29 - 1

The Utopia of Access: GradCAM@Research Pavilion 2017, Venice Biennale


September 29 (Friday) 9:00 pm - October 1 (Sunday) 5:00 pm


Pavilion 2017, Venice Biennale


Event Information


GradCAM@Research Pavilion.

The Digital Aesthetic in Utopia of Access: GradCAM @The Research Pavilion Venice (Sept 29th – Oct 1st) curated by Noel Fitzpatrick (GradCAM) and Brian Fay (Dublin School of Creative Arts) comprises of an ambitious exhibition Cf or ‘The Inaugural Autonomous Biennale’ and two days of unique interventions, performances and seminars, which promote forms of art and art works exploring the post-digital aesthetics within an era of open data and open access.

venice image draft copy

The Research Pavilion
Sala del Camino, Campo S. Cosmo
Giudecca, 621 (Vaporetto stop Palanca)


GradCAM activities in The Research Pavilion during this time include:

A seminar The Contributive Economy will be part of the Digital Studies Network Seminar hosted by GradCAM, Dublin and IRI at the Centre Pompidou Paris. The speakers include Prof. Bernard Stiegler and Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick.

A workshop on The Utopia of Access and Data Analytics, the workshop on data mining and data analytics will be led by Prof. John Kelleher, Dublin Institute of Technology.

There will be talk by Raul Zamudio is a New York-based independent curator and writer, and teaches at Parsons the New School for Design and John Jay College CUNY. Zamudio’s participation is kindly supported by the AC Institute, New York.

A panel discussion with Art Way of Thinking and current Phd candidates Grainne Coughlan and Jye O’Sullivan.

A live presentation by GradCAM’s The Aesthetics Group (Mick O’Hara, Cathy O’Carroll, Connell Vaughan and Jeanette Doyle) in response to Michael Bell-Smith’s Birds Over the White House (2006), specially re-purposed for The Research Pavilion (2017), courtesy of the artist and Foxy Production, New York.

The Enquiry (Jeanette Doyle, Jennie Guy, Emer Lynch and Deborah Madden) will deliver a sequence of screenings, specially created artworks and live presentations. The Enquiry are also curating objects and images from the Cf project in the Research Pavilion.

Performances, seminars and interventions by current doctoral researchers in GradCAM (Irina Gheorghe, Mike Glennon, Cathy O’ Carroll and Tommie Soro) and lectures/seminars by senior researchers including Dr. Glen Loughran, Martin McCabe, Dr.Conor Mc Carrigle, Dr. El Putman.


Cf is an International project, by artist Jeanette Doyle (Ireland) for GradCAM @ The Research Pavilion, Venice. Cf uses the Biennale as its template with particular attention to the staging of National Pavilions where over 150 artists and curators from all parts of the globe are representing a nation of their own choosing in a manner of their own determination.Cf will be manifest in Venice as a series of projections, the temporal selection of which will be determined by an algorithm, representing videos and sounds files which capture international iterations of the project. Cf subtly subverts the well-worn Biennale model by allowing both selected and self-selecting artists/participants to nominate and represent their chosen country in a manner of their own determination. Parallel to these broad conceptual concerns, Cf also seeks to question emergent modes of production, presentation and dissemination of art as well questioning the forces, which allow the production of objects and ideas to find a home within the ‘artworld’.


Cf is produced in partnership with the:artist:network, New York with collaborations from the U.S., Taiwan, Thailand, China and others and is supported by The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and Science Foundation Ireland. Of particular note is The Border Pavilion, curated by Raul Zamudio, a program of video works by international artists that touch upon the global geopolitics of immigration and includes a live performance by Holly Crawford. Cf also features a special contribution by The Reversible Destiny Foundation established by Arakawa and Madeline Gins in 2010.


Following a successful and well-received pilot edition in 2015, the University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki) has again realized a Research Pavilion within the context of the Venice Biennale. The project is implemented in co-operation with the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and the Swedish Arts Universities’ collaboration Konstex. This new edition is lasting five months (from early May to mid-October) and is undertaken as a Nordic collaboration together with institutional partners outside Scandinavia, this year including the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Zurich University of the Arts. GradCAM @ The Research Pavilion, Venice is kindly supported by Culture Ireland, Dublin Institute of Technology and Science Foundation Ireland.



Programme Utopia of Access “Post Digital Aesthetics: Contributive Economy

29th September – 1st Oct

30th September
Performance Space Seminar Space
9:30- 10:00 Cathy O’CarrollPerformance piece
10:00-11.00 Prof John Kelleher
Big Data workshop
11.30 Art Way of ThinkingPanel Discussion with Grainne and Jye (Phd researchers)
12.30 Dr. El Putnam Performance (20mins) 14:00 – 14.45 Dr. Conor McGarrigle 24 hours – talk
14.45-15.30 Dr. Glen LoughranMode D After the Future of Work
16:00 – 18:00Prof Bernard Stiegler
Digital Studies SeminarChair Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick
19:00 Mike Glennon (PhD researcher)
Composition 20 mins
Day 21st Oct
9.30 Irina Gheorghe (Phd Researcher)Performance
11.00 Tommie Sorro (Phd Researcher)
12:00 Aesthetics Group (GradCAM)Michael Bell Smith
16:00“Cf Project” – Discussion with Brian Fay and Jeannette Doyle
17:00 Enquiry Group (1hour)
Closing Discussion Dr. Noel FitzpatrickDr. Brian Fay





Conferences / Events / Seminars / News / Journals

Newsletter Signup

Keep up-to-date with all the latest
Gradcam seminars and events.
Simply leave your email address below.

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

Learn more about this event Learn More


Venice Biennale


© 2021 All Rights Reserved.
Contact Us
The School of Art Design and Printing
Technological University Dublin
Grangegorman, Dublin 7, Ireland.
+353 01 402 4176
designed & built by Unthink