The Digital Hub welcomes latest Artist-in-Residence
- Award-winning artist Leon Butler begins six-month residency
- Work will focus on intersection of art and technology, building on recent Technologist-in-Residence work
The Digital Hub has welcomed its latest Artist-in-Residence for a 6-month programme at their Dublin 8 campus. Award-winning artist Leon Butler will bring his expertise in design and collaborative art projects to develop a digital model of the local liberties area of Dublin 8 and its ecosystems.
Leon specialises in digital design, with a focus on using 3D designs to invite audience participation and interaction. Leon uses a variety of mediums to convey his work, including animations, virtual reality, digital sculptures, typography and motion graphics.
As part of his residency, Leon will take data collected from sensors installed in locations around The Digital Hub campus and develop a virtual reality model of the neighbourhood that local communities can engage and interact with in different ways. The model will allow audiences to explore particular areas of their local ecosystems and engage with how aspects of the environment changes in real time.
Leon’s work will complement The Digital Hub’s projects on exploring and emphasising the relationship between community and wellbeing through the development and use of technological systems. Existing work undertaken by the most recent Technologist-in-Residence at The Digital Hub, where sensors were deployed to gather data on air quality, traffic levels and pollution, will form part of Leon’s work.
In 2015, Leon established his own visual practice, Bold Visual Narrative, and has worked with a broad range of Irish and international brands to produce novel designs from motion graphics to animations. His work has been recognised by the Irish Design Awards and Galway Film Fleadh, with The Design and Craft Council of Ireland recognising his practice as one of their Future Makers in 2016.
In 2017, Leon’s work was shortlisted for the Berlinale International Film Festival, and separately gained a nomination at the ICAD Young Directors Awards. Following a residency at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Leon was awarded with a Certificate of Typographic Excellence by the Type Directors Club of New York in 2015.
Commenting on Leon Butler’s residency Fiach Mac Conghail, CEO of The Digital Hub, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Leon as our latest artist-in-residence. He will be our fifth artist who we have supported in The Digital Hub’s engagement with our community and neighbours. Leon’s practice involves working in digital creation and his focus will make use of our local area and ecosystems to better understand how their wellbeing affects our own health, and I look forward to seeing the outputs of Leon’s residency with us.”
Leon Butler said:
“The Digital Hub is a central point for the Dublin 8 community, and there has been significant work already undertaken on examining the ecology of the surrounding area and society’s relationship with it. I am looking forward to working with local community groups and the team at The Digital Hub over the course of my residency and I hope to make a lasting impact on how local residents view the importance of our natural surroundings.”
The Digital Hub has a long-standing commitment to supporting the arts and creativity and Leon will be The Digital Hub’s fifth artist in residence in as many years, following successful partnerships with artists Seoidín O’Sullivan (2021), Elaine Hoey (2020), Kate Nolan (2019), and Mandy O’Neill (2018).
The Digital Hub runs a variety of programmes that use digital innovation to help improve the lives of people of all ages in the local community, such as The Liber8 Music project, a creative programme in collaboration with BIMM Dublin, that exposes young people to music and digital media and a special programme with the Dublin International Film Festival, called Screen8, which gives older people in the community a chance to write, produce and film a short movie for the festival each year. Other initiatives include sponsorship of the Liberties Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival and Dublin Fringe Festival.
The Digital Hub have introduced a number of initiatives to foster sustainable activities in Dublin 8, including the installation of Ireland’s first urban tree nursery, hosting beehives on the campus in partnership with the Robert Emmet Community Development Project’s Inner-City Bee Keeping Project, the use of solar PV panels on campus buildings and acting as a lead partner in Smart D8, an initiative to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens through collaboration and innovation.
For more information:
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About The Digital Hub
Based in the historic Liberties area of Dublin city centre, The Digital Hub is an enterprise cluster for growing technology companies. Forty-six established businesses operate in The Digital Hub. Together these businesses employ over 300 people.
The Digital Hub is the largest cluster of digital media, technology and internet businesses in Ireland, providing a space for indigenous enterprises such as Akara Robotics, Bizimply, Good Travel Software and Neuromod to scale and grow. Major global companies like Lonely Planet are also based in The Digital Hub along with industry organisations like PhotoIreland.
Since the project’s inception, over 400 companies have progressed through the enterprise cluster at The Digital Hub, generating thousands of skilled jobs. Some well-established alumni include Amazon, Athena Media, Black Shamrock, Boomerang Pharmaceutical Communications, Distilled Media Group (Daft.ie), eMaint, Etsy, Havok, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Riverdeep), Lincor, MTT, patientMpower, Slack, Software AG, Silicon Republic, Square1, Stripe, TIBCO, VSware and Wachsman.
The Digital Hub is a supportive partner of the local community, by running several learning initiatives for people of all ages. Community learning programmes are run with local partners. For example, the Future Creators Cadets is delivered by H2 Learning and supported by National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and The Liber8 Music Project is run with BIMM Institute Dublin. The Digital Hub also works with community groups and organisations such as the Robert Emmet Community Development Project and Pocket Forests amongst others. The Digital Hub is one of three lead partners on the Smart D8 initiative which aims to improve and sustain the health and wellbeing of Dublin 8 citizens through innovation and collaboration.
The Digital Hub Development Agency is the Irish state agency that manages The Digital Hub. The Agency was established by the Irish Government under the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment.
In March 2021, the Government decided to dissolve the Digital Hub Development Agency and close The Digital Hub. The Agency will now embark upon an orderly winddown process which will see the transfer of lands to the Land Development Agency. All operations at The Digital Hub, including various community initiatives and partnerships, will continue as normal up until the closure date.
The Digital Hub is in a position to offer leases for new and existing companies up until 2025 following an agreement with the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment.
Further information is available at: www.thedigitalhub.com or on Twitter: @TheDigitalHub.