European Mobility Award Report | Alan James Burns

Recipient of a European Mobility Award, researcher Alan James Burns, reports on researching the potential of locating a suitable site to exhibit a French adaptation of his artwork ‘Entirely hollow aside from the dark’.

Alan James Burns

Alan James Burns is an audio-visual artist producing intricate multimedia and sensory environments in site-specific locations that address the futility of capturing that ephemeral thing we call ‘thought'.

Alan James is currently on residency at Fire Station Artists’ Studios until 2020.


The EUCIDA project Travel Award that I received was used to fund my a research trip & travel to France, where I carried out site visits to many caves in the Franche-Comté region. I travelled to France to research the potential of locating a suitable site to exhibit a French adaptation of my artwork ‘Entirely hollow aside from the dark’.


‘Entirely hollow aside from the dark’ is a psycho-acoustic event within caves; ancient natural auditoriums carved into the underbelly of the natural landscape. The immersive installation aims to create a visceral experience of journeying into someone’s inner dialogue by using 3-dimensional audio. I hope to exhibit a new adaptation of this work in a cave in the Franche-Comté region in 2020 with the support from Valérie Perrin at Espace Multimedia Gantner (EMG).


On the 12-14 November 2018, I flew from Dublin to Basel, France. I rented car and spent 2 days driving to suitable caves in the region, carrying site visits for potential exhibition. On my final day I meet with Valérie Perrin Director of Espace Multimedia Gantner. Whom I have been in conversation with in regards to working together to bring an adaptation of this project to France.

It is important to be able to view the cave sites in person to accurately assess the health & safety standards, installation plans and audience numbers, that are specific to each cave. The EUCIDA project Travel Award gave me the opportunity to assess exhibition sites in France, and thus to seriously plan the logistics of adapting this series of work for an international tour to France. The award has been invaluable in opening up my practice and this work for a french and international audience.


The award also provided me with the opportunity to meet in person with Valérie Perrin. The opportunity to meet Valerie in person was fundamental in showing my commitment to the potential of exhibiting in France, and to progressing the conversation with Valérie and to the possibilities of the project. Since meeting with Valerie in November, we have developed discussion in regards logistics and plans for project. With the support of Valerie, we are now making applications for production and development grants to produce this work in the region.