Report from Porto: ARC Researcher Rosie O’Reilly on ERASMUS + Traineeship

downloadI’m one month into a two month Erasmus + Traineeship in Porto, North Portugal. I was accepted as an artist in residence /researcher at CIIMAR, an interdisciplinary marine research institution. My MA research questions explore how we understand change, borders and movement in a time dominated by the anthropocene, climate change and big data.  The marine and Port infrastructure offered a place to situate these questions, and more specifically in the case of CIIMAR, I’m based in a building which houses the cruise terminal points for human transport vessels and which is flanked by one of Europe’s largest container ports.

I’m working directly with an ecologist and geneticist, observing work in the area of invasive species studies and also anthropocenic change in marine ecosystems.  I’ve used this opportunity to create a research web beyond CIIMAR too and am collaborating with a Lisbon-based philosopher Dr Bartholomew Ryan, and another experimental photographic space called Casa da Imagem.

The breadth of experience is vast; I’m writing this having just left a presentation on the future of underwater mineral mining while upstairs another lecture is taking place on DNA sensors for underwater ecosystems. Last week was spent in the Image Lab with artist Ricardo Leitte where he trained me in the use of biological developing agents for film.  I experimented with an invasive species of Algae, Undaria pinnatifida, Japanese Seaweed that is spreading around the Portuguese coast on the hulls of small crafts.



I will be presenting my research in CIIMAR on March 2nd and will exhibit work from the residency as part of the forthcoming Strange Strangers exhibition in Dublin (April 2018).

ALGAE Developing Test Shots


Rosie O’Reilly will show her work Strangers in a middle world as part of the Strange Stranger exhibition in April 2018.

Strangers in a middle world tells and re-tells stories of borders, boundaries and change. An assemblage of things explores the mesh – the grey areas of ambiguity – that joins species, places and being. Exploring the phenomenology of the stranger allows for a deconstruction of an anthropogenic view of species and of invasiveness, of crossing borders and being at the threshold of the other.