Aerial/Sparks, created by artist Louise Manifold for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, invites you to connect in person and online with one of the last unknown spaces on earth, the ocean wilderness. Seven artists, writers and composers from across Europe have produced a series of compelling standalone artworks for exhibition and radio broadcast, inspired by their experiences of joining research expeditions on board the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer.
Participating artists: Ailís Ní Ríain (IRL), Carol Anne Connolly (IRL), David Stalling (DE), Kennedy Browne (IRL), Kevin Barry (IRL), Magz Hall (EN), Robertina Šebjanič (SI)
The rugged beauty of Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, is the setting for the Aerial/Sparks Art Trail from 11 – 27 September (Wednesday – Sunday). Visitors can easily traverse the island by foot to discover sound works housed in a lighthouse, the local church, an old handball alley, and Áras Éanna, Europe’s most westerly Arts Centre.
A virtual programme of events for Ars Electronica 2020, the world-renowned festival for art, technology and society, will accompany the main exhibition from 9 – 13 September. Titled Garden GALWAY by Aerial/Sparks, online events include a series of conversations between artists and marine scientists.
Aerial/Sparks started its journey by exploring the potential of radio communication to reimagine our relationship with the ocean. These sonic presentations ask us how sound and radio communication might trigger a deeper sense of empathy for our environments and ourselves. As we move into a future of uncertain intimacy, how can we grow meaningful connections at a distance?
The project has taken shape through a long-term collaboration with the Marine Institute, the national agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation in Ireland. Since 2017, artists from Ireland, Germany, England and Slovenia have taken part in 7 ocean surveys and a passage from Galway to Hamburg on the RV Celtic Explorer, one of the few marine research vessels with sonic capabilities. These expeditions have opened up unique opportunities to foster connections between art and science as artists work side-by-side with scientists who are monitoring our marine biodiversity and the impact of humans on our ocean environment.
Aerial/Sparks by Louise Manifold is presented by Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, in partnership with the Marine Institute Ireland; Commissioners of Irish Lights; Áras Éanna, Inis Oírr; Comhar Caomhán Teo, Inis Oírr; and Ars Electronica 2020. Supported through Arts Council of Ireland Project Awards 2017 and 2019.