A large part of my practice is research. I regularly speak publicly about my process, and about the
projects and areas that I have worked in. I also have published articles about my research in print and
awarded first prize for 3MA award, 2013, awarded by the Dean of Graduate Studies for presentation of an article published in the Journal of Postgraduate Research
Interview with journalist Robbie Brennan exploring work while on residency with Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton, Ireland
Because time and geology went into the creation of microchips. These aren’t disconnected things. I don’t see nature as one thing and technology another.
The Sligo Champion, quoted by Robbie Brennan, Getting Visual Art 2021
Invited monologue about working with the Kielderhead Wildwood Project and exploring more-than-human relationships with trees and fungi.
The relationships aren't simple, and human language is not well equipped to describe them. So I am gradually trying to strip away language and focus instead on visual and interactivity.
Curatorspace, edited by Louise Atkinson, The Wood Wide Web 2021
Publication of interview about ongoing research project
Shane, who grew up in rural Ireland, trained as a painter but went on to study computer science. He talks as passionately about technology as about trees and fungi and refuses to distinguish between natural and non-natural.
David Whetstone, Exploring the Wood Wide Web Interview 2021
Publication of work in exhibition catalogue for 'Over Nature'
Read the preview Online
In Shane Finan's oevre the dialogue between art and nature, and what is means in a social context can be seen. His art encourages conversation, interaction or engagement to go over the physical or invisible border: both the borders of a country and its population, and the perceived "do not touch" borders of artworks.
Valeria Ceregini, on Shane Finan, Over Nature Catalogue 2019
Interview for online magazine
I tend to focus on transient ephemeral things that disappear over time – things that change the relationship between people and place.
Technology is one of those things that is constantly shifts and is constantly in flux.
Shane Finan, interview with Barry McHugh, 2017
Critical write-up on project 'ADA'.
We are more connected than ever, but the quality of our online relations remains in question.
Art, which generally requires your physical presence, might be the apotheosis of connection.
Perhaps that is why austerity governments value it so little. That makes archipelagoes a timely and potent image:
a cluster of discrete entities joined up more closely than it seems at first.
Mark Sheerin, criticismism, 2015
Designed, edited and authored Púca in the Machine, a project booklet documenting the work for an exhibition at Blessington Library of the same name.
In the 1930s in west Wicklow, Ireland, the rivers in the area of Poulaphuca were dammed and the valley flooded to create a new hydroelectric power station...Unrecorded voices from beneath the reservoir include nonhuman presences in the valley. In undertaking such a massive engineering project, homes of many critters were inevitably destroyed without compensation. Rodents, birds, insects and fungi were among those evicted or drowned.
statement excerpt, 2022
A chapter, titled The Power of Inconspicuous Things appears alongside a documentation of work in the new publication by Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC), ENTWINED. The publication includes work from the six resident artists with ENTWINED and is also a celebration of the 21st Anniversary of VARC.
In May 2021, four human bodies and twenty young silver birch saplings moved on a hillside near the border between England and Scotland. Each tree was barely a branch, roughly the length of a human forearm, the leaves young and bright green, the roots living in a small plug of soil.
chapter excerpt, 2021
An article about using free and open source software for artists, piublished in the national news sheet.
Artists … are known for challenging hegemonies, exploring environmental issues, … or voicing ethical concerns within their work. So, there is an unfortunate contradiction in using ethically, environmentally or socially unsound tools.
post citation, 2021
Blog post that about the aesthetic and use of gates, and their relevance.
[A gate] can rust and degrade, and become buried in gorse. It can be opened and passed through. It can be locked. It can be climbed over, with one leg dangling on either side, placing the climber halfway between two possible worlds.
Blog post that covers the dichotomy I have witnessed in farmers, and how they must navigate the care and callousness needed to live with livestock.
Animals have individual personality; they have behaviours and motivations that we can’t always understand; they are sentient, thoughtful and caring. Farmers have always known this, and see it constantly.
Blog post about being-with and learning-from sheep while working on the FIELD project, and how they have taught me to see vulnerability.
What eyes do we use to do our looking? We all have preconceptions and assumptions. I went into fields seeking ideas about farmers and disease, and I found vulnerability.
Book chapter as academic essay exploring the complexity of art and interconnection
More information at publisher's website
With all of our technologies to communicate and demarcate, we try to distance ourselves from these species, these places, these 'others' that we see as unlike ourselves. And yet, time and again, we fail in this distancing.
chapter citation, 2020
Article about networks, technology, grief and place-making, and how these seemingly disparate things are interconnected.
To build a network is to build a future. The idea of grievability, of grief in the future tense, requires enough imagination to see beyond today and to create a place that has value enough to be grieved.
post citation, 2020
A series of research articles about networks. The articles cover networks of communication between forest organisms, humans, and the structures of networks that are formed physically and digitally. This is part of a residency with Visual Arts in Rural Communities on the programme ENTWINED. Rural. Land. Lives. Art., collaborating with Kielderhead Wildwood Project, Northumberland Wildlife Trust.
Read Post #1: The Wood Wide Web (March 2020)
Read Post #2: Pandemic and Communication (April 2020)
Read Post #3: Staying Together Apart (April 2020)
Read Post #4: Monoculture Monoliths (June 2020)
Read Post #5: Independent Interdependence (September 2020)
Read Post #6: Repairing The Chain (March 2021)
I am dividing networks into two types: mutualistic and parasitic. In the former, the nodes of the network act together to help one another to grow and flourish. In the latter, a node or nodes in the network thrive off the other nodes without returning anything symbiotically.
The examples of mutualistic networks range from forests to technology to human communities. In the forest, the “wood wide web” is the network of fungi and trees that work together to help one another survive in forests. In technology, social networks, particularly those online sources and openness of communication between research communities, are a key example. In communities, the public sphere is the network: The bringing together of people to share ideas and values.
post citations, 2020
Blog post about communication and the importance of soil, published by Newcastle University Centre for Rural Economy.
The idea of place is tied to the structure of soil – the demarcation of one place from another not by borders but by identity is how people perceive ‘place’.
Blog post about research on networks and trees and how they link to art and value.
Every tree is better alive than dead…and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.
Henry David Thoreau Walden, 2020
Blog post about complexity, and how we understand or untangle it.
Any dynamic idea is complex, and art is great at untangling complex ideas.
Blog post about research on art, networks and infrastructures, published by Newcastle University Centre for Rural Economy.
The end result is a removal of responsibility, a separation between the “dirt” and the “clean”. This is important in any philosophy that suggests a closer connection to nature. This connection between rural and urban has been intentionally eroded in a dream of a pristine city reality. Although an illusion, the dream is, as Kant may have described it, a “Regulative Ideal”. It is an unattainable goal, but one that nonetheless guides the philosophy of the expansion of cities.
Chapter contribution and editing credits for book about GDPR and the legal use of social computing.
technological developments in all areas of human endeavour involve a reconsideration of established ethical norms and an assessment on their impact on societal values and power relations.
chapter citation, p.23, 2018
Article documenting research used for the artwork faigh ar ais as an fharraige (2018).
No language, whether technological, social, linguistic or artistic, appears without some baggage from a historical school of thought, and this is the reason for using painting as part of a visual metaphor in an interactive digital installation.
article quote, 2018
Contributing author to article on political and social effects of news on economics.
Our research shows that policy makers, researchers and politicians should pay heed to the 24-hour news cycles made even more noisy with Twitter
article conclusions, 2018
Article documenting research used for the artwork Mugwort, Wormwood, and how little we know about the end of the world (2016).
Creating mental maps of areas, sights, sounds and smells are all integral to this development of a sense of place. Leaving one place and entering another can also been seen as an experience; boundaries dictate the allowed behaviours inside one place or another.
article quote, 2016
Academic article on trust in communication using social media.
The potential for developing confidence in authorities through the two-way reciprocal communication of social media provides an avenue for trust-building that arguably was not provided by previous authority/public communication media.
article conclusions, 2015
Academic article on artist-led spaces.
Community co-creation of a transient place like Granby Park allows for the development of a cultural place identity that is temporary, but continues to function as part of the space’s place-memory.
Academic article on the use of public spaces in an age of digital media.
networked publics are broadening the horizons for discourse by offering new audiences for engagement, debate and collaboration, and as a result they are changing the role of particular architectural places.
article conclusions, 2013
Thesis about pervasive digital media and its effects on culture
It is possible to create a sense of place through a combination of devices and physical realities that, together, can reshape and redetermine the world that we live in and move through.
thesis conclusions, 2013
Article about artist-led spaces in Sligo, Ireland
...the post-recession landscape altered the Sligo art scene significantly
article quote, 2012
Established in 2011, Moon Under Water is a blog that analyses the overlap
between art, design and technology. Each post leads on from the last,
working like a conversation that constantly moves forward onto another
The blog was shortlisted for the Best Arts & Culture blog at the
Blog Awards Ireland 2012, and was also awarded Wordpress'
prodigious "Freshly Pressed" award for the 2012 blog post
"Once Upon A Click - Hypertext and New Ways of Reading".
An article was written about my writing by Wordpress's team -
Read online here.
Links give internet users agency over what they are reading. Rather than turning pages sequentially, users are allowed to explore freely at their own will and their own pace. So the experience of reading online is thus a vastly different experience to its analogue counterpart.
Quote from article, Once upon a Click
Two month residency and a solo exhibition making new work about the technological landscape and more-than-human entanglements.
Funded by Leitrim Sculpture Centre and supported by Wicklow Arts Office
Six-month residency investigating endemic disease in livestock, with collaboration from farmers (Northumberland, Scotland, Ireland), sheep, epidemiologists (University of Edinburgh), historians (University of Lincoln, Leeds Trinity University), social scientists (Newcastle University) and economists (University of Glasgow).
Funded by FIELD (Wellcome Trust)
One month residency based on the idea of networks, linking theories about the "Wood Wide Web" to the public sphere and digital networks. In collaboration with Kielderhead Wildwood Project, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, UK.
Project documentation (first post).
Funded by Visual Arts in Rural Communities through the programme ENTWINED. Rural. Land. Lives. Art. and The Arts Council of Ireland
Four-month residency creating digital art for exhibition at Digital Arts Studios.
Funded by Visual Artists Ireland as winner of the 2016 VAI @ DAS Studio Award
One-month residency creating ephemeral paintings at international residency in Vermont.
Funded by The Arts Council of Ireland through the Travel and Training Award
Three-month residency creating paintings and installations at the edge of the arctic circle in Skagastrond, Iceland
Funded by Sligo Arts Office
presenting to an audience of municipal authorities and emergency managers in San Dona di Piave, Italy, January 2018
A 25-minute conversation with Professor Lynne Boddy, Professor of Fungal Ecology at Cardiff University UK.
More information at this link
An hour-long talk and tour of the ENTWINED exhibition at Assembly House, Newcastle Arts Centre, exploring the one-month residency with Kielderhead Wildwood Project about entanglements between trees, fungi, people and technology. Talk on Saturday, 11th December.
Supported by Culture Ireland.
A five-minute invited artistic provocation about sheep, lameness, and being-with nonhuman colleagues presented at Newcastle University.
An invited talk online to students and the public with around 70 attendees, for the first in a season of talks organised by the MFA at the University of Lincoln.
The season of talks are available online
I was invited to present my artistic practice as a video artwork for the online conference #WeTheRural, run by Newcastle University. I spoke about my artistic practice and introduced one of my recent videos.
The conference and videos remain available online
The one-day conference Rediscovering Wildness included presentations by scientists, foresters, ecologists and artists about perceptions of wildness in contemporary media. My work was presented with a short introductory talk, followed by three videos as artworks that formed part of the conference proceedings.
The conference is available to view in full online
Coordinated by artist and community organiser Bernadette Hopkins, curator Valeria Ceregini and artists Beata Daly and Shane Finan collaborated on a discussion about art and the Anthropocene as part of the events for the Over Nature touring exhibition. The event took place at the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Donegal.
Artist talk speaking about the artist's work and involvement in the Over Nature touring exhibition.
Artist panel discussion as part of The Library Project's TSONDOKU series of talks, speaking about the Over Nature touring exhibition.
Delivered a talk on the artwork The Repeated Refrains of Nature following talks by museum curator Dr. Martyn Linnie and poet/physicist Iggy McGovern.
Documentation of artwork
Presented social media analysis software to teams at FEMA, and to regional offices in Colorado, USA.
Presented commercial research to municipal authorities and civil protection teams in San Dona di Piave, Northern Italy
Delivered talk about upcoming exhibition and artistic practice as part of a residency at Digital Arts Studios.
Resident artist link
Led workshop presentations by collaborators on Project Slándáil at the I4CM conference 2016. Presented a paper on communication.
View information online
Presented research on trust and community resilience at joint final conference of two major EU-funded projects.
Delivered a talk on artist-led spaces and the connection between these spaces at The Worker's Café
exhibition, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin.
Invited expert panelist on artist led spaces. The show's topic was "reclaiming disused spaces", focussing on
the artist-led initiative Granby Park.
Won first prize for a three-minute talk on academic research, awarded by the Dean of Graduate Studies,
Trinity College Dublin.
Delivered a talk on my artistic practice to an audience of artists, writers, and guests at Vermont Studio Center, 2012
Documentation of painting series
Delivered a talk on contemporary painting to a mixed audience at Nes Artist Residency, Skagastrond, Iceland.