Irish Multimedia Experience Goes Off-Broadway
By Olivia O'Mahoney
April / May 2018
In late 1980s Ireland, commercial digital scanning was newly available, and when Dublin artist Patrick Dunning decided to scan a piece of his art – a large but simple cosmic landscape – into a one million pixel format, he came to understand his painting not just as color on canvas, but as digital code with a message all its own. Patrick became committed to translating every pixel into a human signature, beautifully expressing both our differences and our sameness.
In March, Dunning’s The Signature Project makes its Off-Broadway debut under director Eric Paul Vitale in a presentation that combines Dunning’s narrative, the marriage of art and technology in his 76 by 36 foot mural, and an original score composed by Dunning and his brother, Brian, the flutist of popular 1990s Irish Celtic-jazz music group Nightnoise. Walking the audience through the layers of emotion and history that come together to comprise the project, Dunning reveals surprises at every trick of the light, and explains how after 26 years and 300,000 signatures, the project continues to sustain itself.
“Every time a new name is added, a new sense of heart is added, too,” Dunning tells Irish America. “We might be all individuals, but we’re all here, and that’s one thing we’re all part of.”
The Signature Project runs March 11 to 25 at the Sheen Center in Manhattan. ♦