Forum Artistic Research

Oral Presentation

tír-éist – landlisten

Shane Finan

on  Fri, 11:30in  Neuer Saalfor  30min

Words such as “collaboration” come with their own histories, assumptions and etymologies. “Collaboration” is a blend of “com” (together) and “labour” (work). A together-working may describe how a bridge gets built or how a community garden is planted, but may not describe the strange moments when we just learn from being present. Humans in groups are not always together for work, and when they share work they are not always gathered together. As the anthropologist Maria Puig de la Bellacasa reminds us, “When bodies/things touch, they are also touched” (Matters of Care, p.99). The land that we walk on moves under our foot, the air shifts around our bodies, our phone screens yield gently at the movement of our thumb. Both (or all) touched objects change. Beyond the human-human connection, there are entanglements through technology and environment that have similar impacts. A landscape can speak, and a shoreline can listen. Sometimes, technologies enable or undermine the haptic, aural or other sensory connections between human and non-human, but even when coming between these connections, a collaborative bond emerges from one body to the next. Donna Haraway suggests that such bonds can be enabled by and through technologies (Staying With the Trouble 2017), and artists have used technologies as a bridge to reach audiences and non-human colleagues (El Putnam, Livestreaming 2024). In my work, I engage in experimental artist-led collaboration. I propose a presentation of artistic research findings from different collaborative projects under the title ‘tír éist’ (in the Irish language), or ‘landlisten’. I draw comparisons between artistic engagement on four projects that I have either led or have been a collaborator on: 1) ‘Púca in the Machine’: 6-artist collaboration on entanglements between myth, ecology and the more-than-human, Ireland (2021–date). 2) ‘Waking the Land’, led by collaborative ^ and involving the work of 12 artists/collaborators, creating wake rituals for the mountain Benbo which is earmarked for gold and silver mining, Ireland. 3) ‘Swap Space’, a 12-artist collaboration researching simultaneous arrivals, on which I was a collaborating artist, Austria (2022). 4) ‘FIELD’, a 6-university collaborative project investigating endemic livestock disease with three artists in residence, UK (2021–22).

This research is presented by one person, however it is the result of different collaborations with human and nonhuman colleagues who are too many to list, and they will be acknowledged in the presentation.

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