a net art project by Conor McGarrigle

Cyclops is one episode from an ongoing narrative series which present a portrait of a city through the digitally mediated everyday stories of it's inhabitants . Combining elements of live performance, video, photography and captured audio into a digital framework the project follows the virtual journey of artist Artie Doyle on a Joycean narrative through the streets of Dublin where each discrete episode corresponds to a chapter from Ulysses.

Cyclops adopts the narrative structure of it's corresponding chapter in Ulysses as the viewer adopts the role of an anonymous security officer in the act of tracking our protagonist as he travels through the Temple Bar area of the city using the Cyclops™ surveillance control console. The episode is broken into four scenes each corresponding to a security zone thematically based on the city's political life, artistic life and the poetry of the urban.

Joyce once commented that if Dublin was ever destroyed that they could rebuild it from the pages of his novels. While undoubtedly true the reconstructed city would be like the Dublin that is presented in this narrative, an enhanced city, a city of grand gestures and declamatory statements where the inner life of the citizens, their thoughts, hopes and desires become manifest in the streetscape and the fabric of the city like a contemporary take on pathetic fallacy. A city much like Joyce's Dublin where the mundane is celebrated and everything has significance.

While superficially these scenes have a realistic look, it is soon obvious that they are merely digital creations. What is not clear is whether they are re-creations of real events or creations of fictitious events montaged from real footage, or perhaps it doesn't matter and our relationship with where we come from is always a virtual one created and re-created as necessity dictates.


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