Artists, writers and composers from Ireland and Europe have joined expeditions on the Marine Institute's research vessel RV Celtic Explorer as part of Aerial/Sparks, an interdisciplinary art project which explores radio connectivity and its relationship to the unknown.
Aerial/Sparks has been created by artist Louise Manifold for Galway's European Capital of Culture programme in 2020. The four-year project explores the ocean wilderness, marine science and radio as a communications and navigation tool.
Artists from Ireland and Europe have been invited to develop new work from the experience of spending time at sea on research surveys on board the RV Celtic Explorer. In 2020 Aerial/Sparks will present a series of acoustic projects that survey the human relationship to the ocean.
Louise Manifold has been working on this project with the Marine Institute since 2016. The Aerial/Sparks art project has received significant national attention, becoming one of the foremost projects in the European Capital of Culture programme in Galway 2020.
Aerial/Sparks has involved the artists listed below, on the following research surveys on board the RV Celtic Explorer:
Date: 19 - 26 April 2017
Artist: Louise Manifold, Irish visual artist and curator of Aerial/Sparks
Survey: Led by Margot Cronin, Marine Institute, the RV Celtic Explorer crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Galway to Newfoundland, Canada.
Date: 28 July - 10 August 2018
Artist: Carol-Anne Connolly, Irish visual artist
Survey: Led by Dr Aaron Lim, University College Cork, the two-week survey researched the Control of Cold Water Coral Habitats in submarine canyons in the Mid-Atlantic.
Date: 17 September - 7 October 2018
Artist: David Stalling, German sound artist and composer
Survey: Led by Dr Sergei Lebedev, Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies (DIAS). The team of scientist deployed ocean-bottom seismic and acoustic-sensors in the North Atlantic Ocean as part of the SEA-SEIS-D project (Structure, Evolution and Seismicity of the Irish Offshore).
Date: 28 April – 12 May 2019
Artist: Robertina Šebjanič, Slovenian artist
Survey: Led by Dr Christopher McGonigle, Ulster University, the 15-day research voyage in the shelf seas around the north coast of Ireland was part of the Backscatter and Biodiversity on Shelf Sea Habitats (BaBioSSH) Survey.
Date: 25 – 31 July 2019
Artist: Irish artists Gareth Kennedy and Sarah Browne, collectively known as KennedyBrowne
Survey: Led by Dr Aaron Lim, University College Cork this survey will recover landers deployed on a survey which took place earlier in 2019. These monitoring systems look at sedimentation rates and current speeds at several sites along the Porcupine Bank Canyon.
Date: 1 - 21 August 2019
Arist: Ailis Ní Ríain, Irish contemporary composer and published writer
Survey: Led by David O'Sullivan of the INFOMAR Programme, the SeaRover 3 ROv Survey will investigate the extent and distribution of coral reef habitats in offshore Ireland.
Date: 22 – 25 August 2019
Artist: Magz Hall, UK sound and radio artist and producer
Survey: Magz Hall will join the passage from Galway to Hamburg on the RV Celtic Explorer.
Aerial/Sparks is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland Project Awards, Galway 2020 and the Marine Institute.
For more information on Aerial/Sparks visit the Galway2020 website