Digital Arts Studios Belfast, Northern Ireland

Andrew Healy

UK & Ireland Artist in Residence

Artist Intro

Andrew Healy completed a Masters in Digital Media from NCAD after previously studying Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. Multi-disciplinary in nature, his practice is mostly concerned with the psychological effects of technology in our everyday life. During his time in Belfast he created a smartphone application using GPS to turn the geography of Northern Ireland into a territory of contrasting colours while also responding to sites of recent political conflict. Android application: Northern Ireland's geography is still highly politicised in spite of the relative peace of recent years. Urban and rural areas are religiously segregated and there is still tension between the two communities. There are now more "Peace Walls" dividing people than before the Good Friday Agreement and many sites still visibly bear the scars of violent incidents from years before. One way people show solidarity, mark their territory, and express identity is through the display of flags. As such, colour is an important signifier of political allegiance. The words Orange or Green when applied to a person or area take on political or social significance. By using a strict series of gradients determined by latitude and longitude values rather than the demographics of an area, the 'in N.I.' app converts any given point in Northern Ireland into a new colour. This colour is joined by its contrasting colour at all times (reflecting the two communities living together). While this app is predominantly about dispassionately creating a new colour map for Northern Ireland, at 124 sites across the British Isles the app will respond directly to that location's significance in the Troubles. The animation changes from slowly intersecting circles to rapidly flashing squares and the date of the incident in question appears on screen. No other details are given (about victims or group responsible, for example). It is left up to the user if they want to conduct their own search for the particular event. Available for free on Google Play at Created while UK & Ireland Resident at Digital Arts Studios, Belfast

design & development