual artists or for unexpected spaces?

Yes, indeed I would. As it is I’ve collaborated with some wonderful contemporary artists in Ireland in recent years. I like it when there’s a concept in place for a piece of music, where you’re contributing to the realisation of an idea. In that forum you really get to step into a place where the line between music and sound blurs. The nature of what’s required of the music/sound depends on what the artist’s intentions are for their work, so you’re most often bounced into having to approach composition or sound design from a new angle. I’ve recently finished a half-hour work with an Irish actor, I’ve scored music for his narration of a gruesome short story. We’re currently looking forward to realising it as an installation in a suitable found space in the future!

That sounds great! We will watch out for that project in the near future – keep us updated! You also released your second album – From the Heights of a Dream – this year, Congratulations! What does the future hold for you?

I’m currently finishing two album for different musical projects. I’m nearly done on both, but then again it could be another six months… Also I’ve just finished the mastering of an album by a friend of mine, Irish musician Katie Kim. It’s sounding beautiful, keep an eye out for her music on your internet radar. I also hope to find more contemporary artists to collaborate with in the near future, as it’s an amazing forum in which to work.

Check out Deaf Joe’s website – http://www.deafjoe.net/ and Facebook page to keep up to date with future projects – https://www.facebook.com/deafjoemusic?fref=ts