Event Information

Dates: 30 Jan – 31 Jan

Show Time: 6pm – 6.45pm (Doors 5:30pm)

Tickets: €0 – Free: First Come, First Served

Thursday 30  January 6pm

Performance of Preliminary Remarks on the Study of What Is Not There (ongoing since 2017) and installation All the Things Which Are Not There (ongoing since 2018)

Doors open 5.30pm. Opening remarks by Dr Ronan McCrea (Lecturer in Fine Art, Dublin School of Creative Arts, TU Dublin.) Duration: 45 min

Friday 31 January 6pm

Performance of Foreign Language for Beginners (ongoing since 2015) and installation Scores for First Contact (ongoing since 2018)

Doors open 5.30pm. Duration: 45 min

This event presents two performances over two days, each using the gallery space of Project Arts Centre in a different way, each introducing elements of site-specific installation. Both works are long-term explorations of the idea of the unobservable in scientific research, and have deployed methods of estrangement across several iterations.

Preliminary Remarks on the Study of What Is Not There (ongoing since 2017) will be performed on the opening night, together with a new version of the installation All the Things Which Are Not There(ongoing since 2018), devised specifically for the occasion. The performance takes the form of a guided tour amongst all the things not present in the gallery of Project Arts Centre: from things which are to things which are not; from things which could be to things which could not be. Previous locations where the performance has taken place are also part of this mapping, introduced as tape drawings spread throughout the space. The series of photographs Methods for the Study of What Is Not There (2019) introduces a sequence of gestures and body movements in which actions of measuring, classifying, dividing and belonging to the process of scientific methodology, are faced with an absence. Between the ephemeral event and its material traces no perfect equivalence is possible, alluding to the impossibility to perfectly trace that which escapes observation.

On the second night, Foreign Language for Beginners(ongoing since 2015) will be performed. The work starts with the figure of the alien as the ultimate unobservable, hypothetical, and absent entity. It explores the dynamics and history of a potential first contact through speech, sound, and movement, as a conversation with the world outside the word inside a room. The performance starts with messages that were composed and sent into outer space as part of the active SETI program. As the performance progresses, the mode of address, the language, and the situation become increasingly uncanny. In the installation Scores for First Contact(ongoing since 2018), the question of a universal cosmic language is explored through collage and wall interventions, drawing on the visual vocabularies of geometric abstraction and concrete poetry as tools for interstellar communication.

The event is part of Irina Gheorghe’s PhD research: ‘Treason of the Senses: Practices of Estrangement or How Art Speaks of What Is Not There’ at GradCAM/Technological University Dublin. It is the first comprehensive presentation of the project in Dublin, in conjunction with the formal completion of the research project, scheduled for June 2020.

The installations All the Things Which Are Not There and Scores for First Contact will be on view on 1 February 11–7 pm.

These performance events are free of charge. Spaces are limited and will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis. No late admittance.



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September, 2021






































22 - 21

GradCAM at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia


Event Details

Our everyday lives are becoming increasingly entangled with data technologies. The Irish Pavilion addresses the utopian fantasy of the Cloud, as a romantic metaphor: The cloud is material. By foregrounding the physicality of data infrastructure and its impact on the environment the pavilion hopes to both reframe how we understand data production and its impact on everyday life.The 2021 Irish Pavilion exhibition, Entanglement, at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of LaBiennale di Venezia, will explore the materiality of data, and the interwoven human, environmental and cultural impacts of communication technologies. The exhibition will highlight how data production and consumption territorialise the physical landscape, and examine Ireland’s place in the pan-national evolution of data infrastructure.Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council and the exhibition in2021 will be curated by Annex, a collective of architects, artists, and urbanists. Entanglement responds to the theme selected by the curators of the Biennale Architettura 2021, How will we live together? The exhibition aims to raise awareness about the materiality of the global internet and Cloud services, which is interwoven with the Irish landscape – made manifest through the vast constellation of data centres, fibre optic cable networks, and energy grids that have come to populate its cities and suburbs over recent decades.

Ireland plays a significant historical role in the evolution of global communications and data infrastructure.In 1866, the world’s first commercially successful transatlantic telegraph cable landed on the West coast ofIreland. In 1901, the inventor of the radio Guglielmo Marconi transmitted some of the world’s first wireless radio messages from Ireland across the Atlantic Ocean to Newfoundland. Today, Dublin has overtakenLondon as the data centre hub of Europe, hosting 25% of all available European server space. And by the year 2027, data centres are forecast to consume a third of Ireland’s total electricity demand.

Entanglement draws from both contemporary and historical data storage artefacts as building blocks to form the structure of the pavilion. These artefacts are assembled in a campfire formation, referencing this primitive architectural space where early human civilisations formed alliances, built social networks and eventually developed complex societies. The pavilion asserts that from the burning of campfire logs to the management of waste heat generated by contemporary data infrastructure, the production and distribution of information is intrinsically connected to the production and distribution of heat.

By foregrounding these thermodynamic processes as a link between the architectures of the campfire and the data centre, the pavilion speculates on the relationship between these forms and how diverse communities converge around them in the past and into the future. Entanglement invites its audience to experience this thermal logic themselves through real-time thermographic imaging technologies that juxtapose key sites associated with data infrastructure in Ireland with traces of human activity in the Arsenale.


Drone thermographic image of agricultural land in Ireland, highlighting the heat generated from data infrastructure. © ANNEX

Drone thermographic image of agricultural land in Ireland, highlighting the heat generated from data infrastructure.


These complex series of energy-intensive thermal transformations in the pavilion presents an immersive and performative visitor experience from illustrating the extent to which people are producing, consuming and disseminating data across the globe, to bringing transparency to the local and planetary scale of data infrastructure networks; for example, how a Facebook ‘like’ in Malaysia can trigger the emission of heat from a server on the outskirts of Dublin.


From top left to right, Donal Lally (GradCAM), Alan Butler (artist) , Clare Lyster (Illinois University), Sven Anderson (GradCAM), David Capener (GradCAM) and Fiona McDermott (Trinity College)

From top left to right, Donal Lally (GradCAM), Alan Butler (artist) , Clare Lyster (Illinois University), Sven Anderson (GradCAM), David Capener (GradCAM) and Fiona McDermott (Trinity College)


Annex is an international multidisciplinary research and design collective, comprised of a core team of architects, artists, and urbanists, whose work operates between and beyond the subject areas of computer science, gaming platforms, technology and public space, data centres, sensor technology, and large technical systems. Members include Sven Anderson, Alan Butler, David Capener, Donal Lally, Clare Lyster and FionaMcDermott.

Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council and in 2021 thepavilion also has the support of: The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media;Royal Institute of Architects Ireland; TU Dublin School of Creative Arts; TU Dublin Graduate School ofCreative Arts and Media; Trinity College Dublin; CONNECT Research Centre for Future Networks andCommunications; University of Illinois at Chicago, Creative Activity Award; Valentia Slate, ARUP, Office ofPublic Works and Green on Red Gallery.

Irish Pavilion Sponsors

Irish Pavilion Sponsors



May 22 (Saturday) 1:00 am - November 21 (Sunday) 1:00 am


30122 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy

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Venice Biennale


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