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Colin Martin

In these three paintings, Colin Martin explores our prosthetic relationship with technology. The works are part of Martin’s Empathy Lab series, titled after a dedicated area in Facebook’s headquarters where employees can express empathy through technology. Depicting computer museums, analogue recording equipment and modular electronic instruments, the works explore spaces that blur boundaries between the real and virtual and where technology, culture and politics have become synthesised.

Model City (Blade Runner) is a painting of the Weta Digital film studio in New Zealand, where a recreation set of a futuristic Los Angeles has been built for the film Blade Runner. As opposed to CGI effects, the set marks a return to physical model making as an illusionary method of creating a technological future. Robot (Amazon) depicts an Amazon Fulfilment Centre Robot, used in warehouses to move goods from source to consumer, while ‘Crowd' is a painting of a facial recognition system monitoring a group of commuters leaving a Chinese train station. This work examines the increasing use of systemic surveillance control in society and how it is used to socially categorise groups.

Title
Empathy Lab

Medium
Oil on Canvas



Colin Martin is an artist and lecturer based in Dublin, working with painting and film. He is currently Head of the RHA School and lectures part time in the NCAD Media Department. Solo exhibitions include Keyframe, Platform Arts, Belfast (2014); Collection, City Assembly Building, Dublin (2012); The Garden, curated by Kate Strain, Broadcast Gallery, DIT, Dublin (2011); Cyclorama, Basic Space, Dublin (2011). Group exhibitions include Locations of Estrangement, Art Projects, London (2020); Surveillé·e·s, curated by Nora Hickey, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (2018); House Taken Over, Private House, Belfast (2018); This is Not Architecture, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda (2017); Far From Me, Josef Filipp Gallerie, Leipzig (2016); N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Interview Room 11, Edinburgh (2016). He has received the Arts Council Visual Arts Bursary in 2020, 2015, 2012 and 2007.

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