August 2016 – Open Studio: A Conversation on Drawing

Open Studio: A Conversation on Drawing

In August Vagabond Reviews was invited by artist Mary Ruth Walsh to present work for Open Studio: A Conversation on Drawing. As part of her residency in the Life Drawing Studio at the Royal Hibernian Academy, we were asked, along with 43 other artists to consider the relationship between drawing, writing and thinking.

Drawing on current work towards the production of a series of publications on almost 10 years of practice, Vagabond Reviews presented a series of six prints entitled Archival Notes, 2008 – 2016. Each print combines illustrative line drawings with key quotations from selected projects. The work was imagined as selected documents from an archival record of unknown magnitude.

Watch RHA Open Studio: A Conversation on Drawing

Royal Hibernian Academy
26 – 27 August 2016

July 2016 – Vagabond Reviews presents: I Said to Myself, Who Else?

Artist Suzanne Walsh presents an extract adapted for the spoken word from I Said to Myself, Who Else?, IMMA. Photo: Courtesy of Marie Brett
I Said to Myself, Who Else?

In November 2015 a short film produced by artist Marie Brett and musician Kevin O’Shanahan was screened at IMMA. Entitled E.gress, the film engages with existential aspects of Alzheimer’s / dementia and subsequently toured at seven venues in Ireland. In May, Ciaran Smyth, Vagabond Reviews was commissioned by Marie Brett and Helen O’Donoghue (IMMA) to ‘map the tour’ via critical engagement with its material traces (audio clips, video clips, writings and commentaries). The commission culminated in the essay I Said to Myself, Who Else? presented at the closing event for the tour in July at IMMA.

The closing event, entitled The Blanks and the Trap-Doors, combined a screening of E.gress with a Decompression Room and a series of performative responses to the film. Working with artist Suzanne Walsh an extract from the full essay text was adapted for the spoken word. In the first of a series of performative responses, that adaptation was presented by Suzanne at IMMA on 14th July.

Irish Museum of Modern Art
14th July 2016

I Said to Myself, Who Else?. [ PDF ]

E.gress website

April 2016 – Begin Anywhere 3rd Level Forum

Photo: Courtesy of IMMA
Begin Anywhere

In April Vagabond Reviews presented perspectives on navigating the post-art college world at Begin Anywhere, a 3rd level forum organised by the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the Art & Research Collaboration (ARC).

Inspired by the words of John Cage, ‘begin anywhere’ invited third-year and fourth-year BA art students from all over Ireland to participate in an artist-centred conversation about the possibilities of artistic practice after art school. Presentations explored the practices of artist-led spaces, independent curators and resource organisations and provided opportunities for students to exchange ideas, pose questions and make connections.


Audio Link: Begin Anywhere – Part 3, Panel 2: Culturstructiuon, Vagabond Reviews, RGKSKSRG

March 2016 – Proposition: An Art of Ethics Symposium

Image Courtesy of David Burrows and Plastique Fantastique
Proposition: An Art of Ethics

In March Ciaran Smyth presented a Vagabond Reviews perspective for Proposition: An Art of Ethics. This two-day symposium took place at the Burren College of Art (Friday 11th and Saturday 12th March 2016). The event was co-organised by Michaële Cutaya, Katherine Waugh and Conor McGrady, Dean of Academic Affairs Burren College of Arts.

This symposium gathered together artists, theorists and curators for two days of research and experimentation. Contributors were invited to engage through their practice with ideas relating to a conception of ethics which differs substantially from dominant notions of morality. The starting point of the symposium was philosopher Gilles Deleuze's reading of Spinoza, given Spinoza's extensive influence on recent artistic practice and thought around the 'ethical' in art. For Deleuze, Spinoza's ethics was a long affair of experimentation’ which re-conceptualised the relationship between life, thought and practice. The symposium set out to foster such an ethos of experimentation in its content and structure, proposing ethics as a methodology in contrast to the rigid principles of morality.

Other participants included Iain Biggs, David Burrows, Vivienne Dick, Maria Kerin, Glenn Loughran, Seamus McGuinness, Aislinn O'Donnell, Susan Stenger and Suzanne Walsh.


2015 – Comfort Society Talk Series, Comfort Station, Chicago

Photo: Luke Smyth
Unwritten City: Missing Titles Chicago

As part of the Comfort Society public talk series at Comfort Station, Vagabond Reviews presented an overview of our residency project at Hyde Park Art Center. Entitled Scientia Civitatis: Missing Titles Chicago, this research process invited practitioners from within the field of social practice, architecture, urban planning and beyond to contribute a title of a book yet to be written about the city. We asked for titles that were needed, even urgent, but unwritten. It could be practical, but even better provocative, revolutionary or otherwise immoderate in its ambition for understanding and transforming the city.

'First findings' were presented towards the formulation of a temporary library that offers a diagnostic snapshot of Chicago through the prism of social practice and its unwritten imaginary.

Comfort Station
23 August 2015

Comfort Station

2015 – Artists Talk, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago

Artists Talk, Hyde Park Art CentrePhoto: Jim Duignan
Missing Titles Chicago

This talk was presented during our six-week Jackman Goldwasser residency at the Hyde Park Arts Center, Chicago. Using a research device developed in Dublin, Missing Titles Chicago explored the city through the lens of social practice, involving artists, community activists, art collectives and architects working with social justice issues in the city.

Beginning with the Cultural Archaeology project with Fatima Groups United and the Rialto Youth Project in Dublin, we presented the conceptual foundations and ethnographic coordinates for Missing Titles Chicago as a particular way of reading the city.

Hyde Park Art Center
23 July 2015

Hyde Park Art Center

2015 – International Summer School Workshop, University of Barcelona

In July Vagabond Reviews delivered the first workshop in a five-day series on Alternative Methods in Social Research at the Visual Arts and Education Graduate Programme at the University of Barcelona.

Over the course of the day Vagabond Reviews gave an overview of the origins and epistemological preoccupations that underpin their inter-disciplinary practice. Through the lens of Cultural Archaeology (2009) and (In)Visible Labour Factorium (2013 - 2015) the collaboration / participation distinction in social practice was critically unpacked along with practice-based illustrations of the lines between arts-based approaches and formal research methods.

The workshop concluded with presentations and critical review of research by students throughout Spain at various stages in their doctoral research programmes.

University of Barcelona,
13 July 2015

International Summer Workshop on Alternative Methods in Social Research

2015 – Seminar: Scientia Civitatis: Missing Titles

Missing Titles Seminar, 28 March 2015Photo: Courtesy of Logan Sisley
Coordinated by Vagabond Reviews and hosted by the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, this seminar drew on our installation Scientia Civitatis: Missing Titles to evoke an inter-disciplinary prism on Dublin and the contemporary city.

Chaired by independent curator Valerie Connor, the seminar set out to make a reading of the contemporary city through the prism of the Scientia Civitatis: Missing Titles installation. The installation, part of the Phoenix Rising Art and the Civic Imagination exhibition at the Hugh Lane Gallery, presented 48 titles for books as yet unwritten about the city from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives within the human sciences.

Taking the titles as a semiotic pool, contributors to Missing Titles presented short, individual ‘meta-readings’ of Dublin and the contemporary city. Interpreters included:

Mary Corcoran, Sociology
Philip Crowe, Architecture
Culturestruction, Art & Architecture
Jenny McElwain, Paleobotany
Austin O’Carroll, General Medicine
Kieran Rose, Urban Planning
Jamie Saris, Anthropology

with concluding reading by:
Anne Byrne, Political Science & Sociology

Hugh Lane Gallery
28 March 2015

2014 – In Conversation Event: In | Discussion Public Lecture Series:
The Constructiuon of Madness | Knowledge

In Discussion Event, DIT, 17 December 2014Photo: Courtesy of Martin McCabe
In | Discussion is an ongoing public lecture series at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) reflecting on the former Psychiatric Hospital Grangegorman as the new campus for the college. Ciaran Smyth, Vagabond Reviews and Professor Ivor Browne were invited to speak jointly on themes generated by college staff concerning the history and re-purposing of the site at Grangegorman.

Dublin Institute of Technology
17 December 2014

In|discussion public lecture series 2014-15 The Construction of Madness | Knowledge

2014 – Panel Discussion: A Weekend of Schizo-Culture

Schizo-Culture, 14 December 2014Photo: Courtesy of Katherine Waugh
As part of A Weekend of Schizo-Culture at SPACE Gallery (London, December 12th to 14th) Ciaran Smyth participated in a panel discussion with fellow discussants Sylvere Lotringer, Semiotext(e) and Anna Hickey Moody, Goldsmiths. The discussion was chaired by Katherine Waugh, co-curator along with David Morris of a larger project entitled Schizo-Culture: Cracks in the Streets which took the seminal 1975 New York event Schizo-Culture: On Prisons and Madness as its point of departure.

SPACE Gallery London
13 December 2014

A Weekend of Schizo Culture

2014 – Plenary Facilitation: Footfall Symposium
Footfall is a national collaborative research project devised by the 126 Gallery, Galway to explore the position of small arts organisiations in Ireland. Vagabond Reviews facilitated the plenary session of the Footfall Symposium in Galway as part of the Tulca Visual Arts Festival 2014.

126 Gallery
21 November 2014


2014 – Presentation & Discussion: (In)Visible Labour Factorium, Labour and Confinement
as part of the Abhainn Na Rí Festival, held at the Callan Workhouse, Co.Kilkenny - June 28th

2014 – CO-CHAIRS: Lifeworlds: Space, Place and Irish Culture
Vagabond Reviews & Deirdre O’Mahony GMIT co-chaired a workshop hosted by Galway City Museum entitled Know Your Place: A Community Mapping Workshop as part of this international conference convened by 1st Ómós Áite: Space/Place Research Network, NUI Galway 27 – 30 March 2014

Ómós Áite: Space/Place Research Network

2014 – Seminar Presentation: Returning the Gaze: Contemporary Self-Portraits and Community
Co-presented with Katia Hancke & Gillian O’Connor (Rialto Youth Project). as part of the seminar: Expanding the Academy: Connecting Arts Pedagogy and Practice in Community Contexts

National College of Art and Design, Dublin
31 January 2014

2014 – Presentation & Discussion: The Spatial Self
Chaired by Ciaran Smyth Vagabond Reviews, this presentation and discussion with Hugh Campbell, Professor and Dean of Architecture UCD was organised by curator Sophie Byrne as part of the Talks Programme for the One Foot in the Real World exhibition (October 2013 – April 2014)

Irish Museum of Modern Art
30 January 2014

2014 – Conference Moderators & Reporters: Freehouse: Radicalizing The Local
International Symposium, Workshops and Deliberations on the systemic challenges of the transition by Freehouse into a larger, co-operative structure.
Held at Freehouse, Pretorialaan 141, Rotterdam, Netherlands
15 – 17 January 2014

Radicalizing The Local

2013 – Panel Discussion: Slow Visibility
A Fugitive Papers panel discussion with Vagabond Reviews, Michelle Browne, Sarah Browne, Maria Kerin, Alice Lyons, Christine Mackey, Deirdre O'Mahony, Judith Stewart and Seoidín O’Sullivan, held at Nun’s Island Theatre Galway as part of TULCA Visual Arts Festival 2013 on the 23 November 2013
Fugitive Papers

2013 – In Conversation Event: Vagabond Reviews with Curator Valerie Connor

as part of the Still, We Work, NWCI Legacy Project Exhibition at 126 Gallery, Galway, 21 November 2013

126 photo gallery

2013 - Conference Presentation: Fatima A Cultural Archaeology: Narrating community through arts-based interdisciplinary research Saari Community Art Well at the Turku Arts Academy Finland organised by the Saari Residence Programme, Kone Foundation, Finland

Saari Community Art Well

2013 – Conference Presentation: NWCI Legacy Project
Presentation by Curator Valerie Connor & Ailbhe Murphy Vagabond Reviews At the Irish Feminist Activism and the Arts Conference organised by Women’s Studies, University College Cork June 15th 2013

2013 – Conference Presentation: This Must be The Place: Situated Practice and interdisciplinary arts-based research Organised by Galway Dance Days and the Conference of Irish Geographers / Art and Geography Ireland NUI Galway May 2013

Galway Dance Days/ Conference of Irish Geographers - Art&Geography Ireland

2013 – Keynote Address: Spectacle & Defiance: The Art of Protest

Presented by Ailbhe Murphy Vagabond Reviews at Art and Activism in Times of Austerity organised by the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope, a broad coalition of Dublin-based voluntary and community organisations, mobilised against ongoing cuts to the sector.
Project Arts Centre May 2013

2013 – Conference Presentation: Announcement of National Women’s Council of Ireland Legacy Project. As part of the One Struggle: Women Workers 1913 - 2013 Conference organised by SIPTU Equality in conjunction with Women’s History Association of Ireland, the Irish Labour History Society and the National Women’s Council of Ireland. Liberty Hall, Dublin: 9th March.

2013 - Public Deliberation: As part of the City (Re)Searches: Experiences of Public-ness international Practice Circle, Vagabond Reviews were facilitators and respondents over a two-day public deliberation on the question of cultural agency in Belfast. The event was held in a temporary ‘pop-up’ structure in Writers Square & produced by Community Arts Partnership, Blue Drum and Kaunas Biennial.

2012 - Keynote Address: Situation Room: Critical Cartographies for Engaged Practice.Presented at Artist In the Community 10 Year Gathering organised by CREATE. Drawing on theoretical coordinates formulated in her doctoral dissertation and on the interdisciplinary work of Vagabond Reviews, Ailbhe reflects on some of the critical tensions of collaborative practice.

2012 - Panel Discussion: Mapping Spectral TracesSymposium, NUI Galway. Artistic Practice as Research: Research as Creative Practice. Respondent. Convened by Ómós Áite Space/ Centre for Irish Studies NUI Galway & Place Research Collaborative Dept. of Geography NUI Maynooth.

2012 – Conference Presentation: Art and Building Community: Experiences from the Sliabh Bán Art House. Co-presented with the Sliabh Bán Residents Association at Cluid Housing Association National Staff Conference, Dublin.

2012 – Seminar Presentation: Constructing the Other: Ethnography & Interdisciplinary Arts-based Research. National College of Art & Design, MFA students seminar series.

2011 - Visiting Lecturers: MA Social Practice and the Creative Environment Limerick Institute of Art.

2011 - Panel Discussants following Frances Whitehead presentation on The Embedded Artist Project. Strategies for Civic Engagement: What do Artists Know? TULCA Visual Arts Festival, Galway.

2011 - Research in Public: Critical Coordinates at the Art-House-Café. Public Art Clinic No.11. Convened by Vagabond Reviews at No.18 Sliabh Bán, Ballybane, Galway as part of the Workshop Programme of the TULCA Visual Arts Festival, Galway.

2011 - Conference Presentation: Cultural Anticipations: What would a pedagogy for community-based arts and cultural practice look like?Co-presented with Niall O’Baoill, Fatima Groups United at Knowing Ways, Critical Learning in Arts Practice Conference convened by the Journal of Arts and Communities. Edinburgh, Scotland.

2011 - Conference Presentation: The Question of Measuring the Impact of Engaged Arts Practice in the Public Domain. Presented at Connect Seminar convened by North-55 on the occasion of the launch of the ILLUMINATE public art project.

2011 - Conference Presentation: by Vagabond Reviews on the Arcade Project at the Fire in the Belly Conference organised by Fatima Groups United.

2010 - Conference Presentation: A Critical Framework and Overview for Community-based Arts Programme. Presented at A New Pact: Participatory Art and Community Transformation organised by Blue Drum, the Arts Specialist Support Agency for the Community Development Programme and Fatima Groups United.

2010 - In Conversation with the What’s the Story? Collective as part of Policing Dialogues; Negotiations in Neighbourhood Relations in the LAB, Foley St Dublin.

2009 - Regeneration and Amnesia. Co-presented at National College of Art and Design with Fatima Groups United as part of the Cultural Archaeology residency at NCAD Gallery.

2008 - Innovative models of support for art in urban and suburban space. Presented at the launch by Dublin City Council Arts Office of the Open Spaces Programme at The Lab Foley St.