ongoingFink's at Grazer Kunstverein
Department of Ultimology
Three Rock Mountain Study
Ultimology* is the study of that which is dead or dying.
The first Department of Ultimology was established by Fiona Hallinan and Kate Strain in 2016, at Trinity College Dublin. In the academic context, when applied across curricula and disciplines, Ultimology becomes the study of extinct or endangered subjects, theories, and tools of learning. More broadly Ultimology responds to a contemporary environment of anxiety around endings; a time of apocalyptic climate events and turbulent political change, threats of resurgent populism, depleted resources, rapid obsolescence and technological changes that are shifting society.
The Department of Ultimology considers that which is dead or dying across all fields as an entry point for transformative encounter. Working through artistic methodologies, Ultimology presents complex issues in playful and exploratory ways, conducting interviews, workshops, projects and discourse around the question “what is dead or dying?” In this way Ultimology functions as a means of openly grappling with opaque subjects.
The Department of Ultimology is part of the Orthogonal Methods Group (OMG), a research group based at CONNECT, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications, headquartered at Trinity College Dublin. OMG works in critical and creative relation/tension with technology. Working through artistic methodologies, Ultimology is offered as a tool for critical reflection by engineering researchers who work in cutting edge technology, and as a means for those outside of that sphere to gain insight into networks and communications.
* The term Ultimology was first encountered through the work of Ross Perlin, director of the Endangered Language Alliance (ELA), New York.
Recent Projects we have developed include:
Inside the Department of Ultimology: A Radio Essay
Produced by RTÉ's Drama On One and supported by the Broadcast Authority of Ireland, this essay ranges across multiple disciplines; history of art, communications technologies, linguistics, the climate emergency, the history of disease and personal stories. The programme features an original score by Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, and contributions by Isabel Nolan, Luna Dolezal, Jessica Foley, Ross Perlin, Dora Vargha, Laura Nsengiyumva, and Salim Kajani.
The essay is scripted by Fiona Hallinan and Barry Edward Fitzgerald, narrated and directed by Fiona Hallinan and Kate Strain and produced by Kevin Brew, with sound design by Damian Chennells and Ciarán Cullen.
The hour-long feature was broadcast twice in the RTÉ Drama On One slot (Sundays 8pm, RTÉ Radio 1) on 6th October 2019 and 10th November 2019 (to coincide with RTÉ's week-long focus on the climate emergency). 'The Department of Ultimology' will be available online here.
The Illusion of Infinite Resources at the First International Conference of Ultimology. Documentation photography by Louis Haugh
More information is available on the Department of Ultimology website at www.departmentofultimology.com