For over twenty years Softday, the art-science collaboration of artist Sean Taylor and computer scientist Mikael Fernström, have engaged with issues relating to natural cycles in time, climate change and its global effects. As a collaborative team they use their arts practice to explore relations to and understandings of nature, expressed through sonifications and multimedia artworks and performances. Both artists are interested in exploring ‘the cracks’ between varous media and creative genres such as expanded theatre, sound art, socially engaged practice, sculpture, music, dance and the application of new technologies.
Early projects such as Bliain Le Baisteach (A Year of Rainfall) (2000) looked at fluctuating annual rainfall patterns in Ireland. Further, Cóisir an Tsionainn (The Shannon Suite) (2003) focused on the four-year life cycle of the wild Atlantic salmon and the effects of overfishing and pollution on the species ability to survive. Projects such as Nobody leaves till the Daphnia sing (2009) examined the implications of contaminated domestic drinking water supplies in Galway and West Limerick. Most recently the Marbh Chrois (Dead Zone) (2010) project addressed the impact of two ‘contested’ marine dead zones as a key stressor on marine ecosystems in Donegal, Ireland.
In 2011 Softday were selected as one of the winning entries to the prestigious project EUROPE – A SOUND PANORAMA, in Karlsruhe, Germany. The Karlsruhe live concert was recorded by Deutschlandradio Kultur and distributed to all European radio stations. In April 2013 Softday completed Amhran na mBeach (Song of the Bees) a collaborative project connecting the life of honeybees and current threats such as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). In April 2017 Softday presented Sounds of the Unthinkable at Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, County Cork, The began a dialogue with interested members of the local community, environmental scientists, maritime experts, Cork County Council and others to creatively explore the social, environmental and political impacts of the various scientific and environmental data that exposed possible links between cancer rates in the Cobh area and pollution from the former Irish Steel plant at Haulbowline in Cobh Harbour.
In 2019 Softday initiated Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) a socially engaged art project that lead to the creation of a significant citizen’s art-science collaboration based on water analyses from domestic water supplies from the River Liffey, its tributaries in Dublin City and from Dublin Port. The key aim of the project was to enable citizens living and working along the River Liffey to participate in scientific research with creative outcomes. The premier of Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) took place in Liberty Hall, Dublin on November 27th 2019.More info at: