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Maoliosa Boyle, Executive Director of Rua Red, on EUCIDA Project First Digital Art Exhibition

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Rua Red South Dublin Arts Centre successfully secured Creative Europe Co-operation Project funding in 2016 to lead a three year project called EUCIDA - European Connections in Digital Art. Echo Chamber opens 16 June in Rua Red.

Rua Red South Dublin Arts Centre successfully secured Creative Europe Co-operation Project funding in 2016 to lead a three year project called EUCIDA - European Connections in Digital Art. EUCIDA is supported by Creative Europe's Smaller Scale Co-operation Projects Scheme and has three partners from Ireland, Latvia, and France.

The EUCIDA project has set itself a mission to make digital arts accessible to a non-arts audience. EUCIDA will increase public interaction with arts and technology through a programme of ambitious and unique experiences.

What is EUCIDA?

EUCIDA is a project led by Rua Red South Dublin Arts Centre, Tallaght, Dublin in partnership with Le Département du Territoire de Belfort, France, and Rezeknes Novada Pasvaldiba, Lativa. The three partners work together to demonstrate the high-quality, innovative practices of digital artists across Europe in order to make those practises highly visible within Europe and internationally.

The EUCIDA project will run from July 2016 – December 2019 and will make digital arts more accessible to a non-arts audience, bringing to the fore a wider public debate on arts and technology by a programme of ambitious and unique experiences.

EUCIDA has a dedicated online platform that operates as a hub for contacts, activities, opportunities, research and sharings for the European Digital Arts Community. Calls for funded Mobility Visits and Residencies will be released through the platform each year and will be open to artists and practitioners from across Europe. If you are running a digital arts event or have an industry opportunity to share then you can submit it here for inclusion on the EUCIDA website.

We talk to Maolíosa Boyle, Executive Director of South Dublin Arts Centre, Tallaght, Dublin about EUCIDA and its inaugural exhibition, Echo Chamber, which takes place across three sites in three different countries - Ireland, Latvia, and France in June and July 2017. Echo Chamber opens in Rua Red on Friday 16 June.

Interview with Maolíosa Boyle, rua red south Dublin Arts Centre, Tallaght, Dublin.

1. How did Rua Red come to be involved in the EUCIDA co-operation project? How did the three partners involved find each other?

I commenced my position as Executive Director of Rua Red at the end of January 2017, so Eucida was already very much underway at that stage. Prior to this, the previous Executive Director, Karen Philips, and the Marketing and Development Manager, Becky Fitzpatrick, were invited to Brussels by the Creative Europe Desk to make a presentation at a networking event for Creative Europe. At the event Karen and Becky met Valerie and Inta from Espace Multimedia Gantner, France and Luznava Manor, Rezekne Latvia and the project was developed from there.

2. Can you describe some aspects of digital art for people who might not be familiar with the concept or the work?

Digital art is a term used to describe contemporary art practice that is created or presented using digital technology.

3. Echo Chamber is the inaugural exhibiton of EUCIDA. What kind of themes and work can we expect?

Yes, Echo Chamber is the inaugural exhibition curated by Matthew Nevin of MART Gallery in Dublin.

'An echo chamber is where ideas or beliefs are repeated inside social networks, where different views are disallowed or underrepresented' - Matthew Nevin.

Matthew explores the idea of an 'Echo Chamber’ and takes this as the starting point for the project. An example of an echo chamber effect can be seen in social media where users engage only with people and media sources that share their particular beliefs and viewpoints. In this way the digital arts may sometimes seem like a medium which caters only to a specific tech savvy audience. Our aim is to create an accessible dialogue between the digital arts and its interpretation of politics, culture and society through technology to a European-wide public.

As a curatorial platform for the creation of new work, Echo Chamber has encouraged a dialogue between art and technology as a means of sharing experience and creative practice.

By encouraging participating artists to explore and reinvent material and technologies, the curator has worked alongside artists Jeanne Briand, Adam Gibney, Fabien Leaustic, Helen McMahon, Rasa Smite and Paula Vitola, to produce work that can provoke the limitations of the Echo Chamber of the normal gallery environment. The artists have produced powerful, informative and experimental new work that engages with wider audiences.

4. How important is the audience to EUCIDA and Rua Red?

Massively important. Rua Red aim to create a programme of exhibitions and events which are accessible to all. Rua Red is situated in the heart of Tallaght and South Dublin County and serves a population of approximately 260,000 within this area alone. It is essential that the work that we produce here impacts and engages with every single person who comes through our doors. At the core of everything that we deliver is this message that through experiencing the arts we gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world that we live in.

5. Have you or Rua Red any practical tips for cultural organisations on how to work on a Creative Europe application process with partners who live in different countries?!

Many tips! We have learned so much from the first 12 months! In September, we plan to have a meeting with our partners in Latvia and France so that we can gather our experiences from this year and evaluate them. This then will inform our process for next year.

Throughout this year we have had regular Skype meetings with both partners to talk over all aspects of the project. I would also advise that site visits are absolutely essential as nothing substitutes having all of the people involved in a room at one time to have full conversations around the details of project delivery i.e. budgets, administration, etc. Often Skype can let us down through technology not working adequately causing frustration and gaps in communication. Also, group emails are incredibly valuable so that everyone is kept informed.

6. How can the EUCIDA website and network benefit digital artists?

The EUCIDA website and network is an interactive platform which enables digital media and technology artists, curators, researchers and cultural workers to connect to each other, share experiences, creative practice and opportunities transnationally. The platform which has just recently been launched has the potential to grow into a massive network of communicating digital arts practitioners which is recognised globally as the ‘go to’ platform for information and discussion on international digital arts practice.

7. Can you tell us yet what other kind of events we can expect from EUCIDA in the coming year?

Over the next two months, the ‘Echo Chamber’ exhibitions will be launched in Latvia, Ireland and France. These exhibitions will run in conjunction with a series of talks, seminars and workshops in each of the spaces. In September, we will announce the three successful artists from our open call for residencies in Ireland, Latvia and France which is really exciting! In October, we will announce our 2018 EUCIDA curator. Following this the selection of artists for next year will take place and the process commences again. We have another busy year ahead!

Many thanks to Maolíosa for talking to us. If you would like to read more about Echo Chamber and the artists involved, click here to go to the EUCIDA website.

Echo Chamber will take place across three sites in three different countries - Ireland, Latvia, and France in June and July 2017.

  • Rua Red, Dublin 16 June – 05 August, Ireland
  • Lūznava Manor Rēzeknes, 09 June – 31 August, Latvia
  • Espace multimédia gantner, 24 June – 22 July, France

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