Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture presents AERIAL/SPARKS by Louise Manifold in partnership with the Marine Institute Ireland and in association with the Commissioners of Irish Lights; Áras Éanna, Inis Oírr; and Ars Electronica 2020. Supported through Arts Council of Ireland Project Awards 2017 and 2019.
11 – 28 September, Inis Oírr
Aerial/Sparks, created by Irish artist Louise Manifold for Galway’s European Capital of Culture 2020, 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 Ireland’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) and Robertina Šebjanič (SI).
The rugged beauty of Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, is the setting for Aerial/Sparks. Positioned between the relative calmness of Galway Bay and the wildness of the Atlantic, and immersed in maritime culture, Inis Oírr is the ideal host location. At just 3km long by 3km wide, visitors can easily traverse the island by foot to discover sound works housed across the island.
A dedicated virtual programme of events for Ars Electronica 2020 (https://ars.electronica.art/keplersgardens/en/) the world-renowned festival for art, technology and society, will accompany the main programme from 9 – 11 September. Titled Garden GALWAY by Aerial/Sparks, events include a presentation of acoustic works and conversations between artists and marine scientists.
Aerial / Sparks 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.
The utopian potential of radio was evoked by the Russian Futurist poet Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922). The universal communicative power of the medium resonated with the ambitious social projects and artistic visions that sprouted across the globe in the wake of the First World War. Khlebnikov’s vision encompasses both the educational and aesthetic domains: radio is imagined as a medium both for the universal edification of mankind and for its musical delectation. Aerial/Sparks started its journey by exploring the potential of radio communication to reimagine our relationship with the ocean. Each artist’s experience of ocean and water masses around Ireland and Europe has informed the production of individual work for audio and radio listening.