CMEA Symposium

A chance for CMEA researchers to catch up and present ongoing work. This event is invitation only.

The Creative Media team at IT Tallaght have inititated a new postgraduate research centre in the Institute: the Centre for Media and Electronic Arts, in collaboration with the School of Engineering in IT Tallaght. The research outcomes envisaged include possible modes of quantifying the value of collaborative work, and schema for future strategies in collaborative research and practice.  A key focus is on developing alternative models of politically and socially engaged creative practice in a newly formed Technological University, through partnerships locally (in Tallaght), regionally, nationally and internationally.

CMEA investigates the impact of emerging technologies such as wearable technologies, 3D printing, AI, augmented, virtual and mixed reality, robotics, single board computers and electronic sensors on key areas of education, industry and civic engagement. Combined with a culture of sharing, and models of collaborative creative practice the aim is to break down disciplinary barriers. A Future Makers Collective has been established in tandem with this research centre, to develop and enhance current collaboration with colleagues in the Department of Electronic Engineering, DLIADT, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Lancaster, University of the Arts, London, RUA RED Arts Centre, Riverbank Arts Centre and many others.

Through its membership, the Media and Electronic Arts Research Centre is linked in to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland/Media Literacy Network which is involved in planning a national campaign in Digital Citizenship.  The latter’s membership is drawn from across education and the cultural and creative industries including Creative Ireland, the Department of Communications, the Department of Education, traditional media organisations, social media platforms, NGO’s and regulatory bodies such as the ASAI.

Personnel (PI): 

  • Sinead McDonald, Lecturer Creative Media
  • Jean O’Halloran, Lecturer Creative Media 
  • Deirdre Kennedy, Lecturer Creative Media
  • James Wright, Head of Dept, Electronic Engineering

Postgraduate Students – MA (Research)

  • Sean Campbell, A modular approach to the creative process and content generation from digital interactive art within fine art practice.
  • Siobhan Conway, The impact of immersive technologies on the educational outcomes of young adults with dyslexia.
  • Louise Nolan, Investigation of integration of electronic data in digital media for the purpose of personalising creative experiences.
  • Roisin NicCana, Virtual Realities in the Museum Space

Collaborations: (National and international)

Digital Makers Collective (UK); RUA RED, South Dublin Arts Centre; South Dublin County Council; EUCIDA; Tate Exchange, London; Hack Circus (UK); Broadcasting Authority of Ireland; Andre Molodkin/Apolitical (France/UK); Mona Gamil/Irish Embassy in Cairo (Egypt)

If you would like to attend, or would like more information on CMEA or MMDA Taught Masters schedule, please email sinead.mcdonald@it-tallaght.ie or deirdre.kennedy@it-tallaght.ie.

Data is the New Oil

To what extent do ordinary citizens grasp the true implications of data collection in their everyday lives? Stories of how data is being used to influence politics and target citizens, based on their psychological makeup, are now a regular occurrence; vested interests playing on our deepest fears and manipulating our prejudices.

In 2017 Rua Red Arts Centre launched a new socio-political programme which puts People, Place and Politics at the core of everything they deliver. As part of this ethos students from the Future Makers Collective were given a brief by renowned Russian artist Andrei Molodkin to research systems that control our lives. This body of research was created alongside his exhibition ‘Fallout Pattern’ and was informed by the current climate of data leaks, political propaganda and collusion.

This week long event and exhibition – Data is the New Oil – marked the culmination of this phase of the students’ research path, and included a process talk that explored emerging themes.

Fallout Pattern

As part of the Future Makers Collective, 4th year Multimedia Creative Digital Media students worked on a collaborative project with Andrei Molodkin, 10 February – 6 April 2018 at Rua Red Arts Centre, Tallaght

As part of a major new show Fallout Pattern in Rua Red Arts Centre, renowned Russian artist Andrei Molodkin invited 4th year CDM students to collaborate with him in the work. For the duration of the show the students and founder members of FMC engaged in research and making in an open studio environment in Gallery Two, refining and passing their own pieces into the main space of Gallery One through the course of the exhibition’s run.

“In working with the students from the Institute of Technology, Tallaght (ITT), we are evolving a new language through their process of research and production. This language will then exist in a social place and will have the power to affect social change. I’m interested in creating a political language that exists in a social space rather than something for aesthetic pleasure”

Andrei Molodkin, 2018

More info on Fallout Pattern here

Arts Work of the Future

Arts Work of the Future
Tate Exchange Tate Modern
06/03/18-08/03/18

On 6th March 2018 student members of Future Makers Collective (FMC) travelled to the Tate Exchange at Tate Modern London to present, research, collaborate and make new work with the Digital Maker Collective – a group of students from University of the Arts London – and interact with over 4,000 visiting members of the public at a major UAL/Tate Modern event Arts Work of the Future.

The students had been exploring information systems and digital practice, working with Andrei Molodkin at Rua Red Gallery to research hidden documents, producing digital work around themes such as data mining and pseudo-voluntary metadata collection, church/state entanglement and women’s health issues. The work they undertook in Tate Modern was an expansion of this to an international collaboration and audience.


“I was approached by a Russian group who were attempting to digitise human beings by making our human forms into holograms and turning our mind into A.I. Their A.I. learned based on libraries of text that could be imported as YML files. We had the idea to give the A.I. a large text file that contained all our lonely tweets to see if the bot would essentially get depressed. This fit nicely with their goal for the day of feeding the bot Wittgenstein to see if it would start professing about the limits of language. I thought this was a great idea… the thought of making a sadbot, powered by the stray thoughts of thousands of lonely people on twitter.” 

TFFuture Makers Report June 2018

Students also worked with the TF twitter-bot text library and UAL students to create a loneliness-themed VR room in Unity – a virtual reality design engine. Similarly, FMC members E K and M K were introduced to concepts in augmented reality by working with UAL MFA students showcasing work in Microsoft Hololens examining the refugee crisis. This was a medium they had never experienced before, and opened up new possibilities of modes of practice:

“I had the opportunity to experience using a mixed reality headset which I had never done before and I was able to use the software to scan T’s head and shoulders and create a 3D obj. file of him. When I was speaking to the man who owned this mixed reality headset he spoke of using it as an artist to create virtual sculptures which he placed in a gallery setting alongside a physical piece of work. I discussed with him the possibilities of 3D printing sculptural pieces rather than physically sculpting with clay and how this can help an artist who might have ideas and concepts involving sculpture but without the necessary skills to create a piece by hand. For instance, there was something in my personal projects that I wanted to do involving making body casts, being able to 3D print a body, this could then be used to create a positive mould. And while this can be done by hand with plaster and so on there is perhaps more room for error and requires some skill and space to complete, that I may not have. Talking about using mixed or virtual reality to create a gallery environment also made me think about how it can be used to combat issues surrounding physical space. These were all things I had never thought about before, so I enjoyed the process of being opened-up to new ways of thinking.”

E K, Future Makers Report June 2018

FMC members also engaged with other new technologies such as conductive paint and single board computers, and their possible roles in future creative practice:

“The UAL event offered some exciting ideas that could be introduced to our work such as conductive paint that allowed for interaction with objects. One group was using apples to play audio and in discussion with them we discovered that this is possible by conductive paint, which we ourselves hope to implement into our piece allowing for the strings to tell a story or become interactive adding another layer to our piece. We were also discussing about audio in our piece and I found a group who were visualising the audio plastic made when the microphone was pressed against it, but we could use a similar technique to them and visualise the audio of such a journey allowing for a further representation and spanning that of both senses in our piece; sight and sound. It was a great experience to have been given the opportunity to take part in allowing for further development of our work and inspiring us in other ways and mediums to work in that we can now implement into our pieces.” 

M C, Future Makers Report June 2018

As well as collaborating with UAL students and tech/art collectives from around Europe, FMC members worked on several projects of their own, including a receipt-printer sculpture that printed live tweets on women’s rights all through International Women’s Day, data visualisations in Processing using flock movements of migrating birds, and a sound art piece based on the geolocation of major churches in every county in Ireland. All 6 FMC members collaborated on a preliminary iteration of a site specific piece entitled Journeys of the 8th. Arts Work of the Future coincided with International Women’s Day and the announcement of a referendum in Ireland on repeal of the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution, something FMC members had been actively canvassing for at home.