CV | Interview with Enda O'Donoghue | www.endaism.org
HUTTER | ZHENG | O’DONOGHUE
06.11.11 – 02.12.11
Enda O’Donoghue (Born in Limerick, Ireland, 1973) is an Irish artist who has been living and working in Berlin since 2002. He originally studied computer programming for a number of years before changing to visual art and to study painting. He has worked professionally as a web-designer and programmer with various dot-com businesses. His artwork is directly influenced by his experience working with digital technology, computer programming and the Internet. As an artist he has continuously worked and exhibited in a wide variety of media: photography, video, net-art and interactive media but painting remains the backbone of his practice.
His work has been shown in 2011 at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, was featured at the 2010 Expo in Shanghai and in 2009 he had a solo exhibition in New York at the Irish Arts Center. His work has also been exhibited in Copenhagen, London, Paris, Toronto and throughout the USA, Ireland and Germany. Over the past few years he has also been involved in organising and curating a number of group exhibitions in Berlin.
Interview with Enda O’Donoghue:
Tell us more about your videos “Off course” and “Minute of Angle”. How did they develop? Why did you choose the titles?
“Minute of Angle” was created in 2003 shortly after moving to Berlin and was originally created for an exhibition of video art which restricted the duration to exactly one minute, this partly explains the title but the complete phrase “Minute of Angle” actually comes from hunting and the firearms industry, in particular concerning the accuracy of rifles. The piece was created from sped up footage that was shot intermittently over a 12 hour period and which focused on the windows of an apartment tower block on Platz der Vereinten Nationen (formally Lenin Platz) in Berlin. The audio on the piece is a simply the ambient background noise while shooting that was also sped up so that it ends up sounding a little like the sound from an old computer modem.
The title “Off course” refers to “off course navigation” which is a very old navigation technique that which was used mainly for flight and sailing in the days before electronic and satellite navigation. This was originally created in 2006 for an exhibition of net video in Copenhagen and developed from footage that was collected and captured from live webcams located in various places around the globe. It was born out of a fascination which I have with webcams; presenting sometimes strangely pointless locations, they are nearly always silent and as they are always on, always broadcasting, there are vast periods of stillness, time where very little or often nothing is happening.
Why video art? Which possibilities does it offer for you?
Video art is something that I have often had a very difficult relationship with, at times to the point of giving it up for a couple of years and only working with other media. In fact I think of myself as a painter who makes video and the video art work which I gravitate towards and like best are generally those that almost attempt to treat the video as painting. Of course video adds very important extra elements into the mix with time and sound, and that presents so many more possibilities but also great challenges. Sometimes I think its good to impose restrictions on all the possibilities that are offered just to see what happens.
I think that the greatest challenge to video art is that it has to directly compete with TV, advertising, movies, music videos and now online video. So often the boundaries get very blurred and while it seems that so much is possible with video art, very often it is also its own worst enemy. Having said all that, I find myself returning again and again to video art because it offers the means to create works that can be highly captivating, quietly hypnotic and at times even humorous.
Which topics are you interested in in your work in general?
With my most recent work I have been very much interested in the mundane and throwaway moments and images of everyday life which are captured with such ease now because of digital technology and then shared over the internet. So I have been working primarily with found images and video footage; in a way filtering and selecting from the chaos that exists online, in what is perhaps a futile attempt to make some sense out of it.
I am interested in exploring the line between realism and the abstract, ideas of identity and anonymity, playing with concepts of randomness, control, chaos, errors and glitches, looking at both the possibilities and the limits of technology and increasingly I am becoming more interested in applying ideas coming from computer programming, mathematics and even theoretical physics to process the everyday moments that I have been collecting.
Are you working with other medias, apart from video?
I consider myself to be primarily a painter but I have worked in quite a number of other media, such as photography, drawing, net art, sound art and of course video. I find that a lot of very interesting cross-fertilisation happens as a result of working with these different media and that can be a great source of ideas and helps present fresh approaches to each medium.