Friday, July 30, 2021

Residency 2, Day 30: 'If you can't give me poetry, can't you give me poetical science?' - Ada Lovelace

Nearly finished this Residency 2 now. Got loads of businessie things to sort out by phone, email, video-call, to do with IWTs, motorcars, the costs of road-bowling balls and more. In terms of the work everything is progressing fine. I need to avoid being side-tracked and going down the wrong holes as some new lines of inquiry have opened up. The process of 'resolving' work in art contexts, whether exhibitions or individual pieces, is similar to how solution-finding iterative-methods in mathematics do their business. These algorithms converge in on a solution, having initially cast the net wide, or made a rough stab at it, and that feels familiar. Numerical methods often result in solutions which are not necessarily optimal but do satisfy certain criteria. Artist as walking algorithm, oh yes...

As an example of the potential problems, camping on golf courses is all well and good but what does that initiative have to do with the main emphasis here, of ramming together 1. golf, 2. wind farming, and 3. road networks? The answer to this question will reveal itself in the months ahead me-hopes.
Whilst walking to the studio this morning, real early, from the camping location, I began wondering about the widely accepted idea that artists are specialists who concern themselves with aesthetics. But in my view, the aesthetics must emerge from pursuing questions and from the means of that pursuit. It would be naff to to design and then make an image, say, which has certain preconceived effects or affects in mind, or obeys apparently universal principles.

Other thoughts, not expanded upon:

'We human beings are gregarious, we're not programmed for solitude, but to give and receive.' Isabel Allende. True or false or not enough of a thing to say?

I have not seen my daughters for over a month now. They have not seen me either. But I have seen my mother and sister and sister's family and many friends. People have been kind to me here, interested, and interesting. Much appreciated.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Residency 2, Day 29: '[Our] Strategy?' ‘It isn’t too complex really, just A to B as fast as you can go.' - O'Donovan brothers Skibbereen

Completed this today:
An Olympic special if you like. In keeping with the Now Man work of the past. Thanks to Gavin Buckley for assistance with the stills photography earlier.

And this one here is from yesterday really, just an experiment, not necessarily a masterpiece like the job above:

Later I sent this letter in the post to Kevin Systrom, Instagram, 181 Fremont Street, San Francisco, California, 94105-2207, USA. Let's see if a response comes:


Uillinn/ West Cork Arts Centre
Co. Cork
P81 VW984
Republic of Ireland
29th July 2021

Dear Kevin

Following my letters to you in May (sent from a different address) I'm afraid I have some further sad news to share with you. Though the problem I reported was solved back then, mysteriously in fact, I am now experiencing new ones. This began yesterday. I cannot access your lovely creation, Instagram, properly, and am expected instead to interact with dialogue boxes, containing meaningless or confusing messages. I pasted a sample of these into a blog post for 28th July:,, and please find them also attached below. I look forward to your reply.


Dr Micheál O'Connell
Cell +** **** *** ***


And that seemed to work. Instagram is back on for me, already (writing later). But the letter was sent by real mail, as in land post. The AI is getting better!