I make soundwork, drawings, video, sculptural objects and have been doing so since the mid 1990’s. Over this time, I have developed an audio-cartographic methodology of context-related praxis that examines the inter-relationships between the aesthetic, the ethical and the institutional/relational dynamics that shape the contexts of the projects I undertake. Conceptually, this work explores network building, place making and active citizenship. In practice, it has involved a process of making audio recordings with specific networks of people in order to develop sound based artworks within a gallery context.
At the core of this work is an interest in conversational form in the phenomenological sense and methods of aesthetic representation of conversation. I explore this through different media. Silence is a recurring area of interests, gaps in speech, redactions and identifying ways of presenting conversation that shows both where there are dominant voices and where there are voices missing. I use different mechanisms to make aesthetic representations of this imbalance in gallery based installations that are sculptural in there construction and digital in the functionality.
The gallery context is a site specific space that I play with this context in different ways. Sometimes this involves processes of negotiation with galleries around future showing of work, sometimes it involves power of veto being held by people who are party to the conversation, but often there is an ethnomethodological examination of gallery structures that happens through siting the artwork in that space.
In addition, this interest includes a broader research of sites of social interaction: sports clubs, bingo halls, active retirement groups, artist led groups, and so on and so forth. My interest is in how people make sense of the shared constructed realities of their social interactions and also the commonalities that exist across them and in turn how you represent this theoretical frame within the socially constructed gallery frame.
-michael mcloughlin, May 2020
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Links to publications – Please click on the image to access a pdf version of the publication for download