Jessica Foley writes prose and poetry, and works as a trandsdisciplinary researcher and teacher.
Her artistic practice involves transdisciplinary collaborations exploring fiction, storytelling and technology through film, audio and sculptural installations. She makes art works that evoke subtle subjectivities through character, concept and place, against an ever-changing backdrop of information and communications technology (ICT) industry and research in Ireland.
A key method in her art-research practice is Engineering Fictions (and its double Stranger Fictions), a context/concept sensitive, tale-telling, writing workshop that invites ICT-oriented researchers to creatively explore topics and materials relating to technology, material, social, cultural and political life. Engineering Fictions began as a two-word poem in 2013, and has since become a nomadic workshop that supports people to make time for response-ability to conditions in the world, including conditions of possibility. The process of Engineering Fictions fosters a multi-faceted awareness of cultures of knowledge-making through simple acts of storytelling, conversation, writing exercises and improvisations. (To inquire about booking and devising an Engineering Fictions session, please contact jessica[.]dylan[.]foley[@]gmail.com.)
As well as generating knowledge and insights around narratives, speech acts and concepts relating to internet research and technology, Jessica’s transdisciplinary research and artistic practice seeks to support processes of change, healthy relations of difference and the enlargement of generosity and community.
Jessica is currently working on her first collection of poetry exploring the ambivalent possibilities of openings, apertures, beginnings and all things holey, as we move deeper into the 21st century. Her most recent poem, Holes (a Portrane sequence), was exhibited in audio-sculptural form as part of Infrastructures of Now at NCAD Gallery in 2018, curated by Anne Kelly. In 2013 she wrote, directed and recorded an audio-play, Elsie’s Counter, at the Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda, with actors Stephen Brennan, Anita Reeves and Maura Foley, and curator Aoife Ruane. This work was subsequently acquired by the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection. Jessica is a co-founding member of Difference Engine, a collaborative touring exhibition with artists Wendy Judge, Mark Cullen, and Gillian Lawler, and was an active member of the group from 2009-2018. In 2018, Jessica was awarded a two-year Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship with Maynooth University, in collaboration with CONNECT, TCD. She is Writer-at-Large with CONNECT, the centre for future networks and communications in Ireland, and a co-founding member of the Orthogonal Methods Group, CONNECT.
Born in 1982, Jessica grew up between the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains and the Bog Lands around Lough Boora and Killaun. Her practice has evolved over many years, informed by her childhood in Offaly and her education in Graphic Design (B.Des. LSAD), Art and Design Education (H.Dip. LSAD), Contemporary Art (MA Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD) and Telecommunications Engineering/Artistic Research Practice (Ph.D. TCD).