contemporary painting

Shane Finan, ADA (2015)

January 8, 2016

shane finan

There’s the painting you can see and the work of art you can only grasp in the mind: 96 panels that will soon make their way through the world’s postal networks and scatter the material object.

Shane Finan’s painting is a landscape jigsaw, where interiors and exteriors interrelate and a bridge connects the artist’s studio to the wider world and to the eventual destination of the piece.

Already the monumental work is travelling the global networks. You may come across it on blogs like this, tweets like this, and status updates like this. But I’m not the only one expressing interest.

Some 25 percent of the panels are sold. The sale ends Friday, at which point the artist will know how much his project has raised for peripatetic, non profit gallery Wandelbar Art International.

Never mind the transience of this art work, it is also pragmatic. In crowdfunding, it has a clear role, which is more than you can say for most art. We know contemporary art struggles with utility.

ADA stands for A Distributed Archipelago and, in Turkish, ada means island. Finan is interested in insularity, which, as he points out, has more to do with digital networking than you might think.

We are more connected than ever, but the quality of our online relations remains in question. Art, which generally requires your physical presence, might be the apotheosis of connection.

Perhaps that is why austerity governments value it so little. That makes archipelagoes a timely and potent image: a cluster of discrete entities joined up more closely than it seems at first.

Though we might only break the surface here and there, via text and telecommunications, we form a chain of continuous being to which we’ll only return once buried or scattered ourselves.

More information can be found on the artist’s website. To invest in an island, visit the gallery site.

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