Denise McDonagh


My practice is driven by the uses of technology in the everyday and how this influences and changes the individual’s interactions within society.

It is an investigation into how we engage socially with technology, specifically mobile phone technology. Are we as a society so addicted to being connected that are we losing ourselves in a virtual world and slowly removing ourselves from our reality or is it becoming integrated into one. Augmented Reality shows the erosion of boundaries between the real and virtual as we move in and out of our lives on screen. Views of self become less unitary, more protean, I feel witness, through the prism of technology to a shift in how we create and experience our own identities.


As part of my research while completing my residency I was investigating buyer and social behavior around mobile phone technology. An ECIS report completed in 2009 where a comparison between Thai & British consumers looking specifically at buyer behavior states that the mobile phone has shifted from being a technological object to a key social object as communication with others is the main purpose for mobile phone purchasing. Facilitating family or friend coordination and intensifying social interaction are the crucial factors for using a mobile phone. This has been a key factor in exploring how we connect as humans today. Obtaining a mobile phone is a milestone that indicates success not only financially but also in terms of integration within society.


Using this report as a formula I drew comparisons between Ireland and Thailand looking at how they socially interact with mobile phones. With 3G finally become available to the public in 2012. Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), ending the long-awaited licences for 3G, they have granted the spectrum licences to the three mobile operators to begin services. What changes this means for Mobile technology in Thailand and the need for Thai people to be more connected is what I focused on while completing the residency. Through series of Videos, drawings and photographic works, which are still in progress