Gráinne Smith is a visual artist based in Dublin working primarily with video, sound and photography. They often depict aspects of virtuality and content consumption in their work. They credit the influence of David O’Reilly, Keiken and Ryan Trecartin. They participated in a curatorial project run by the Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda which involved the curation of a group exhibition, titled In Sense of Place: Student Select (2016 - 2017). They exhibited in the IADT student show New Translations at IMMA (2019), Open Submission 2020 in the Highlanes Gallery (2020) and in Propositions at IADT (2022).
My studio practice examines aspects of virtuality and content consumption. I am interested in how people interact with virtual content sharing platforms, such as news websites and social media. I look at the conscious and unconscious mind, both of which are in play when engaging with these platforms. The viewer engages with the surface layer content, often ignoring the intent of the content producer, and thus consuming it without any critical reasoning and analysis, eradicating qualities of individual decision making. I utilise AI (artificial intelligence) in my work. AI has become increasingly integrated into society and automation is quickly dominating society. I have been using both Shortly AI to produce text, dialogue and articles and Jukebox to generate music. The softwares are made by OpenAI, whose company’s patent and research are open source. I find the nature of open source very intriguing and I am interested in the paradoxical interplay between collectivism and individualism. It is shifting society away from individualism and towards collectivism.
Virtuality is challenging art to accept the virtual as a reality rather than a binary system that holds no intrinsic real value. Reality has many components and virtuality is just another. Art is rapidly producing work under such virtual spaces, although in essence it always has been. Art has always been a representation of reality (a painting of a landscape is representative of the physical landscape), but now it can also be a representation of virtuality; fundamentally a virtual of the virtual; a nonreal of a nonreal. It lays on the bed of a string of simulacra, becoming increasingly hyperreal.