There is no place like Ireland- and I was there for the first time in late April 2018 while presenting at a conference hosted at the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences at National University Ireland- Galway. This wonderful event brought together digital humanists, artists, and creative developers from around the world.
The advantages of presenting at this forum were numerous most notably the ability to engage my work with fellow scholars using digital media and literature to inform their scholarly inquiry. These exchanges allowed for idea refinement and new ways of exploring the future iterations of my work.
The major questions to which this gathering addressed encompassed interrogating our place within understanding issues related to history and biopolitics, the incorporation of human and non-human code as well as how we gain knowledge from these systems. Additionally, the forum addressed how history, art, and literature can examine such phenomena. The Moore Institute at the National University Ireland at Galway hosts a large variety of digital humanities projects and resources while offering training and support for students and scholars engaged in digital humanities research.
Anne Karhio, program chair was amazing in planning such a transformative event.
On the more informal side of things, conference attendees had ample opportunity to share with one another outside of the podium. At the kickoff dinner I discussed with fellow conference delegates Graeme Truslove and Alison Clifford how I thought of Ireland in my poetic imagination. They were not surprised when I told them that as a child, when reading storybooks of the Irish countryside I imagined quaint cottages overlooking waterways. I went on to tell them that I thought that such an idyllic scene would be wonderful for writing a dissertation. But not without some wifi(or 4G hotspot) and a cat or two traipsing about while I composed my words. And of course I must do so in a chunky sweater of some sort.
The chunky sweater that I imagined (pictured above), Graeme informed was likely to be an Aran jumper. As an American English speaker, I thought of “jumpers” as coveralls, not sweaters, but I caught on to the word and its meaning. When I returned to the United States I began looking up Aran jumpers and tweeted about buying an Aran inspired sweater in my excitement. My London friend Steven Ball then tweeted to me about the Aran Islands where the sweaters originated and are still knitted to this day.
The Aran Islands are a beautiful and rustic destination that are reachable by ferry from Rossaveal (which is the port when coming from Connemara & Galway).
So this video is my ode to the Aran sweater, the Aran Islands, and a time space motif of my brief visit to Galway, Ireland. I shall return!
The Aran Jumper (set to Jethro Tull’s "Living in the Past") from Christy on Vimeo.