Shane Finan

Visual artist and researcher working with interactive digital media and concepts of place, technology and transience
Ireland °1985
research interests: place, technology, interactive, Painting, transience, ephemeral, solastalgia, interactive installation, interactive art, digital art, Language
affiliation: Trinity College Dublin

Visual artist and art researcher who creates interactive digital artworks and writing about place, technology and transience. Has published work dealing with visual art documentation, art theory, artist-led spaces, and other work outside of the arts including social computing law, trust, and digital places.


Place: Interest in place stems from writing on this subject by anthropologists and sociologists, in studies on how people understand and identify with their surroundings. This is mainly focussed on rural localities, where in recent times the phenomenon ‘solastalgia’ (a psychological feeling of loss of place) has been prevalent due to major environmental change.
Technology: Technology is a primary medium, and concept in artist's artworks. Interested in what art and technology theorist Lev Manovich refers to as ‘the language of new media’: Interactive artworks are interesting to audience members because they encourage collaboration and engagement that is already trained. Using digital media as a medium in artworks allows me to critique the role of screens and digital culture in society.
Transience: All things are transient, but the effect of changes from one state to another are often overlooked. Past work is anchored by transience, whether through being physically transient or working conceptually with the idea of things that change or disappear over time, influenced by art theory and philosophy.



research expositions

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  • Mugwort, wormwood, and how little we know about the end of the world (26/04/2016)
    Art object: Installation, Interartive, Dublin, artist(s)/author(s): Shane Finan
    On April 25th, 2016 at 22:23 GMT a responsive visual artwork was launched that commemorates the event of the Chernobyl disaster. The work features light that is triggered by pressure-sensors, activating ‘power sources’ through interaction from viewers. The layout of the sensors matched the shape of the biohazard symbol. The layout of the lights formed the shape of the exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl power plant days after the reactor fire. The idea was to create an impression of an exclusion zone, but one that could not be properly interacted with unless people stood on all sides (a minimum of three people). Otherwise there were constant ‘gaps’ in this zone. The piece becomes an ‘inclusion zone’, inviting people to move closer and become a part of the work, rather than remaining outside and forbidden to enter.
  • apo (04/02/2017)
    Art object: Installation, Digital Arts Studios, Belfast, artist(s)/author(s): Shane Finan
    Interactive digital installation made in three parts, about technology, religion and place. The parts are a painting, touchscreens, and an interactive projection.
  • faigh ar ais as an fharraige (01/03/2018)
    Art object: Installation, Rye Creative Centre, Rye, England, Rye, Sussex, artist(s)/author(s): Shane Finan
    Interactive digital artwork dealing with place, terminology and technology built for exhibition at Rye Creative Centre, Rye, England in 2018. Has since been exhibited at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin (2019) as part of the 'Over Nature' touring exhibition. The artwork asks audience to question words that were once common for nature descriptions. It features a transposition of a JMW Turner painting, 'Rye, Sussex (1794-7)' and an interactive touchscreen with projections.
  • The Repeated Refrains of Nature (26/06/2019)
    Art object: Installation, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, artist(s)/author(s): Shane Finan
    Interactive visual artwork 'The Repeated Refrains of Nature' (2019) by Irish visual artist Shane Finan. The artwork features videos of birds feeding; when an audience member approaches the work the birds fly away. This work was made in response to bird depopulation and is based on the writing of Rachel Carson.