Dialogical Art and Productive Failure: Interview with Aisling O' Beirn in Dialogical Interventions

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Dialogical Interventions is a publication edited by Martin Krenn which evolves around the practice of dialogical art. Part 1 of the 168 pages book consists of essays by Suzana Milevska, Martin Krenn, Boris Groys and many more. Part 2 is comprised of interviews and student projects presented with collages of Krenn. O' Beirn is one of the artists interviewed for the book.

In O' Beirn's interview she discuss socially engaged practice, the relationship between art and science, the role of failure in creativity in relation to a range of works such as ‘Another Day in Futile Battle Against the Second Law’ (2016), Boolean Logic’ (2015), ‘Structures Invisible to the Naked Eye’ 92011), Nicknames Map, Belfast’ (2014) and ‘Transforming Long Kesh/Maze (2016 – 2019 collaboration with M. Krenn).

Martin Krenn's information on the book below

Dialogical Interventions

• Current theory on dialogical art
• Introductory contributions by renowned art theorists, interviews on current key projects of socially committed art in the international field, and artist insertions on dialogical art projects

Aims and Scope
How can art change society? What aesthetic quality does dialog bring to art? What is the role of autonomy in dialogical art? Dialogical Interventionsinvestigates how dialogical art moves between the poles of social engagement, aesthetic autonomy and social change. Essays by international authors and interviews with socially and politically engaged artists and collectives focus on the relevance of dialogical and interventionist practices and their role in mediating new forms of knowledge and experience through art, thus opening up new prospects for this exciting arena of activity. Between the individual texts, artist insertions document social artistic practices on a visual level.
Essays by: Mary Jane Jacob, Boris Groys, Suzana Milevska, Barbara Putz-Plecko, Martin Krenn
Interviews with: Gerald Bast, Aisling O’Beirn, Gluklya, Renate Höllwart, Elke Smodics (trafo.K), Florian Malzacher, Alastair McLennan, Christina Varvia (Forensic Architecture), Selda Asal
Projects/Interviews by: Liliane-Sarah Kölbl, Cornelia Kolmann, Nora Licka, Nina Kugler, Lea Jank, Ariana Joya Mc Manus, Shobha Untersteiner, Tanja Happel, Rosie Benn, Marius Fischer, Johanna Folkmann, Eve Sherl
(Martin Krenn 2019)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDialogical Interventions
Subtitle of host publicationArt in the Social Realm
EditorsMartin Krenn
Place of PublicationVienna, Austria
PublisherDe Gruyter
ChapterFences (Liliane-Sarah Kölbl & Cornelia Kolmann, Nora Licka)
Pages90 - 97
Number of pages8
VolumeBook Series of the University of Applied Arts Vienna
ISBN (Print)978-3-11-063240-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Publication series

NameBook Series of the University of Applied Arts Vienna

Bibliographical note

Aisling O’Beirn, born 1968, is an artist based in Belfast and an Associate Lecturer in Sculpture at Ulster University. Her work is interdisciplinary and explores the relationship between politics and place, uncovering the tensions between disparate forms of official and unofficial information. She examines space and place as physical structures and political entities by making and animating forms relating to observed and theoretical structures being studied by contemporary astronomers and physicists. Her work also questions how people process and understand both scientific and political developments. Her work takes various forms, including sculpture, installation, animations and site-specific projects depending on the context. Dialogue is key to her practice, which has been facilitated by Armagh Observatory, Dunsink Observatory and The Centre for Astronomy NUIG, Galway. O’Beirn has exhibited nationally and internationally. She was included in Northern Ireland’s first participation in the 51st Venice Biennale and was shortlisted for the MAC International prize in 2018. Her work manifests variously as sculpture, installation, animation and site-specific projects.

Martin Krenn, born 1970, is an artist, artistic researcher and curator who teaches at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. He works with various types of media, especially text, photography, and video. Most of his work in public space takes the form of social sculpture. His key area of interest lies in the strained relationships between art and society. By consistently expanding the field of art, he tries to initiate discussions about sociopolitical topics and challenge conventional thinking. His work has been shown at numerous international exhibitions and festivals. Krenn holds an M.A. (Mag. art.) from the University of Applied Arts Vienna. In 2011, Krenn received the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Scholarship at the University of Ulster in Belfast (UK) for his PhD research in the Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment and was awarded a PhD by Ulster University in 2016. In 2017, Krenn was awarded the Venia Docendi in “Art and Communication Practices” at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.


  • Dialogical art practice
  • art and science
  • Transforming Long Kesh/Maze


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