‘Entropa’ in 2016

Just over 7 years ago I left the UK to explore Europe, chasing as much international culture, particularly artwork, as I could. Choosing to encompass visits to Vienna Contemporary Art fair and Amsterdam Art Fair between other countries because – hay, they sounded like exciting ways to discover art from around the world. I was rather naive to the commercial premise of such events, as a 19year old developing artist and not a potential collector- I’m not the primary target audience art fairs are aimed at; yet still delighted to experience this most wonderful outcome. However I did come away with the opportunity to work in the bullseye of Europe at ‘Volta 6′ art fair in Basel. Thrilled to experience this culmination of so many nationalities, ideas and expressions, that was invigorating, insightful and positive. As I am currently enjoying many discussions about international relations whilst working at VOLTA12, June 13 – 18, 2016; It draws me to reflect on my first significant discovery at an art fair back in 09; fittingly the artwork ‘Entropa’ by Czech artist David Cerný, (needless to say I did’t buy it but I did buy into it) subtitled “Stereotypes are barriers to be demolished” – this work could not resonate more now.
The work ‘Entropa’ was made to comment on the European Union, proposed as a collaborative project with an artist from each country, this was ultimately a hoax as a reflection on such collaboration… and played out as a Monty Python style artwork. As much as the title plays on EU/Entropy from one angle, it can also promote a view of ‘A Europe Without Barriers’. Heartened by the ability of artwork/world to spread and facilitate conversations and such expressions, ideas and emotions, check it out…

(I’ll return to Glasgow, UK, Europe 23rd June – to vote #Remain)

Expanded Home Cinema End

Expanded Home Cinema

Previously on Expanded Home Cinema…

Outskirts Festival 2015

Outskirts is a day long mini festival of music, performance and visual art site specific to Platform. The line up looks fantastic, including Radioland: Kraftwerk’s Radio-Activity Revisited by Matthew Bourne, Franck Vigroux & Antoine Schmitt, as well as a Raydale Dower Sound installation, Exhibition ‘Sedimentation’ including Birthe Jorgensen, Jasper Coppes and Alison Blunt, to be finished with Hubby and Drew (aka Wounded Knee) performing their Easterhouse conversation…

I was really happy to have the opportunity to also show my Installation ‘Digital Shadow’ on a huge scale.. and have some fantastic video of people enjoying it to merge and upload soon!

Creating Space ‘Tae Think Again’

Recounting a symposium at the Centre for Contemporary Art hosted by local Glasgow based artist Rachel Maclean titled ‘Tae Think Again: Re-thinking Identity in Contemporary Scotland’.

As the evening began Rachel got quickly into showing a video piece of hers; ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’, which playfully re-imagines Jeremy Paxman and Alex Salmond as the film’s titular heraldic characters.

Still from Rachel Maclean 'The Lion and The Unicorn'

Still from Rachel Maclean ‘The Lion and The Unicorn’

It was telling that this discussion on the upcoming referendum was to focus on ‘Identity’. She usually acts every character herself, often in front of the green screen, before digitally merging the video clips; a process that  itself challenges the contemporary notion of identity in media. This work however was in fact filmed in location, then overlaid with many soundbites from those portrayed to compose what serves as a most entertaining and engaging satire of all involved. The film’s focus on these identities serves to highlight not just how absurd they really are, but also the absurdity of basing any political decision on their identities.

This inference was echoed in Fred Fletch’s Skinny article this March when he eloquently stated “…this vote was never about personalities. It’s bigger than you both.” Whilst in the short term we may be entertained by the lead characters in this ‘pantomime’, we know that when the curtain falls and the votes are counted, the resulting impact of this referendum will last far longer. Ultimately it is not their, but our identity that will be influenced by the outcome.

After the video a fascinating discussion began with Iain Macwhirter underscoring that this discussion is beyond identity, and is ultimately about politics. This was recouped in the insight provided by Scott Hames who proposed the idea of ‘Cultural Scottishness’, to paraphrase; the potential of ‘independence’ to be realised culturally, out with political independence. This dialogue fascinatingly prompted a consideration of the relation between culture and politics; though in the context of this discussion it felt impossible to deny their ties. Through this, Scott outlined the possibility of the ‘imaginary dimension of nationhood’ to become inhibiting, an appeal in itself for further consideration.

This is exactly what both this video and more so Mcleans similar work ‘A Whole New World’ (recently screened) achieve so competently, whilst acknowledging the potential of the medium of film today. I misread the evenings programme notes as if it referred to the artist as a ‘future historian’, but I believe that term that would in fact be appropriate. By employing film not prescriptively but artistically to facilitate consideration, contemplation and conversations such as this talk, is invaluable in helping to shape our future identity. It is therefore reassuring to see artists fulfilling this responsibility, creating the space for us to consider important issues in our society.


RSA:NC Statement

Dan Shay

Royal Scottish Academy: New Contemporaries

Feb 15- March 12




Projection Installation, Infinite Loop

Colourfall uses DLP projection to create an interactive installation in which we can reflect on our immersion in technology. The projectors are used to traverse the increasingly ambiguous borders of our real and virtual spaces, cultivating a sense of awareness through our interaction within these divergent environments. Streaming identical yet paradoxically dissimilar imagery of the Falls of Foyers (themselves steeped in tradition concerning the studies of perception) the two projectors reveal an altered perception generated by technological processes. In this way, the Falls echo the long-established notion of the ‘Sublime,’ akin to that observed in works such as Friderich Edwin Church’s Niagra Falls, from the American Side (housed next door in the National Gallery of Scotland)-while expanding the definition to include technological phenomena, suggesting a new ‘Sublime.’


obersee ­­­

Digital film, 10:16

Obersee focuses on the development of a new process of filming, projecting, re-filming, and projecting, in which the imagery generated serves to reveal the constitution of the medium. Rather than using digital editing software, the footage is compiled physically by moving the projectors and adjusting cameras in an attempt to conduct and capture the intangible. Applying techniques of the past to the technology of the present in hopes of conjuring a vision of the future, the digital waves of information merge to convey a meditative journey into a place beyond continuously blurring boundaries.


RSA-finNC Statement Dan Shay

Royal Scottish Academy: New Contemporaries

I am proud to be presenting new work in the RSA New Contemporaries, amongst a select group of young artists. It is a valuable exhibition offered on the back of my degree show and my work has come together alongside many other opportunities in the last 9 months.



This new work is the start of a really exiting development, working with new themes and advancing processes continuing an investigation into our immersion in technology. I have had a lot of help and fantastic support in preparing for this, so send huge thanks to Generator Projects, Dundee University VRC centrespace, The DCA team (Ewan ,Graham and Clive), REWIND (Steve), Edinburgh sculpture workshop, super craftsman Eric Schumacher, all the NEoN Digital Arts festival team, Jenna Vanderende, Lewis Fieldhouse, wonderful guidance from Professors Nick Wade and Ashley woodward, Inspiration from Frederic Edwin Church and a few much appreciated favours from the new colleagues at the Modern and vital support from many other friends and family.

I’ve recently moved to Glasgow and undertaken a great opportunity as an Intern at a great gallery. Its been a fantastic insight and a wonderful welcome to Glasgow, though I am more eager than ever to continue developing new work. This exhibition runs from the 15th Feb through to March 12th.

Please let me know if you can make it, there are so many other fantastic artists exhibiting brilliant work, I would really love to hear what you think.dan@danshay.co.uk -email link

– More fantastic documentation from StudioRoRo to come soon –