Kunstverein Aughrim presents Sonia Shiel and Benjamin Hanussek in conversation at Studio 6, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios
In gaming a 'Bleed' describes the indiscretion of self as indiscernible from fiction – where the edges between two images that should not merge, do. In this event, video game researcher Benjamin Hanussek will offer a presentation of his work in the field of game studies, design and development, making his research and critical perspective available to artist Sonia Shiel, for a potential creative bleed.
Shiel is currently developing a body of work that in part explores how to be intentional and anarchic, digital and analogue, rule bound and rule breaker. Using a tabletop terrain and moveable parts, Shiel has devised studio exercises that address morality themes, haptics, meta-techniques, and the rules that form in spaces and around objects, as well as between LARP (Live Action Role Play) characters and their authority figures, NPC’s or ‘non-player characters’, in the construction of improvised site-responsive narratives, including those created between artworks and their audiences.
Following Hanussek’s presentation, Shiel, Hanussek, and curator Kate Strain will embark on a conversation using game-play in the hands of the audience as the primary generator of the talk’s direction. This conversation will explore Hanussek’s research and Shiel’s burning questions to him, around whether fiction can ever have any real effect in the world, and how we might learn ‘to be’ better from it.
Pulse Event #1 is produced by Kunstverein Aughrim, and kindly supported by Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. The event is related to Shiel’s ongoing work for a major exhibition commissioned by VISUAL Carlow in September 2023.
The Pulse Event Series takes its name from Elvia Wilk's analysis of Karen Russell's description of blossoming in The Bad Graft. Russell’s short story describes the relationship between the Joshua tree and the yucca moth as a metaphor for co-dependence between us and nature, and the couple at the centre of her story. Neither the moth nor the tree can survive without each other. Their relationship is consummated in a tremendous blossoming referred to by a local Mojave desert ranger as a 'pulse event.' Such a term is associated with bomb test-sites, when a measurable electromagnetic pulse occurs. Invariably – a pulse event is also an immeasurable event of the heart. As a series of workshops, devised by Sonia Shiel in collaboration with Kunstverein Aughrim, Pulse Events generate the opportunity for critique to advance the narrative of Shiel’s current work, and positively agitate the final phase of the project’s development.
Benjamin Hanussek is an educator and researcher in the field of game studies, design & development. He received his formal education at the University of Klagenfurt in Austria. In 2022, he became an Austrian Marshall Plan Fellow enabling him to visit Teachers College at Columbia University in New York to conduct a research project on game-based learning. Currently, he directs PJAIT Game Lab at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology in Warsaw where he teaches, consults and supervises video game projects. Hanussek works at Lionbridge Games as professional video game tester where he specialises in German localisations.
Sonia Shiel is an Irish visual artist, based in Dublin. Her intricate paintings of the sublime reveal a shape-shifting landscape, in which unruly phenomena and near-sentient storms are the type of tangible things people might climb to, or tether. When multidimensional, Shiel’s paintings form traversable terrains, maintain a studied self-reflexivity, and consolidate performative installations that use audio-visual, prop, and text based elements to orient the audience. On stepping into one of Shiel’s narrative loops, the viewer too confronts the uncanny - in a folie á deux, bound by physical circumstance and a narrative momentum, that thrashes through form and façade to explore creative agency, authenticity, and free-will.
Kunstverein Aughrim is a curatorial production office established by Kate Strain in 2022. Located on the ground floor of a townhouse in Aughrim, County Wicklow, it is part of an international network established by Kunstverein in Amsterdam, with sisters in Milan, New York and Toronto. Kunstverein Aughrim develops ongoing curatorial collaborations with artists to support the artistic process of creating new work, and to bring audiences as close to the creative process as possible. For more information visit www.kunstverein.ie