Saoirse Higgins MA RCA Interactive Media, MSc MIT Media Arts and Sciences

Job Title:

PhD Research Student


Highlands & Islands PG Research Students


Papay intrepid explorers
project by Saoirse Higgins

Papay intrepid explorers


Saoirse Higgins

Survival Tools of the Anthropocene

Supervisor: Lynn Sayers-McHattie

Remote islands e.g Orkney, occupy a unique viewpoint on the world from the edge looking in. The ‘signal to noise’ ratio is stronger as mans connection to nature is more concentrated compared to urban environments where we are often shielded from nature with technology. Can these small pioneering communities, which often experience the direct effects of climate change, make a telling contribution to the issues of man-nature survival in the anthropocene world? I am interested in researching how we as interdisciplinary artists and designers can create a set of ‘anthropo’ survival tools that help to indicate and monitor the local and global changes happening from this Orkney island context.

Saoirse Higgins Biography
I am a artist-designer from Dublin, Ireland recently moved to Papa Westray, Orkney islands. I am carrying out research here as part of my practice based art and design Phd with Glasgow School of Art’s Creative Partnership with the Highlands and Islands. My background is in design with a BDes Industrial Design from National College of Art and Design, Dublin. I have an MA Interactive Media from the Royal College of Art, London and an MSc Media Arts and Sciences from MIT media lab, Boston. In my projects I am interested in revealing some of the connections between our visions of the world we live in, our expectations for the future and the technology we use to help us with this. I explore the contested spaces of man-nature, man-technology. My work is process-driven and has a scientifically influenced, playful approach. I have shown my work internationally in places such as Shanghai-China, Montreal New media festival, Transmediale-Berlin, Exit Art and Location One gallery-New York. I have held residencies at Listhus-Iceland, Swatch Peace Art Hotel, Shanghai, China; Disonancias in Spain, Location1 gallery in New York and the Banff Centre for the Arts. I am currently collaborating with the Papa Westray Trust and have recently collaborated with the Icelandic Glaciological Society.


- ‘Papay shoreline research station’
- 9th May-13th May Balance unbalance exhibition and conference, Manizales, Columbia.

- ‘Measuring Nature’ in collaboration with the Icelandic Glaciological Society.

- 1st November 2014- 31st January 2015 ‘Faces and Traces’ exhibition, Swatch Peace Art Hotel, Shanghai.
- 24th-26th April ‘Overview’ Listhus Art Space, Iceland.
- 16th October-28th November ‘The Fire and the Rose’, Asia Triennale, Manchester.

- 17th September - 7th November. ‘Seamless’ Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubliana, Slovenia.
- 8th September-15th September. Bazaar Compatible Projects program. ‘A Pail of Air’
- 28th August -2nd September. International Science and Art exhibition, Shanghai Exhibition Centre, China. In collaboration with Make+ project, Sponsored by Chinese Government and Swissnex.
- 20th July. Little Victories, Shanghai, China.
- 14th March-23rd March.‘Ways to escape’, 2022NQ, Manchester.

- 31st January-31st February. ‘Limits of the World’ Solo show, Pratt Digital Art Gallery, New York.

- 10th September-17th September. ‘Portrait of a Space’ exhibition- part of Dublin Contemporary.
- 18th October- 19th December. ‘Quantified Self’ The Lab, Dublin.

- 20th May-10th June. Thessaloniki 2nd Biennale, Greece. The Grafting Parlour
- 10th January-21st February. Lightwave exhibition, Science gallery, Trinity College, Dublin.
- ‘Growing light and other conversations’ The Grafting Parlour.

- 22nd-28th August. Space Shuttle project, Donegall Pass community forum, Belfast.

- Traffic, Exit Art, New York. Mechanism no.2: emergency. In collaboration with Biographic tech Inc, Montreal.
- Out of Conflict, Le Roy Neiman gallery, Columbia University, New York.
Mechanism no.1: war. Interactive toy with projected video.


May 2015 Icelandic Glaciological Society Mýrdalsjökull glacier expedition.

April 2014 Listhus Art Residency, Iceland.

Jan-Sept 2014 New Art Spaces, Federation House, in association with Castlefield Gallery, Manchester.

June-Sept 2013 Invited residency, Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shanghai, China.

August 2010 Kuenstlerdorf Schoppingen Foundation Schoppingen, Germany. The Grafting Parlour.

June 2010 Invited resident, Medialab Prado, Madrid. Collaborative digital media project ‘Garage Science’

2008-2009 e-mobilart lab-University of Athens; University of Applied Arts, Vienna; University of Lapland, 1-year international collaborative art-science project.

2006-2007 Disonancias 6-month residency (Sept 06-March 07), Basque country, Spain. Juried residency-10 artists with 10 research and development companies. In association with Museum of Fine Art, Bilbao and Xabide group.

2003-2004 Artist in residence, Location1 gallery, New York.

2000 Artist in Residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada ‘Discovery’ residency.