Garrett Phelan | At What Point Will Common Sense Prevail

26 June - 25 July 2009

Paradise Row is pleased to present At what point will common sense prevail by Dublin-based artist Garrett Phelan.

The material dimension of the project exists on multiple platforms: the physical space of the gallery, the FM carrier waves, broadcast on FM radio stations and, lastly, on the world wide web at

The online project consists of 26 sound works which are presented for a 5 year period on the dedicated website. Garrett Phelan generated a script for each of the 26 sound pieces by instigating and contributing to online forums, ranging from forums on physics to forums on religion. Instigating topics such as "Commitment to truth", "Youth isn't a defence" or "Change is our only Commonality", the subsequent responses and discussions were later edited into scripts. Half of these scripts were then translated into different languages such as French, Italian, Chinese and Kirundi, and recordings then made of native speakers reading the script in their own language.

Based on these initial recordings, each participant was recorded a second time listening to their own voice in the first recording, repeating the words in real time.  The result of this elaborate process is 26 "regurgitated monologues". A drawing portrait of each of the participants was produced during the recording of each sound work. Together with the recordings, the drawings form an archive,  parts of which will be presented in different formats such as installations, performances or radio broadcasts throughout the 5 year period. The principle aim of the project is to explore the personal, subjective assimilations of information, and the ways that all society creates its values and notions of 'common sense'. Phelan approaches these complex subjects, touching on different disciplines such as psychology, politics, ethics and philosophy.