A graphic of the Anglo building in Dublin, famous for being a disasterous construction project

Catherine’s Journey – What you see and what you get

In the late 18th Century, Russian ruler Catherine the Great chose to visit the villages of her country to see how the peasants were living. Her first minister, Potemkin, arranged to have façades of fake villages filled with actors constructed along Catherine’s route that showed a scenic, peaceful and prosperous country. Actors played the parts…

Text > Image > Text – Reading photographs and words

A picture tells a thousand words. But there are cases where a dozen words can redefine a picture. In his 1977 publication Image Music Text critic Roland Barthes observed how text can often become parasitical upon images. This happens both in spaces like galleries and exhibitions, where wall-mounted captions can supersede what the eye observes…

Inter Active – Zombies in the machine

inter |inˈtər| verb ( -terred , -terring ) [ trans. ] (usu. be interred) place (a corpse) in a grave or tomb, typically with funeral rites + active |ˈaktiv| adjective (of a person) engaging or ready to engage in physically energetic pursuits (The above definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary) A touch of housekeeping…

Nothing Gets In Or Out – The fascinating nature of life on islands

Each year coyotes, somehow, make their way through the sprawling mass of the five burroughs and find their way into Central Park on the island of Manhattan. Island or not, dangerous or not, life seems to find a way to squeeze through the gaps to insulated sanctuaries even in the most unpredictable circumstances. Islands have…

Riding the Plastic Fantastic – The artificial divide

Carrowkeel (stone circles, centre) is an ancient artificial structure that causes little disruption to the natural landscape surrounding it. What is the difference between artificial and naturally occurring? The simple definition is that artificial objects are made by humans, naturally occurring objects are in nature already (i.e. not man-made). The idea of artificial is often…