The 17th Venice Architecture Biennale open-end at the end of May, a year later than intended, due to Covid restrictions and cancellations. This year the Irish pavilion, at what is one of the largest exhibitions of architecture in the world, was commissioned and curated by an interdisciplinary group of architects, artists and researchers, together known as ANNEX. The pavilion is called, Entanglement, and it explores the materiality of data, and the interwoven human, environmental and cultural impacts of communication technologies. As you will hear this is a particularly Irish concern right now, with Ireland currently being the data capital of Europe, which, at its simplest terms, is manifest in the sheer number of large data centres being built on the Island. But is far more complex and far more profound than that, and in the podcast you will here this very contemporary concern with data and the cloud, has resonances with our histories of social and public space and implications for the planet’s resources, because the cloud is greedy.
Host Emmett Scanlon speaks to David Capener and Donal Lally, two ambassadors for the six member Annex team. The podcast covers working as part of an interdisciplinary team, the genesis of the pavilion, Ireland as a data capital, the value of exhibitions and the value of the Venice Biennale.
Entanglement is due to tour Ireland in 2022.
Annex is an international multidisciplinary research and design collective, comprised of a core team of
architects, artists, and urbanists, whose work operates between and beyond the subject areas of computer
science, gaming platforms, technology and public space, data centres, sensor technology, and large technical
systems. Members include Sven Anderson, Alan Butler, David Capener, Donal Lally, Clare Lyster and Fiona
Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council and in 2021 the
pavilion also has the support of: The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media;
Royal Institute of Architects Ireland; TU Dublin School of Creative Arts; TU Dublin Graduate School of
Creative Arts and Media; Trinity College Dublin; CONNECT Research Centre for Future Networks and
Communications; University of Illinois at Chicago, Creative Activity Award; Valentia Slate, ARUP, Office of
Public Works and Green on Red Gallery.
David Capener is an architect, critic, writer, academic and educator. He is a researcher at
Technological University Dublin. He has taught on the master’s program at Queens University School of
Architecture and has written for The Irish Times, The Guardian, The Sunday Times and numerous other
print and online publications.
Donal Lally is an architect and principal at zero-degree machine [z-dm], an architecture studio
that operates in areas within and beyond the traditional boundaries of architecture, landscape and urbanism.
Donal is a Lecturer in Design Theory at TU Dublin. Donal’s PhD project, The Posthuman City, explores how
data infrastructures reconfigure human and non-human habitats.