Dublin Ships

Artist Name(s) Cliona Harmey
Artwork title Dublin Ships
Context/Background Dublin Ships was a temporary artwork commissioned by Dublin City Council as part of the Dublin City Public Art Programme – Strand 2 – Interaction with the City, under the Per Cent for Art Scheme with funding from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and in partnership with Dublin Port Company and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.

The artwork Dublin Ships was generated via a live electronic marine information system using AIS (Automatic Identification System). AIS tracks the locations of ships. The names of the most recently arrived and departed ships from Dublin Port were output to two large LED screens sited at the Scherzer Bridges at North Wall Quay beside the Samuel Beckett Bridge. 

The artwork was aimed at a broad audience and was designed to be seen by commuters and pedestrians over an extended period during its run from February 2015 to December 2015.

The artwork Dublin ships was concerned with the meanings and poetic qualities of ship names. The ship names included allusions to maritime trade, cargoes, historical figures and distant places. The juxtaposition of the two ship names generated a form of poetic writing. The work also attempted to interrupt the speed of instantaneous data and return it to the speed of movement of real entities in space. 

  • Cliona Harmey, Artist, 
  • Ruairi O Cuiv –Curator  and Public Art Manager, 
  • Ruadhan O Donoghue –programming, 
  • Signage design and installation Przemek Gorzelanczyk, 
  • Marinetraffic –access to data and API, 
  • Francis Halsall –commissioned essay, 
  • Niamh O Doherty -promotion & support, 
  • Liz Coman – Asst. Arts Officer & Visual Arts Education, Engagement Programme,
  • Katy Fitzpatrick, art educator,
  • Dr Aislinn O’Donnell, philosopher,
  • Martina Galvin, visual artist.  

Ruairí Ó Cuív is an independent curator and arts consultant who is working as Public Art Manager for Dublin City Council.

Cliona Harmey has been active as an artist since the mid ‘90s. She studied Fine Art Sculpture at the National College of Art & Design, did a one-year residency at Arthouse Multimedia Centre in 1999, a HDip in Computer Science at UCD and has an MA in Visual Art Practices from IADT. She works at the Fine Art Media Department at NCAD. Her current work often combines sculpture with live data from transport or communication infrastructure.

Ruadhán O'Donoghue is a web and mobile developer and consultant, based in Berlin and Dublin. He graduated from UCD Computer Science in 1998, and is currently editor and contributor of mobiForge, a developer site focussing on mobile web technologies.

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Dublin City Council
Commissioning process Open submission competition
Project commission dates February 1, 2015 - December 9, 2015
Partners Dublin Port Company and Dublin Docklands Development Authority 
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Dublin City Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 70000 - 150000 euro
Project commission start date 01/02/2015
Project commission end date 09/12/2015
Location Scherzer Bridge, North Wall Quay
County Dublin
Content contributor(s) Sally O'Leary - Editor, Cliona Harmey - Artist, Ruairi O Cuiv –Curator and Public Art Manager
Public engagement

The project was featured in art press and in a number of popular press articles. Lyric Fm broadcast a Culture File audio feature

(https://soundcloud.com/soundsdoable/dublin-ships) and the Irish Times featured it on their video channel (http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/art-and-design/the-shipping-news-dublin-is-reacquainted-with-its-docks-1.2098126). 

The project had a website (http://www.dublinships.ie) with commissioned essays by Francis Halsall and Eamonn O’Reilly CEO of Dublin Port. (See essay by Francis Halsall here) It also included an automated twitter feed https://twitter.com/dubships and a schools engagement programme: http://www.dublinships.ie/about/engagement



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