O'Machine O'Machine

Artist Name(s) Brian Duggan
Artwork title O'Machine O'Machine
Context/Background In 2006 Fingal County Council Arts office advertised nationally and internationally for artists to submit their interest in becoming part of a Public Art Panel for Fingal. Using funding from the Department of Environment Heritage and Local Governments Per Cent for Art Scheme, the council was in a position to commission new work which would represent Fingal’s rich heritage, landscape, society and culture. Artist, Brian Duggan was selected as part of this panel, and has developed the project O’Machine, O’Machine which not only includes Fingal’s landscape, but some the county’s finest new writers. 


O'Machine O'Machine, is the resolution of a Per Cent for Art commission for Fingal County Council. 

The project comprised of O'Machine O'Machine Part One: Three thousand and nine. Publication of new writing and O'Machine O'Machine Part two: The Measure. Digital Film, Film running time 19:06, Widescreen 16:9. French with English subtitles.

O'Machine O'Machine Part One: Three thousand and nine. Publication of new writing.

This 96 page pocket size book is a revisualisation of the future in the year three thousand and nine. It contains new commissioned fiction by the artist and three new writers, Daniel Boland, Niamh MacAlister, and Pauline O'Hare. These stories were selected from an open call and selected by the artist, the arts office and John Banville. The book also contains an afterword by Francis McKee curator and director of the CAA Glasgow which accounts a short contemporary history of the origins of science fiction in Ireland. 

O'Machine O'Machine Part Two: The Measure. Digital Film, Film running time 19:06, Widescreen 16:9. French with English subtitles.

For this film, Duggan has mapped a curious journey through Fingal citing E.M. Forster`s 1909 short novella The Machine Stops as a guiding text to develop a way of re-looking and re-thinking the landscape and the physical changes that have occurred in the county. Forster’s story of the future is prophetic of the many realities in which we now live.The Fingal landscape is used as a staged location and as a place for exploring, in which two protagonists create a non linear narrative trip on foot through the county. The film takes in a 44km topographical section of Fingal, starting on one end on Colt Island, Skerries and the other at the Huntstown quarry. Parts of these unfamiliar territories recall the journey by Thomas Jerome Newton in The Man Who Fell to Earth by Nicholas Roeg [1976], however the specific recognisable signs from Fingal ground the story in tangible fixed points but without fixing the time. 

Beware of first-hand ideas!' exclaimed one of the most advanced of them. 'First-hand ideas do not really exist...Let your ideas be second-hand, and if possible tenth-hand, for then they will be far removed from that disturbing element - direct observation...And in time' - his voice rose - 'there will come a generation that had got beyond facts, beyond impressions, seraphically free, From taint of personality, 
 The machine stops. 
1909 E.M Forster 
 The Oxford and Cambridge Review (November 1909) 


The launch of O’Machine, O’MachineThe Measure and Three Thousand and Nine will took place on the site of Sillogue Water tower, on Thursday 5 May 2011. Additional free daily screenings of The Measure will took place at Draiocht, Blanchardstown, Monday 9 – 13 May 2011. 

O'Machine O'Machine Part One: Three thousand and nine was published by Fingal Arts office and can be obtained through 
 Fingal Arts Office
 IMMA bookshop?
 Project bookshop?
 Hugh Lane Gallery bookshop ?
 Pallas Projects
 or you can buy and ship direct from Blurb


Brian Duggan lives and works in Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions include O'Machine, O' Machine, a public art commission for Fingal County Council (2011); The Golden Bough, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin (2009); G126, Galway (2008); Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, France (2007). Group exhibitions: Supernormal Braziers UK (2011); Tulca, Galway (2010); SUB:URBAN Rotterdam, (2009); IMMA (2007/8); K3, Zürich (2006). His work is included in the collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. From 1996 to 2009, Duggan was the co-founder/director of Pallas Studios, Heights and Projects. Upcoming exhibitions include Dublin Contemporary, the Hugh Lane, RuaRed, Unit H Bangkok, Crawford Gallery Cork and CCA Glasgow.

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Caroline Cowley for Fingal County Council
Commissioning process Limited competition
Artform Visual Arts,Literature
Funded By Fingal County Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 10000 - 30000 euro
County Dublin
Website www.brianduggan.net/omachine.html
Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Caroline Cowley, Public Art Co-ordinator, Fingal Arts Office, Fingal County Council

Ciaran Greenan Location Manager Huntstown Quarry and Roadstone Wood Ltd. 

Dublin City Council Water division: Ralph Meredith, Colm Cannon, Dave Gray, 

Skerries Frosties: Kevin O`Sulivan, Pat Brown and George McMeel. 

Ciaran Duggan Technical locations manager, Actor & stuntman.

Narration in Film: John Lalor

Writers Daniel Boland, Pauline O’Hare, Niamh MacAlister, Francis McKee, John Banville. Jenny Haughton



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