The Balloon – Rawson Projects – Writing Workshop

Curator Jessamyn Fiore responding to The Balloon during the writing workshop at Rawson Projects

On Sunday last (24th March) I spent an afternoon at Rawson Projects facilitating a Writing Workshop with curator and writer Jessamyn Fiore. The workshop was devised around the short story written by Donald Barthelme called The Balloon. This story was used as a prompt by Jessamyn Fiore for curating the exhibition at Rawson Projects. I was invited to write a short piece in response to the story, which I read at the gallery on Sunday evening, to a small audience who gathered for the closing of the exhibition.

The workshop was twinned with sessions I have been hosting at CTVR/the telecommunications research centre as part of my PhD research known as Engineering Fictions. Through these sessions we are creating One-Sheets which are limited edition publications based upon each of the writing sessions. We hope to have these One-Sheets in circulation during the summer. I hope that we will be able to produce a One-Sheet based upon the New York workshop around The Balloon, which will become a twin to the Dublin based One-Sheet produced through CTVR.

Participants in the writing workshop at Rawson Projects, as part of The Balloon exhibition, curated by Jessamyn Fiore.
Participants in the writing workshop I facilitated at Rawson Projects as part of The Balloon exhibition, curated by Jessamyn Fiore.



I’m delighted to have been invited to speak about my research at this exhibition/seminar this week as part of Engineers Week at the DRAWING PROJECT. Essentially, I’m going to be presenting a rough draft of my thesis, ‘Engineering Fictions’, for the first time to a public audience – suffice it to say I’m a little bit nervous. My CTVR colleague and Phd. supervisor Linda Doyle will be presenting also, so that’ll calm the nerves a bit. She’s not to be missed! (You can see her TEDx talk on the ‘Republic of Radio’ here)

Here’s the spiel on the event:

You are invited to ‘ingenious’…
A showcase of work engaged with the intersection of art, technology and engineering at drawing project Wed 12th – Fri 14th Feb.
Opening wed 12th 2pm.
As part of next week’s ‘Ingenious’ showcase, IADT’s contribution to celebrating Engineering Week, there will be a seminar from 3-5pm on wed 12th Feb in the Drawing Project with invited speakers Prof. Linda Doyle (Engineering,CTVR,TCD), Fiona Marron, Artist and IADT graduate, Jessica Foley, Artist PhD researcher and Julie Merriman Artist and IADT graduate. The seminar will focus on the relationship between art, technology and engineering.

Showcase open to public Thursday 13th Feb 10-1pm 2-5pm, Friday 14th Feb 10-1pm, 2-5pm

Artist Julie Merriman will present an exhibition of work ‘part drawings’ opening on the same day and continuing until Feb 25th
All welcome.



A satellite image of the helium reserve and wells near Amarillo, Tex. The federal government maintains the reserve, which produces roughly 30 percent of the world’s helium.

I’m currently working on a short piece of writing for an upcoming exhibition in Brooklyn, NYC, curated by Jessamyn Fiore. The exhibition features works by the following fine artists:

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The exhibition is inspired by a short story by Donald Barthelme, The Balloon, and will feature work by Gordon Matta-Clark, Skyhook (Study for a Balloon Building), as well as new text’s by myself and Aengus Woods.

The image above is grabbed from a New York Times article. You’ll have to wait till I’m finished the story to see if it has any bearing or not. In fact, so will I.


Difference Engine @ LCGA

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Some installation images from the current Difference Engine exhibition at the Limerick City Gallery of Art.

Difference Engine – ACCUMULATOR III

Difference Engine is an evolving touring exhibition by artists Mark Cullen, Wendy Judge, Gillian Lawler & Jessica Foley, featuring Gordon Cheung.

Taking the ‘first’ computer as a namesake, and adopting Charles Babbage’s observation that ‘Jamming is a form of error detection’ as our imaginative jumping off point, Difference Engine plays with the idea of ‘jamming’. In one sense ‘jamming’ signifies stasis, shock, or rupture, but in another sense, it signifies change, growth, improvisation and invigoration between players.

With this in mind, we work together through art. In many ways, Difference Engine operates similarly to oral storytelling, where the story changes each time it is spoken. Only, with Difference Engine, the story is made up of visuals, objects and props, as well as words. There isn’t one set narrative, and so there is a call to the audience to build their own associations and narratives from the pieces we present and organise in the exhibition space. The works brought together through Difference Engine weave personal concerns with concepts of science, geologic time, language, architecture and economics.

Limerick City Gallery of Art
Phone: +353(0)61-310633
Fax: +353(0)61 310228
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Opening hours:
Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday 10am-5.30pm
Thursday 10am-8.30pm
Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 12-5pm

Limerick City Gallery of Art
Carnegie Building,
Pery Square,

Elsie’s Counter – A Live Gallery Reading at the Highlanes, Drogheda.


Well, I’m delighted to say that the reading of Elsie’s Counter (as part of the LFTT Library’s Things in Translation exhibition at the Highlanes, Drogheda) was a great success. We had a full house at the Highlanes (over 60 people), and the audience were so sensitive to and appreciative of the fact that we were recording. Speaking with some people afterwards, I learned that the audience were stifling their laughs and chuckles at times, and keeping as still as they could, for fear of disrupting the recording. How lovely is that!?

It was my first time ‘performing’ in any piece of work that I’ve made, so I was reasonably nervous about it. But, having a set of binaural headphones in my ears and remembering that my main role was to capture the ‘Foley Sound’ as clearly as possible, I lost my self-consciousness and became an embodied microphone, an active listener.

I can’t thank the actors enough for their reading of the text, Elsie’s Counter. Maura Foley, Stephen Brennan and Anita Reeves brought the story to life, in a way I had only barely imagined.  And equally, I cannot thank Aoife Ruane, curator and director of the Highlanes, enough for her enthusiasm and support, emotionally and through her generosity with the resources of the gallery, technical and human (I mean the outstanding Highlanes staff and board members!). And of course, I must thank the ‘Foley Artist Chorus‘ who summoned fire through crumpling paper and breaking matches!

I’m working with Aidan Foley at Masterlabs to bring the recordings of the live reading to vinyl. This would not be happening without the assistance of Neil Conlan, who expertly commanded the zooms and microphones on the day, and tidied up the audio stems for mastering.

I should have the vinyl by tomorrow, and so hopefully it will be installed early next week.

Elsie’s Counter – Live Gallery Reading for Vinyl Recording


Elsie’s Counter will be read by actors Anita Reeves, Stephen Brennan and Maura Foley at the Highlanes Gallery on Tuesday 2nd July at 12.50pm.

There will be a Foley Artist Chorus helping to amplify some of the Foley Sounds created during the performance. It promises to be a unique experience, and hopefully a successful experiment!

To book a place, contact the Highlanes Gallery at 041-9803311.


Things in Translation


Was up at the Highlanes Gallery today, in Drogheda, to suss out the space for the upcoming Things in Translation exhibition, curated by Helen Horgan and Aoife Ruane. Blissful Blue Skies combined with the unstoppable enthusiasm of Aoife and the Highlanes staff made the trip rewarding and enriching! The nets are being cast for actors to bring life to the ‘radio-play’ I’m working on called ‘Elsie’s Counter’. The play should be performed during the month of June, dates are yet to be pinned down.  I’m working most immediately on a found-object sculpture that will perform as a prop during the dramatic reading of the play, but which will perform as what it looks like for the rest of the time in the exhibition. You can catch a glimpse of the sculpture/prop in its unmade ready-made state in the image above, as well as the rows of shelves in the background, pristine and bare, awaiting the return of the LFTT Library. More to come but you can read below the outline of the exhibition:

A scan from the Drogheda Arts Festival program.
A scan from the Drogheda Arts Festival program.