My Research Project Presentation
Creating an Interactive Digital Platform to provide a single place for all Irish Public Art to be explored online. It will aim to create connections and link to existing websites and archives, it will give narrative to existing Artworks and create a one-stop place for visitors to explore Irish Public Art online. The project will look to explore the creation of mobile aspects such as geo location functionality and gaming. This will provide for a more user interactive platform.
I have broken down this project idea into the following headings and I hope it will give clarity to the overall project goals:
Why? What? Where? Who? How?
I will begin at the Why?: The whole reason behind why I wish to look at this project and why a digital solution maybe required.
My background lies in Fine Art and Art Education, and I am also a huge fan of Irish Art, Culture and Heritage. I like to explore our country and visit all the wonders it holds. I find it hugely frustrating that we have a vast amount of Irish Public Art on our doorstep, yet the Irish Public know very little about it, it’s relevance to their locality or its historical relevance. There are some tourism websites and heritage that provide information online for the more known sites and pieces, however those that do not create financial incomes through tourism revenue are not given the same importance. I want to level the playing field and give credit and a voice to all Irish public Art. All Public At is created equally and so it should be granted the same credence online.
I presently am blessed to work as a secondary School Art Teacher here in Cork, I work in a disadvantaged school which has not access to funding for school tours or visiting Irish Art sites. It would be hugely beneficial to my teaching if I had a virtual place that I could ‘bring’ my students on a journey of exploration. A place rich in history, heritage and culture, where they could virtually explore the work without having to gain financial aid to do so. My project would look at creating a ‘walk around’ 3d ability for each piece of art in situ. The student/online-visitor would be able to interact with the piece from the comfort of their home/school.
The third part of my ‘Why?’ is accessibility, Much of the newer pieces of Irish Public Art as come as a result of new Roads being created and the ‘Percent’ Art funding project providing funding for Artists to work to create Art relevant to the road’s heritage, history and location. Due to the nature of the location of these artworks, access to closely look at the work is prohibited.
A huge number of these roads are motorways. It is illegal to stop on any of these roads for any reason, let alone to get out and take photos of the artworks situated there.
The creation of an all-encompassing database with interactive abilities will aim to fix that issue. It will also provide a vehicle for the road-user to get information and be educated on that blur they passed on the M50 at 120km per hour.
So the ‘What?’, as discussed above, the what will be a one stop platform with interactive map for all existing and future public artworks based on location. While it would be easy to take existing images and content rather than recreating the wheel, I feel that a personal investigation of the artworks would provide for a far stronger resource. I hope to delve into the archives and include work completed by Phd students, give life to their work which may presently be stored in a private inaccessible system.
The map will also include the narrative for each piece, information about the location itself: town and community information, native animals and flora etc. The platform will link with existing websites (OPW, Tourism and Heritage sites etc.). I woul
hope to link with the various county councils and communities too to create an Art specific “Whats on?’ and have this available to all platform visitors planning to visit areas in person.The second part of my ‘What?’ looks at the interactive side to the digital platform. I would like to photograph each existing artwork using a panoramic or 3D camera and create a system whereby the viewer can interact with the piece using their mobile device or mouse
An interactive game where the passenger ‘collects’ artworks on their device in the game would also look to drive up the interest and engagement levels of those using the road and possibly those wishing to visit the country.
So the ‘Where?’ really speaks for itself: It will aim to cover all of the country, looking at the roadside art, public art and heritage sites. I would love to expand the project later to include temporary art such as graffiti, for posterity purposes, as well as art movements, art exhibitions etc.
The ‘Who?’ is simple: Everyone. This is not aimed solely at tourists and the incomes that they bring; this is aimed at all those living in Ireland. We have a vast amount of heritage, culture and art available to us, and yet we do not have the tools to dive in and explore. The concept of ‘if you build it, they will come’ is strong with this project. But it is more of the concept of ‘if you build it, they will be informed’ that is it’s foundation. The entire project looks at posterity as a whole for future generations. The project aims to include historical Irish art in the public arena with a focus on those artworks, which are slowly being lost to the environment. Irish High crosses and stone crosses need to be documented where possible as they will be lost overtime to the elements. So the ‘Who?’ not only focuses on the present visitors, but also on those future generations.
The ‘How?’ is probably the most difficult part. I have such great hopes and ideas, yet I have limited ability when it comes to building and using digital tools. This project will see my knowledge of tools grow and I aim to expand my ski
llset alongside it. While the project will form part of my MA, I do hope that all the individual elements of the project are realized and implemented. The ‘how’ will also have a strong focus on building relationships with the many stakeholders I plan to work with. These will include public bodies and heritage sites, county councils and possibly the roads authorities. I will need to gain permissions to engage with all of these departments, but also gain permissions for the onsite photography and video footage that I hope to shoot. The imagery I hope to capture will be in 3D format, virtual tour or 360-degree panoramic images. I hope to use some of the tools available from the college and gain knowledge in their usage also.
As discussed in the ‘Why’, most of the Roadside art is inaccessible and I will need permissions and possible access to work with those structures. This will give me insight into the structure’s placements and environments. This may be a challenge in itself.
While I still do not have a research question formed, I hope to investigate why the platform which I hope to create does not already exist, who else is working in this area and possibly look at some way to collaborate and combine our projects. I intend to look at the articles written around public art and its relationship with the locality. I also want to investigate how public art impacts the public and the reasons why it exists. I feel further investigation into these areas will direct me to form my research question.
I endeavor to link my project with my fellow classmates projects. There are so many common themes, which I hope will drive audiences from all areas through the network that we create together. I think this local network has so much room to grow and expand.