Image Tony O'Driscoll
For over fifteen years Softday, the art-science collaboration of artist Sean Taylor and computer scientist Mikael Fernström, have engaged with issues relating to natural cycles in time, climate change and its global effects. As a collaborative team they use their arts practice to explore relations to and understandings of nature, expressed through sonifications and multimedia artworks and performances. Both artists are interested in exploring ‘the cracks’ between various media and creative genres such as expanded theatre, sound art, socially engaged practice, sculpture, music, dance and the application of new technologies.
Early projects such as Bliain Le Baisteach (A Year of Rainfall) (2000) looked at fluctuating annual rainfall patterns in Ireland. Further, Cóisir an Tsionainn (The Shannon Suite) (2003) focused on the four-year life cycle of the wild Atlantic salmon and the effects of overfishing and pollution on the species ability to survive. Projects such as Nobody leaves till the Daphnia sing (2009) examined the implications of contaminated domestic drinking water supplies in Galway and West Limerick. The Marbh Chrois (Dead Zone) (2010) project addressed the impact of two ‘contested’ marine dead zones as a key stressor on marine ecosystems in Donegal, Ireland. In 2011 Softday were prizewinners of EUROPE – A SOUND PANORAMA, and performed their work in Karlsruhe at ZKM (Kubus).
In April 2013 Softday premiered ‘Amhrán na mBeach’ (Song of the Bees) in Glenstal Abbey, Murroe, Co. Limerick. In October 2014 they were commissioned by Limerick National City of Culture 2014 to perform ‘Amhrán na mBeach’ - Song of the (Urban) Bees. Recent exhibitions include: 2016/7 Re(Public) Hyde Park Arts Centre, Chicago, USA, 2016. Sonic Arts Waterford (SAW) Festival, Waterford, 2016. EVA International Biennale of Art, Limerick, 2016 and Et si on s’ était trompé? (What if we got it wrong?) Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, France, 2015.