artist / participant

press release

The Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, presents a new production by Garrett Phelan, curated by René Zechlin.

'At what point will common sense prevail' is an audio project available online at It consists of 26 sound works which will be presented for a 5 year period on the dedicated website.

'At what point will common sense prevail' marks the second phase of a series of projects by Garrett Phelan (lives and works in Dublin) exploring the 'formation of opinion', particularly manifested through independent FM radio transmission projects, drawing, video, photography and web based projects in both art gallery and public environments. 'At what point will common sense prevail' explores the personal, subjective assimilations of information, and the ways that society creates its values and notions of 'common sense'. Phelan approaches these complex subjects, touching on different disciplines such as Psychology, Politics, Ethics and Philosophy.

This new project deals specifically with cognition and how the cognitive process is applied or called upon in conversation, discussion and debate. For this, Garrett Phelan generated a script for each of the 26 sound pieces by instigating and contributing to online forums, ranging from forums on physics to forums on religion. Instigating topics such as 'Commitment to truth', 'Youth isn't a defence' or 'Change is our only Commonality', the subsequent responses and discussions were later edited into scripts. Half of these scripts were then translated into different languages such as French, Chinese and Kirundi, and recordings then made of native speakers reading the script in their own language. Based on these initial recordings, each participant was recorded a second time listening to their own voice in the first recording, repeating the words in real time. The result of this elaborate process is 26 'regurgitated monologues', as Garrett Phelan has called them. A portrait of each of the participants was produced during the recording of each sound work. Together with the recordings, the drawings form an archive, parts of which will be presented in different formats such as installations or radio broadcasts throughout the 5 year period.

These 'regurgitations' of information create an alienating combination of semi-coherent sentences, with the original content of the discussions becoming lost through the repeated transformation of information and opinion. 'At what point will common sense prevail' artistically recreates the processes of discussion and creation of opinion, raising significant questions about the personal and public mediation of information.

This project by Garrett Phelan continues from the 'Investigations' series of contemporary art projects curated by René Zechlin at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery. Over the past three years, the series has explored the intersections between the art institution and its university environment from artistic, architectural, social and academic perspectives.

Garrett Phelan
At what point will common sense prevail

Kurator: René Zechlin