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Art Works: AlanJames Burns

17 September 19 interview: LeftLion

He's thought deeply about the art of thinking... 

Entirely Hollow Aside from the Dark
I am a visual artist who works primarily through audio, virtual reality and performance. I’m mostly interested in consciousness and how multimedia technology can be used to further our understanding of one’s inner experience.

One day while taking part in the Resort Revelations art residency in north Dublin I was walking along the coastline of the small seaside town of Portrane, and I was thinking about... well, the act of thinking. The tide happened to be out and I stumbled across Smugglers’ Cave. It was in that moment that the initial idea sparked to map consciousness to the inside of the caves. When we are ‘inside our heads’, do we speak in monologue or dialogue? Do our thoughts emerge in a linear process or are they sporadic? Do we humans ever stop thinking? As a visual artist, I think about these questions through making, research and collaboration. I collaborated with the writer Sue Rainsford to realise this concept.

The UK premiere of Entirely Hollow Aside from the Dark is more environmentally focused; the assumed consciousness of Mother Earth is mapped inside the caves at Creswell Crags. There are many challenges in creating this work, from funding to scouring the English countryside to find suitable caves, but cutting down the carbon footprint of the project is the biggest task we have set ourselves. 

The team are travelling by boat and train to install the artwork from across Europe. We are working to use energy efficient production solutions as well as adopting a plant-based diet throughout the project. Creswell Crags have also been fantastic partners, and we’ve been working together to find more sustainable solutions to reduce our carbon footprint. They are introducing more plant-based options on their menu, and have just ordered a full review of single-use plastics in their cafe and are now phasing them out.

AlanJames website

Creswell Crags website

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