16 - 24 June 2023 Cork Centre for Architectural Education

Tamsin Snow

Relic is a newly commissioned project by the Dublin-based artist Tamsin Snow specifically designed for the Cork Centre for Architectural Education. Curated by Chris Clarke, it was presented as part of Cork Midsummer Festival 2023

The installation reflects Snow's interest in the built environment, processes of automation, and technological innovation and obsolescence. 

In the first section of the installation, Snow’s 3-D printed sculptures echo the surrounding city streets - visible through the large windows of the site. Two coloured, blown-up versions of street grates have been displaced from their usual surroundings to evoke an almost cartoonist sensibility, while a pair of hanging, upside-down streetlamps - resembling both the nearby poles just outside and the straight vertical lines of the interior fixtures - emit a dull glow. Enlarged sculptural representations of a bent SIM card and a mobile phone card tray are subtly positioned. While such components are usually embedded within a mobile phone, Snow makes them glaringly apparent. An atmospheric soundtrack, composed by Daniel Snow, drifts across the two rooms of the installation: the composition is plays out of sync, overlapping and jarring in certain moments, and coincidentally aligning in others. 

As the title suggests, Relic speaks of ideas of antiquation and outdatedness, of how modern innovations inevitably become supplanted by new devices and technologies or by their own built-in failure. The second features an installation of Automated Teller Machines, 3-D printed in colours that recall computer mainframes and early IBMs. The ATM, increasingly irrelevant in the age of mobile banking and financial technology, was once criticised itself for putting bank tellers out of work. Here, the automation that they brought about is turned against the machines themselves. On their screens, a series of  computer animated films presents glimpses of labs, research and development sites, and factories, all devoid of human workers. They point to future technologies, of computers making computers, and, in turn, of the debris and waste that will be eventually left over. 

Tamsin Snow is a Dublin-based artist whose installations have been shown in solo exhibitions at Temple Bar Gallery+ Studios, Dublin; Atelierfrankfurt, Frankfurt; Block 336, London; Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray; and Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin. Her group exhibitions include shows in Dublin, Helsinki, London, New York, Stockholm, and Vienna.

Curated by Chris Clarke and commissioned by the Glucksman in partnership with Cork Midsummer Festival.