Dr. Néill O’Dwyer
Irish Research Council (IRC) Government of Ireland Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Néill O’Dwyer is an Irish Research Council (IRC) Government of Ireland Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, who specialises in practice-based research in Digital Art. He is based in the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM) at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). He is an associate researcher of the V-SENSE project of the Department of Computer Science, at Trinity College Dublin, where he formerly worked as a PostDoc research fellow, under the Creative Technologies remit. He also worked as a research fellow at the Arts Technology Research Lab (ATRL), in the Trinity’s Department of Drama. He completed his PhD Viva in March 2016. He continues to have part-time academic teaching duties in the drama department. He is a co-editor of the Palgrave Mcmillan book, The Performing Subject in the Space of Technology: Through the Virtual, Towards the Real (2015). He is a member of the international Digital Studies Network initiated by the Institute of Research and Innovation (IRI), at the Pompidou Centre. Néill’s ongoing artistic research revolves around digital scenography and especially investigates the impact of technology on artistic processes. He pays special attention to the topics of human–computer interaction, prosthesis and symbiosis with a view to emphasising why these are important and useful in broader sociopolitical contexts.

Title Computational Scenography: Automation, annotation and algorithms in creative arts practice

Abstract This project will harness the expanded understanding of scenography, which is becoming an increasingly important field of discourse and analytical concept, for examining the fertile, interdisciplinary, digital-cultural domain overlapping computer science and the creative arts. The historical period under question consists of the last 30 years (1989 – 2019), since Tim Berners Lee first initiated the global cultural phenomenon of the Internet. The inception of the internet is understood as a techno-innovation that has profoundly and fundamentally altered, or ruptured, contemporary socioculture, economics and politics.

Of particular pertinence to this project are the new tools of creative cultural expression that have emerged following the ‘shock of the digital’. The objects under examination in this research can be divided into two genera: on the one hand, there are digital technological inventions and, on the other hand, there are the cultural artefacts, which are the documents resulting from the permeation of these tools into the hands of new generations of digital arts practitioners. In terms of the first category, the objects that will be examined are the computer scientific inventions of: computer-vision, motion-tracking, robotics, computer-game controller and sensor techniques, real-time data analysis/processing, digital audio-visualisation techniques, perception interference techniques such as virtual reality, digital scenography, augmented reality, stereoscopics, soundscape design and so on. In terms of the cultural artefacts that will be analysed, this projects takes a cross-section of a particular type of digitally enabled cultural symbols: computationally generated scenographies; or, to be more accurate again, interactive or responsive scenographies that are built and engaged for the augmentation of the performing arts.

This project aims to, on one hand provide a historical document of contemporary digital cultural activities, and on the other, establish an interdisciplinary art-science research group that will substantially contribute to the field through publications and practice-based outputs.

Date Commenced
1 October 2017

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