Digital Art in Ireland

Digital Art in Ireland

New Media and Irish Artistic Practice

Edited by James O'Sullivan

Anthem Irish Studies

This collection of essays explores digital art in Ireland. Comprising contributions from scholars and practitioners, it examines how new media technologies are shaping the island’s contemporary artistic practices. As one of the first dedicated treatments of Irish digital art, it fills a major gap in the national media archaeology of Ireland.

Hardback, 164 Pages


February 2021

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
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About This Book

Digital art is fundamentally digital; it is art which cannot happen without some contemporary media technology, some element of computation, some bit-based machine. Digital art goes by a lot of names – net art, electronic art, computational art, multimedia art, new media art, screen-based art – but generally, this is a domain in which the objects of discussion rely absolutely on modern and contemporary electronics to achieve their artistic purpose. 

This collection of essays explores digital art in Ireland, filling a major gap in the national media archaeology of Ireland by bringing together a collection of timely perspectives from scholars and practitioners engaged with screen-based expression. In no way is this book a true representative selection of forms and figures, but it is, hopefully, a small contribution to addressing what remains an intellectual void. 

Wonderfully creative things are happening with computers, screens and machines right across the spectrum of artistic practice, but through disciplinary isolation – by focusing only on fine art, literature or film – we are blinding ourselves to contemporary media art as a wider cultural upheaval. The intimate connections being formed between the digital and the expressive, and how such production is mediated through national contexts, will only be fully revealed when considered through an interdisciplinary gaze. This book, comprising contributions from EL Putnam, Anne Karhio, Ken Keating, Conor McGarrigle, Kieran Nolan, Claire Fitch, Kirstie North and Chris Clarke, attempts to do just that, treating what it means for art to be both digital and Irish.


Digital Art in Ireland is a bracing and eminently readable investigation into the born-digital poetry, visual art, music, and performance that have emerged in Ireland in recent decades. Experimental art is alive and well, and this essay collection presents a lucid meditation on the cultural and material specifics of new media art. In spite of its technological circulation among data assemblages, born-digital artwork is no less a medium for site-specific cultural expression; Digital Art in Ireland explores the profound ways in which Irish culture and history leave their impression in and on new media art. It, thus, offers a major contribution to the emerging global field of digital art.” — Jonathan P. Eburne, Professor of Comparative Literature, English, and French and Francophone Studies; Director of Undergraduate Studies, Comparative Literature, Pennsylvania State University

Digital Art in Ireland offers a fascinating insight into Ireland’s emerging digital arts scene with perspectives from scholars, practitioners, and curators. It is essential reading for anyone interested in both digital aesthetics and how contemporary Irish artists engage with a rich cultural heritage through digital media.” — Stephen Joyce, Associate Professor in Literature, Media, and Culture, Department of English, Aarhus University, Denmark

Author Information

James O’Sullivan lectures in digital humanities at University College Cork. He has authored a book (Towards a Digital Poetics) and edited several collections.


Anthem Irish Studies

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations; Acknowledgements; Notes on Contributors; Chapter 1. Introduction: Digital Art in Ireland, James O’Sullivan; Chapter 2. Strange Mothers: The Maternal and Contemporary Media Art in Ireland, EL Putnam; Chapter 3. Between Aesthetics and Institutions: Irish Electronic Poetry, Anne Karhio; Chapter 4. ‘to shine upon the original all the more fully’: Contemporary New Media Adaptations of James Joyce, Kenneth Keating; Chapter 5. Art in the Data-City: Critical Data Art in the Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Conor McGarrigle; Chapter 6. Experimental Arcade Video Games as Self-Reflexive Media Art, Kieran Nolan; Chapter 7. Folding, Unfolding, Refolding Sound, Claire Fitch; Chapter 8. Treacherous Images and Animal Gazes: Ailbhe Ní Bhriain’s Reports to an Academy, 2015, Kirstie North; Chapter 9. Pressing Send: Distribution and Curation in Irish New Media Art, Chris Clarke; Index.


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