Slices of Time (some Questions): Extracts from Another Day in Futile Battle Against the 2nd Law

Aisling O'Beirn (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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Slices of Time (some questions) a 10 min 50 sec HD Video work, 2016. The animation can be viewed here The animation is part of a body of work commissioned for the show ‘ Another Day in Futile Battle Against the 2nd Law’ which was exhibited a solo show in Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, curated by J. Baker. The animation was also exhibited in the installation Extracts from Another Day in Futile Battle Against the 2nd Law’ which was selected for and exhibited as part of MAC International 2018. The Second Law of Thermodynamics States that whenever energy is transformed from one form to another form, entropy increases and energy decreases.Extracts from Another Day in Futile Battle Against the 2nd Law falls under this 2nd law. The sculptural installation and animation explore in different ways how a lay-person struggles to understand scientific concepts. It was made with the support of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium. The work opened up contemporary artwork to new audiences in scientific community. With special thanks to Emeritus Prof. Mark Bailey and to Simon Jeffery of Armagh Observatory.The installation in the MAC features the asterism The Plough, consisting of 7 stars Dubhe, Merak, Mizar, Alcor Phedca Alioth Alkaid (sculptures on the floor) and the animation Slices of Time , mounted with headphones on the upturned work bench. The animation Slices of Time (some questions), tracks conversations on subjects ranging from infinity, inflation the big bang and stellar distributions with astronomer Simon Jeffery.As a result of this show the animation Slices of Time was purchased by the ACNI for their collection. As part of their collection the animation (1 of an edition of 3) is accompanied with a set of 7 A4 framed prints of each individual star in the installation, photographed by Simon Mills. The video in the context of the collection, is shown on a flat screen tv monitor (with or without headphones depending on the context). The prints are be hung in proximity to the video as a constellation of images. MAC INTERNATIONA PRESS RELEASESpanning all three of the MAC’s galleries, MAC International provides a truly global perspective on contemporary art and presents a snapshot of some of the most urgent voices in contemporary practice operating in our world today.Chosen from more than 800 submissions, this year's shortlist includes artists from Ireland, Italy, Romania, Hungary, Croatia Austria, France, Turkey, Palestine, USA and Canada. The artists featured in MAC International 2018 are:Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan / Ali Cherri / Larissa Fassler / Nikolaus Gansterer / Invernomuto (Simone Bertuzzi & Simone Trabucchi) / Ronan McCrea / Aisling O’Beirn / Vesna Pavlović / Renata Poljak / Larissa Sansour / Özge Topçu.The works in MAC International 2018 take many forms; from photography and film, through to installation, sculpture and painting. Conceptually, they address some of the main concerns facing artists, and wider society, today. Many of the artworks in this year’s MAC International address issues around land, borders and territory; some through an investigation of urban spaces, others through geological or archaeological enquiry. Other works critique the legitimacy of dominant historical and political narratives or call into question the very nature of fact and fiction in our apparently ‘post-truth’ world of fake news and social media. Other works explore more material concerns, providing investigations of particular mediums and modes of artistic expression.What will be evident as you move through the gallery spaces is that not only do the works in MAC International 2018 provide an overview of contemporary artistic practice, but in engaging with dominant social, cultural and political concerns, they also provide a global perspective on the world we live in today.One of the 13 artists featured in the project, deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to the exhibition, was awarded the prestigious MAC International Prize of 20,000 GBP. This is the largest art prize in Ireland and one of the few major art prizes in the UK. The MAC International Prize 2018 was awarded to Austrian artist Nikolaus Gansterer for his piece Wor(l)ding: a mesh work of sense of flux.Previous winners of MAC International are Mairéad McClean (2014) and Jasmina Cibic (2016).The MAC International jury for 2018 was comprised of Hugh Mulholland, Senior Curator at the MAC Belfast; Anne Barlow, Director at Tate St Ives; and Başak Şenova, Curator, CrossSections (Vienna, Helsinki and Stockholm).
MAC International had 21,731visitors and  organised public events aimed at the general public, students and school children
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) Belfast
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 9 Nov 2018


  • Astronomy
  • Armagh Observatory


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