EARN 2021 Conference

As part of the EARN 2021 conference the Aesthetics Group presented a new work titled ‘The Aesthetics of [dis]play’ on the 29th January 2021.

The presentation was a critical reflection on the recent drive to online exhibitions and the associated aesthetics of display and the politics of the presentable inherent in such online formats. In the current crisis (Covid-19 pandemic), which foregrounds the digital realm as the site of engagement with museum collections, the presentation analysed the crucial role of display in aesthetic experience. In comparison to the exhibition of the digital within the site of museum and works made specifically for delivery online, the fresh terms of access of the current crises have created a different register of ‘performance encounter’ and possibilities of interruption.

Re-perform: From A to Z and Back Again

The Aesthetics Group were invited to re-perform ‘From A to Z & Back Again’ on June 28th 2020 with the @ac.institute , in New York.

This performance took place on Zoom with a live audience and in the context of lockdown due to the Covid 19 pandemic. It provided a reflection on the idea of live performance within this context while continuing to consider the immaterial and the de-materialized nature of words and image delivered to an international audience online.

The performance is available to watch here

The Art of Football Conference

The Art of Football 4th – 5th of July 2019

Luke Fallon, “Untitled” 2018.





Simon Critchley (New School for Social Research, What We Think About When We Think About Soccer)

Paul Rouse (University College Dublin, The GAA: A People’s History, Sport and Ireland: A History, The Hurlers)

Sharon O’Connor (20×20) https://20×20.ie/about/


This interdisciplinary conference, scheduled to take place during the 2019 Women’s World Cup and hosted the Dublin School of Creative Arts at Technological University Dublin, focuses on the art and aesthetics of all aspects of football in its various codes. In particular, it explores the aesthetic discourses surrounding football in both its formal and informal practices. The conference will critically analyse the visual culture, performance and rhetoric of the game from perspectives including gender, language, museology and design.

Conference will also include: A screening of Football As Never Before Film in Dalymount Park with live score by Matthew Nolan. Tickets on sale here

Organisers: (Connell Vaughan connellvaughan@dit.ie  Mick O’Hara michael.ohara@dit.ie)

Dublin School of Creative Arts (TU Dublin), Grangegorman, Dublin 7. Ireland


The Art of Football Conference

As part of the conference The Art of Football that we are hosting in TU Dublin on 4th and 5th of July we have organized the following event. Should be fun. Here is a piece we have written that speaks to the event and the idea of the football icon.

George Best in Dalymount: Football As Never Before (Fußball wie noch nie)

Film Screening with Live Score. July 4th 2019.

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Football is working-class ballet. It’s an experience of enchantment. For an hour and a half, a different order of time unfolds and one submits oneself to it. A football game is a temporal rupture with the routine of the everyday: ecstatic, evanescent and, most importantly, shared. At its best, football is about shifts in the intensity of experience. At times, it’s like Spinoza on maximizing intensities of existence. At other times, it’s more like Beckett’s Godot, where nothing happens twice. (Simon Critchley, 2014)

TU Dublin, Bohemian FC and Dublin Business School are delighted to present a rare opportunity to see George Best finally play Dalymount Park in a competitive fixture (Best lined out on the Phibsboro park in a benefit match in August 1968). This is a unique opportunity to see the islands greatest ever player return to the home of Irish football. Best was famously too big for to play Dalymount—in 1968 when the then European Champions, Manchester United, arrived to play League of Ireland champions Waterford, the fixture was moved to Landsdowne Road to accommodate a larger crowd.

In a rare screening of Football As Never Before, released in 1971, the German director Hellmuth Costard used eight 16mm cameras to track Best’s every move during a Saturday league game against Coventry City. Made at the height of Best’s fame and tabloid notoriety, Costard’s film focuses insistently on Best—warming up, looking restless and bored, waiting tactically to unleash his genius—rather than the on-pitch action to arrive at a sublime and revealing rumination on celebrity and a tantalizing glimpse of the man behind the myth. The influence of this film can be felt in Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno’s well known 2006 variant Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.

Central to the revival of this film is the work of Matthew Nolan, a Dublin-based musician who has rescued Football As Never Before from obscurity and composed a new score for the film. On July 4th Costard’s film and Nolan’s score will be performed live on Dalymount’s hallowed turf for what promises to be a memorable occasion.

 “The sun shone on Old Trafford on 12th September 1970 as Manchester United beat Coventry 2:0 in a league match. It was not an important victory; that season Man Utd would only be also-rans in the race for the championship. But a record was preserved of the match that is probably unique in the history of film and television. Using eight 16mm cameras, Hellmuth Costard, one of the most important experimental filmmakers in German cinema of the 60s and 70s, followed every move over the 90 minutes of the man in the red jersey with the number 11 – traditionally associated with the conventional outside left, but here worn by the mercurial George Best.” (Goethe Institut)


***Note: The screen will be installed on the pitch and patrons will be seated in the Jodi Stand***

Tickets Available through bohemianfc.com

Football As Never Before (Fußball wie noch nie)

1970 I  Hellmuth Costard  I  Germany  I  105mins

Presented with a live musical accompaniment performed and written by:

Matthew Nolan – electric guitar

David Stalling – lap steel guitar / electronics

Seán Mac Erlaine – woodwinds, vocals and electronics

Bryan O’Connell – drums/percussion

Mary Barnecutt – cello

Kevin Murphy – cello



Image result for bohemians fc logoC:\Users\connell.vaughan\Downloads\DBS-logo-fit.png

From A to Z and Back Again, New York

As part of our colleague, artist Jeanette Doyle’s, wonderful current exhibition ‘From A to Z & Back Again’  @ac.institute , in New York, the Aesthetics Group performed a new piece of work From A to Z and Back Again which was a response to Doyle’s work. The work continues the groups research which interrogates the aesthetics of language and politics in the digital age. By responding to Doyle’s  set of treated digital prints, which referenced each letter of the alphabet, the performance offered a playful critique of the contested nature of words and their constituents. It attempts to play between the relation of  the immaterial and the de-materialized nature of words and image, their analogue and digital registers.

The Aesthetics Group performing ‘From A to Z and Back Again,

AC Institute, New York

With thanks to

and the

AC Institute

The Inhuman Gaze Conference, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris

The Aesthetics Group presented a new paper titled: “A Post-Digital Aesthetics of the Inhuman Gaze: Reflections on I See Birds Flying Over the White House” at The Inhuman Gaze Conference at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris. The conference was three-day multi-disciplinary international conference spanning the disciplines of philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, sociology and aesthetics. The conference theme, took as it’s point of departure, a quote from Merleau-Ponty where he posits the othering of the gaze and warns against the negation of empathy and affective responsiveness to the other through the gaze.

The conference, through its multi-disciplinary format, provided an opportunity for the Aesthetics Group to reflect upon on our recent performance at the Research Pavilion in the context of 57th Venice Biennale (2017).  At the event The Aesthetics Group performed a research poem in response to New York based artist Michael Bell Smith’s Birds Over the White House (2006) . This artwork was especially repurposed for the occasion. The artwork is a digital algorithm of nodes representing birds flying over a schematic plan of the White House. The artwork and its mediation through the performed research poem reflected the conference theme, asserting the potential breakdown of empathy through the technological gaze.

The presentation of the paper included a short video documentation of the performance in Venice which prefaced the presentation. The text, which was collaboratively written, was presented by three voices and was backgrounded by Bell Smith’s artwork. This opened a new mediated space for the audience at the conference, to experience the performance, the artwork and the text which reflexively operated across these different registers.

Conference Presentation. Panel: (Chair) Clémence Saintemarie, Abeba Birhane, Venus Torabi, Dr. Luigi Corrias, Cathy O’Carroll, Jeanette Doyle,  Mick O’Hara.


The Algorithmic Regime: Decoding the digital image

Mick O’Hara presented “The Algorithmic Regime: Decoding the digital image” `at the The InHuman Gaze and Perceiving Otherwise Conference at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, in Paris on the 8th of June.

The paper, sought the explore the claim that in the age of what has been termed the ‘post-digital’ our system of perception now lies enmeshed within the omnipresence of a technological or digital gaze. By mobilizing the writings and artwork of Hito Steyerl, the paper argues that through the digital image we become in a sense world-makers by the production and transmission of such digital images. It explored Steyerl’s claim that each of us are artists and as such we should reject the idea of the digital image as mere visual information. Instead we should invoke our roles as makers and interpreters of images and by doing so contest the politics of representation inherent within the digital base itself.

Mick O’Hara presenting at The InHuman Gaze Conference

(Panel: Chair- Christinia Landry, Rosi Braidotti, Richard S. Lewis, Jonas Oßwald.