Arts and Culture / News

Art professor explores digital technology in new exhibit

“Unreliable Narrations,” which features the first chapter of James Joyces’ “Ulysses” projected across two parallel screens, is part of Conor McGarrigle’s exhibit at the Myhren Gallery.

Digital technology touches many aspects of our everyday lives, and it is now impacting the contemporary art world as well. One University of Denver professor is showing off his creative digital art experiences in conjunction with classic literature in a new exhibit on campus.

Conor McGarrigle, a digital artist and newly appointed assistant professor in the emergent digital practices program, has a new exhibition on display in the Victoria H. Myhren Gallery titled Conor McGarrigle: And Whenabouts In The Name Of Space. The exhibit runs through Dec. 9.

Most of McGarrigle’s work revolves around the idea of a “digitally mediated walking intervention.” McGarrigle has released several mobile applications designed to enable users to experience urban spaces in new and exciting ways — a theme that is also prevalent in the exhibition, which explores the role art and digital media play in modern life.

McGarrigle, a Dublin native, drew inspiration for the title of the exhibit from an excerpt from Finnegan’s Wake, by Irish writer James Joyce: “Where are we at all? and whenabouts in the name of space? I don’t understand. I fail to say. I dearsee you too.” Joyce’s book Ulysses was the inspiration for McGarrigle’s participatory art project “Joyce Walks,” which is featured in the Myhren Gallery exhibit.

“Joyce Walks,” a website and mobile application, utilizes Google Maps to generate walking routes, based on Ulysses, for any city in the world. Photographs McGarrigle took on his own Joyce Walks in London, Venice and Boston are on view in the exhibit, along with the first chapter of Ulysses, which is projected across two parallel screens, in a piece titled “Unreliable Narrations.”

“The exhibition documents ongoing participatory works that offer multiple levels of engagement,” McGarrigle says. “I hope that visitors will become engaged with these works and pursue this interest by creating their own ‘JoyceWalks,’ or by downloading and using the ‘WalkSpace’ iPhone app.”

The exhibit also includes a video installation titled “Mad Men: the bittorrent edition.” McGarrigle used the bittorrent file-sharing process to download one episode of the popular TV show, but an incomplete download results in a transformed viewing experience. Computer and television screens are scattered throughout the exhibit, displaying other examples of McGarrigle’s digital art.

McGarrigle describes his work as digital art “that recognizes the reality that digital media and networks have become intertwined with and enmeshed in all aspects of everyday life.” His work seeks to reflect the role of digital media as a mediator of everyday experiences, facilitating actions rather than guiding them.

“For me, the important thing about working with digital media is that it involves a critical engagement with emergent digital technologies and their accompanying social practices,” McGarrigle says. “At a time when so much of our everyday lives are mediated through digital technologies, I see it as vital that art practice becomes part of the conversation about the role and implications of digital media. Working within this field means that I’m engaging with, and hopefully contributing to, these debates.”

Visit to learn more about McGarrigle’s work. The Myhren gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. daily.



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