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Any Action Deemed Neccessary

Any Action Deemed Necessary is a mixed media installation by Frank Sweeney and Tom O’Dea.

Departing from the foundation of the Irish Republic in 1949 and winding through fifty five years of Irish foreign policy decisions throughout The Cold War before concluding with the 2004 Citizenship Referendum - Any Action Deemed Necessary tries to imagine and re-imagine past decisions from the present moment.

The work finds you at different moments of historical change. When two phones ring - which one do you answer?

The work was exhibited as part of Apocalypse Anxieties - a group exhibition guest curated by Kerry Guinan, featuring the work of Aideen Barry, Tom O’Dea, Léann Herlihy, Orla Punch, Christopher Steenson and Frank Sweeney

Tírdreacha/Krajobrazy/Landschaften/مناظر الطبیعة

Tírdreacha/Krajobrazy/Landschaften/مناظر الطبیعة - was a multi-channel sound work produced by Tom O’Dea in collaboration with artists from four internet radio stations; in Dublin, Warsaw, Berlin and Bethlehem.

Soria Reilly (ddr - Dublin), Robert Skrzyński (Radio Kapital - Warsaw), Hilde Wollenstein (Cashmere Radio - Berlin) and Yousef Anastas & Ibrahim Owais (Radio Alhara - Bethlehem) were each been commissioned produce individual sound works that respond to their unique contexts - their connectedness and their separation in physical and digital space. Each work will stream simultaneously on one of the four stations.

The work was accessible through an interface created by by Tewson Seeoun and Tom O'Dea and accessible at

It's easier to talk about [platform capitalism] when having dinner together

'It's easier to talk about [platform capitalism] when having food together' was a communal (free) meal for people interested in the ways digital technologies shape our contemporary reality.

Hosted by The Department of Embedded Knowledge in partnership with the Berlin-based gallery Kunstverein am Rosa–Luxemburg–Platz and offline, a gathering space with a kitchen and no internet, this event invited anyone whose life is shaped by digital platforms – from gig workers and artists, smart building residents and digital sex workers to union organizers, contract cleaners and tech workers – to share something physical; a meal.

2 Channel Land

2 Channel Land by Frank Sweeney and Tom O’Dea looks at the history of analogue radio and television signals spilling across the borders of these islands. Reflecting the complex spatial territories that were produced by transmitters and their environment, the work takes the form of a radio sculpture that permeates the gallery. Moving through the space using handheld radios, the sculpture presents an archive of audience memories, border pirate radio stations and TV deflector systems built by communities to capture and retransmit signals from across the border.

2 Channel land was exhibited in the Centre for Contemporary Art in Derry alongside Uncommon (Travel Area) by Bojana Janković

Free Zone Transmissions

Free Zone Transmission is a series of projects with artist Frank Sweeney that examine the politics, technics and culture of electromagnetic signals.

The first edition of Free Zone Transmissions was a seriers of micro radio transmission as part of The Ecliptic and featured the work of Jane Deasy, Dennis McNulty, Colm Keady-Tabbal and Coilín O'Connel & Megan Hadfield.

The proposal included an outdoor greenscreen studio and a shared infrastructure for exchanging video lesson devised by students.

A Place of Exchange

“to build community in the classroom is to recognize the value of each individual voice” – Bell Hooks

A Place of Exchange was a proposal for a public artwork for Ardgillan Community College. Built on the understanding of the school as a place of multidirectional exchange that extends far beyond the formal curriculum. Building on the school’s ethos that ‘the school belongs to the students’1, A Place of Exchange creates a platform for a student-led curriculum and teaching that sits alongside the formal and existing extra-curricular activities.

A Place of Exchange was rooted in a critical pedagogical model of education - founded on mutual exchange and the belief that each individual is an expert in the understanding of their own context and position in the world. Drawing on the notion that ‘no one teaches another, nor is anyone self-taught [but that] people teach each other mediated by the world’, sense making is therefore a communal process in which each student draws on their own experience in relation to the experience and knowledge of others.

The proposal included an outdoor greenscreen studio and a shared infrastructure for exchanging video lesson devised by students.

A fold in the map across which electrons jump

When you fold a paper map, two places that once were apart on the maps surface now occupy the same point. This same folding but in space time, Kurt Gödel thought, as he solved Einstein’s equations for general relativity, creates the possibility of time travel. Two worlds separated across space and time collapse on top of each other, just like on the map.

Technologies can seem to fold worlds too. One minute, sitting in your room you can suddenly find yourself in a meeting, a classroom, on a date or talking to a friend - the sun setting behind them as you look out at a night sky. Telepresence – by video call, phone, social media or other technology – tries to collapse different places, times and contexts on top of each other. Electrons vibrate an invisible tether between different realities.

But our worlds have weight, not all of them can be bound together by these light-thin wires, and so the tethers stretch and break.

A fold in the map across which electrons jump is a research workshop by the Department of Embedded Knowledge and The Lab Gallery examining our use of telepresence and its context.

Department of Embedded Knowledge
The Department of Embedded knowledge interrogates knowledge that is embedded in people and in places, in communities and in relationships, in the living and in that which is not website
A Unrepresentable: Séance for Pierre Méchain (1744-1804) was an exhibition of new and existing works. The series includes the work generative moving image work The Ontological Singularity , Fontaine D'Or, A Séance for Pierre Méchain and matrixoperator001-003. The work was supported by CONNECT, TCD and was exhibited in TCD in 2019. A Séance for Pierre Méchain was exhibited in VISUAL, Carlow in 2019.
Matters of Facts
Matters of Facts is a series of workshops, talks and screenings developed by the Orthogonal Methods Group (OMG) at the invitation of The Incomputable research project at IZK Institute for Contemporary Art, TU Graz. The programme explores the relationship between facts, computation, algorithms, poetics and politics. Matters of Facts forms of knowledge present themselves as part of a search for truth and/or as a justification for particular actions in the world. This series poses questions and provides a platform for conversations on the role of mathematics, measurement, language and statistics in describing reality and shaping society, particularly in relation to the role of computerised algorithmic mediation and governance in people’s lives today. The workshop Logic Gate Diagram was developed by Tom O'Dea for Matters of Facts . More here and here.
Designing for the Unknown
Designing for the Unknown is an experimental artist-led research platform in CONNECT. The platform brings engineering and artist researchers together to develop common languages, tools and techniques for exploring and discovering areas of common concern in telecommunications research. Organised by artist Dennis McNulty and Tom O'Dea. the pilot research group included Cliona Harmey, Harun Siljak, Indrakshi Dey, Jacek Kibilda, Jasmina Mcmenamy, Jessica Foley and Taja Naidoo. As part of its ongoing work the group developed the AI/ML Ethics strand of the Connect 2019 Summer School.
A Séance for Pierre Méchain
A Séance for Pierre Méchain was a series of new works developed for the exhibition Infrastructures of Now in NCAD Gallery, Dublin. The series includes the work The Ontological Singularity , Fontaine D'Or, A Séance for Pierre Méchain and Three Standard Units. The work was supported by CONNECT, the Provost's Visual and Performing Arts Fund of Trinity College Dublin and the National Standards Authority of Ireland National Metrology Laboratory.
1967-2017 was a project created with the Orthogonal Methods Group of CONNECT, TCD for the Irish Museum of Modern Art's Coast-Lines exhibition. More details about can be found here. The work draws together the legacies of Aspen 5+6 and Experiments in Art and Technology with a new work Placement as Language. Image #1 credit Ros Kavanagh 2018, #2 credit Denis Mortell 2018
Self-Portrait SNP
Self Portrait SNP is a way to try and come to terms with what it means to be represented by numbers, to exist within a techno-scientific framework that is outside of our individual control. It is an attempt to understand how we think differently about something when we think of it as a set of data points, a set of numbers. The portrait is comprised of my decoded single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), different from the standard human reference genome. It is my physical self, represented as different from the human reference standard. Self-Portrait SNP was exhibited in the National Gallery of Ireland portrait gallery.
SAMS_001 - The Width of Air
Shanghai Air Monitoring Station 001 was part of a series of works created with Kat F. Austen as part of the collective Stereotropic Anecdota. Part of the series 'The Width of Air', SAMS_001 explores knowledge hierarchies and ideas of quantification and measurement in relation to complex social and environmental structures.
After Measurement
An essay that looks at the relationship between computational forms of knowledge, optimisation and politics. The essay develops an expanded definition of computation beyond that with which the term is most generally associated (i.e. with electronic computing machines). Read here .
MSMS_001 - The Width of Air
Mumbai Snow Monitoring Station 001 was the first in a series of works created with Kat F. Austen as part of the collective Stereotropic Anecdota. Part of the series 'The Width of Air', MSMS_001 explores knowledge hierarchies and ideas of quantification and measurement in relation to complex social and environmental structures.
Nora Duggan | Trine Riel | Levi Hanes | Radek Przedpelski | Sara Wentworth | Kieran Nolan | Stephanie Dossou | Moran Been-Noon | Curated by Tom O’Dea.
Materiality is an exhibition that explores the impact of digital technology on the construction of political, social and economic life.
Featuring the work of eight Irish and International artists and researchers,Materiality examines the structures that digital technology places between individuals and information, and examines how the requirements of digital binaries tend towards the reorganisation of everything they touch.
The exhibition is a critical examination of how the digital underpinnings of the global communications network act as a substrate to condition our interaction at a social, political and economic level, having a transformative effect on our relationship to knowledge and meaning.
In the post-industrial age, information transfer has become the new commerce, servers have become the ports and the digitally readable data of the individual and of the machine has become the currency.
With each choice of classification, the selection of each binary, a potential otherness is excluded, the subjective becomes the objective and the signifier and signified collapse onto each other.
What is left behind when classification collapses the indivdual into a series of data points? What has driven the classification schema that already underpin our interactions?
Twitter has become the predominant media stream for cultural, current affairs and personal information. By limiting each comment to 140 characters individual tweets contain both an immediacy of response and clarity of sentiment. Twitter has become a public conversation about our daily activities, opinions and feelings, an immutable stream of a collective conscious.

Chatter is a mixed media sculpture and audio piece that explores our relationship with data, information and privacy. By disrupting the intangible nature of the electronic conversation Chatter aims to encourage viewers to confront the nature of online communication and the materiality of the uttered word. In creating the dual representations of audio and print, the piece aims to highlight the duality of the digital world, which is at once transient and enduring.
Last exhibited at SSMF, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA Selected showcase of emerging talent.
Anthroposcene was commissioned by Le Cool Dublin for the Le Cool Compound as part of Science Week 2013. Anthroposcene was an interactive video installation developed in conjunction with Brian Kenny. A cover for Le Cool issue #207 was made as a companion piece to the installation.
Anthroposcene explored the chaotic nature of natural systems and the wide reaching implications of unitary action within a connected network.

Totem -  noun | to·tem \ˈtō-təm\ | A totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe.
As ubiquitous connectivity becomes an ever-more essential part of our communication Totem seeks to explore the hidden signals that surround us and keep us in touch with our family, friends and our work. By capturing and representing these signals in the public realm totem creates an interactive conversation between about the technology that underpins our societies.
Through its playful form, Totem reacts to both "passive" and "active" participants in the public space by converting the mobile phone signals that surround us into a three dimensional array of sound and light. Totem was created as part of Bitone Collective.
Totem was commissioned by Canary Wharf as part of Winter Lights.


Drakaea glyptodon, is a species of orchid characterised by it’s mimicry of the female Thynid wasp in order to propagate its pollen.
Drakaea, a light installation at PifCamp, Soča, Slovenia explores the hypermediated connections created between our subjective experience and The Network. Mirroring the virtual omnipresence of global communications; Drakaea transplants the location of the headquarters of the ten largest owners of copyrighted natural and modified seed material into the unmediated natural landscape of Trenta Valley. Using quantified representations of remote weather as a data stream, in opposition to the designified impressions of PifCamp taken as part of Michael Page’s unmediated images project, Drakaea is a mimic that shows only its failures.
Drakaea was created with Mick Murray as part of the PifCamp Project run by Ljudmila , in Soҫa, Slovenia

HyBrasil is a project about islands and transience, developed for Drop Everything 2014 on Inis Oirr off the Atlantic Coast of Ireland.
Conceived and developed with: Anthony Murphy, Baz Holden, Brian Kenny, Michael Glennon, Mick Murray & Pat Murray
context structure
context structure was an exhibition of photography by tom o'dea at The Market House
(click images for hi-res version)

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