Extending from low frequency radio communication at one end of the electromagnetic spectrum, to gamma radiation at the other, electromagnetic waves are able to produce heat (microwaves), long-distance communication (radio waves) and night-time visibility (Infrared/IR) in ways that were once only believed to be possible through magic or the supernatural. But they can also be dangerous and even deadly if we consider the recent nuclear crisis in Fukushima for example (gamma radiation).
For some however, these invisible waves are more than just a practical tool but are mysterious forces that may have a spiritual source or divine providence. ‘dowsers’ (aka. water diviners) for example, often refer to an electromagnetic force that exists within rocks, minerals, bodies and plants that allows them to access a spiritual or magical realm. Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR) that may offer us a glimpse of the birth of the Universe has also been argued by some to be a form of divine presence.
Ley Lines through Megalithic and Neolithic sites such as those along Cork’s Beara Mountains which are lined with standing stones, megaliths, holywells, barrows and mounds and other ancient sites have also been claimed to be carriers of Electromagnetic waves. Cork then, as an area potentially rich with the Electromagnetic, is an ideal location for us to pursue a residency that explores the relationships between artistic practice and the material of Electromagnetic waves. Using the area of Cork as a test-bed and field of research we intend to ask questions such as: How can this invisible yet pragmatic and sometimes dangerous force be explored in art practice? Can it be employed to take us to alternate visual or and non-visual realms?
The residency program will begin with 10 days of curatorial investigation by Honda and Harrington into the Cork area, its cultures and relevant sites and materials. The gathered information, documents, objects and artefacts will be presented at the project space as a growing archive or “mind map” of the research process. This will then be followed by a 10-day artists-in-residency projects. Each residency will start with a curators and artist’s talk and discussion group at the project space and conclude with the artist’s presentation of their work (or work-in-progress).