Skip to main content

22/06/2021 - 15/08/2022

We are all part of a network of varied critters and objects that form one collaborative whole. Some nodes of the network are damaging to others, some are beneficial.

Being human, we apply human-centred ideas to networks. We say that humans farm sheep. Sheep might argue a different story. They can be found on every continent, in every climate, brought on ships with humans. Farmers watch over animals and ensure predators stay away from flocks. Vets, immunologists and epidemiologists spend lifetimes reducing ill health in individual animals. Some sheep might argue that they thrive at the expense of humans.

Many sheep carry a microchip that contains small pieces of data. The microchip, with a short radio signal, is of human design and human centred. It uniquely identifies the sheep for human systems, but it does not identify the animal. It does not include any data about the desires or goals of that ewe or ram. It does not acknowledge the complexity of its own design: The microchip is made from metals and plastics, formed over millions of years of geological evolution and influenced by the movement of thousands of worms, trees, beetles, and microbiotic organisms, moved by hundreds of human limbs.

A sheep in a field is a complex critter.

Shane Finan

Shane Finan assembles things together into art. His media include electronics, painting, computer programs, film, web art, writing and interactive digital media installation. From Glencar in Sligo, he is currently based in Wicklow. He holds a BA in Fine Art (IT Sligo, 2008) and an MSc in Interactive Digital Media (Trinity College Dublin, 2013).

Shane's work includes research and artwork. He collaborates on all projects, most recently working in tandem with foresters, fungi, farmers, epidemiologists, ecologists, sheep, astrophysicists, and trees. He has received awards from The Arts Council of Ireland (2021, 2020, 2012), Wicklow Arts Office (2021), Creative Ireland Sligo (2020), Trinity College Dublin Visual and Performing Arts Fund (2019) and Culture Ireland (2018).

Past Residencies


Landscape, Ecology & Environment Research Residencies