Fascinated by the subliminal, the unseen and the secretive, Seán Hannan often finds himself dwelling within the digital realms of political conspiracies, deep government and the world of computer hacking. He seek out leaked documents”, whistleblower testimonies and conspiracy theories online to gather knowledge on subjects that are not, be they true or false, “supposed” to be part of our public knowledge.
He uses these stories as the building blocks, the raw materials for his work. From these snippets of (often contested) information Hannan develops projects that reflect on how we are affected by the more dominant manifestations of media and the various societal implications these alternative sources attempt to bring to our attention.
By setting up the projects Hannan undertakes as frameworks and a set of rules, rather than outcomes to research, and leaves room for others to interject. In past projects he has invited hackers, whistleblowers, (former) CIA operatives and conspiracy theorists (etc.) to take part, offering them an active role to play on the stage they set up together.
The personal narratives and various fields of expertise they bring with them help to determine the outcome in a collaborative endeavor that draws equally from both worlds. Their opinions and convictions perhaps cannot always be taken at face value; but by presenting their reality alongside his own, Hannan seeks to establish “a” truth that is a more realistic reflection of our current public domain. One that adheres not to facts and reason, but to opinions, beliefs, and convictions.
The works that ensue bring together a broad array of media, crafts, and materials. He makes drawings, video works, photographs, objects and performances which he presents together in installations that function modularly. Mixing antique objects with new technology, (con)fusing facts with highly speculative information, and combining web-found footage with material from dusty archives he seeks to relay worlds where “what could be so” beats “this is how it is” any day of the week.
Residency Unlimited is a non-profit art organization that supports the creation, presentation and dissemination of contemporary art through its unique residency program and year-round public programs.
The institute is located within the former South Congregational Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. The space is multifunctional, acting as a hub and meeting place for Residency Unlimited’s various communal activities, public programs, including talks, screenings, performances and exhibitions. Here artists and curators in residence meet with RU staff, conduct research, and at times produce work.
Residency Unlimited provides customized residencies for international and local artists and curators in New York City focused on network support, project/production assistance, and public exposure. This includes weekly meetings with art professionals aligning artistic and curatorial interests, regular project support with Residency Unlimited staff, and a public program opportunity at its Brooklyn location or partnering venues throughout New York.