The total mountain


Every artistic movement from the beginning of time is an attempt to figure out a way to smuggle more of what the artist thinks is reality into the work of art. Zola: “Every proper artist is more or less a realist according to his own eyes.” Braque’s goal: “To get as close as I could to reality.” 

– David Shields, Reality Hunger 

But here I’ve only discussed levels of self and identity looking inward. What makes 2012 so much more interesting than 1912 is that we now have this thing called the Internet in our lives, and this Internet thingy has, in the most McLuhanistic sense, become a true externalization of our interior selves: our memories, our emotions, so much of our entire sense of being and belonging. The Internet has taken something that was once inside us and put it outside of us, has made it searchable, mashable, stealable and tinkerable. The Internet, as described by William Gibson, is a massive consensual hallucination, and at this point in history, not too many people would disagree. 

– Douglas Coupland, “On Supersurrealism”

Aesthetic experiences and objects are now dividing into the binary categories of downloadable and non-downloadable. 

– Douglas Coupland, “On Craft”

The popular preconscious…those ever-shifting contents which we may reasonably suppose can be called to mind by the majority of individuals in a given society at a particular moment in history; that which is ‘common knowledge.’ 

– Victor Burgin, The End of Art Theory

But the Internet, with its swift proliferation of memes, is producing more extreme forms of modernism than modernism ever dreamed of….this type of content is about the quantity of language that surrounds us, and about how difficult it is to render meaning from such excesses…These ways of writing—word processing, databasing, recycling, appropriating, intentionally plagiarizing, identity ciphering, and intensive programming, to name just a few—have traditionally been considered outside the scope of literary practice…..We don’t read: we skim, parse, bookmark, copy, paste, and forward. We become information hoarders and amateur archivists who frantically collect, store, and move artifacts that we’ll never interact with. 

– Kenneth Goldsmith “The Writer as Meme Machine”

Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1974. She studied composition with John Maxwell Geddes at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Kevin Volans in Dublin and graduated from Northwestern University, Chicago, with a doctoral degree in composition 2002. In 2000 Jennifer won the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt. In 2003-2004 Jennifer was a fellow of Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart; during 2004-2005 she lived in Berlin as a guest of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm. From 2006 to 2008 she was the composer-in-residence in South Dublin County for In Context 3. In 2007 she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York. In 2008 she was awarded the Praetorius Music Prize for Composition by the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur. In 2009 she lived in Venice, Italy as a guest of the Fondazione Claudio Buziol. She is currently Reader in Music at Brunel University, London. She lives in London and Co. Roscommon, Ireland.

Jennifer’s work has been performed and broadcast all over the world. In addition to her activities as a composer, Jennifer frequently performs as a vocalist, specialising in extended techniques. Many of her recent compositions were commissioned for her voice in conjunction with other instruments. Jennifer is also active as an improviser, performing regularly with musicians in Europe and the U.S., and in her duo Ma La Pert with Tony Conrad.

Since 2007 Jennifer has developed Grúpat, a project in which she has assumed twelve different alter egos - all members of art collective Grúpat - and created compositions, installations, graphic scores, films, photography, sculptures and fashion under these alter egos. Pieces by Grúpat members have been performed and exhibited all over the world. In 2009 Grúpat were the feature of a major retrospective at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin, which coincided with the launch the book Grúpat by Project Press and the release of two CDs. This was followed in 2010 with a Grúpat solo exhibition titled NO IRISH NEED APPLY at Chelsea Art Museum New York. In 2011 Grúpat were featured at the Cut & Splice Festival at the ICA London, where performances and exhibitions of their work took place.