'THE BREATHING FACTORY'
Mark Curran The Breathing Factory
The South of Ireland had never experienced the full impact of the Industrial Revolution but in 2005 was defined as the ‘most globalised economy in the world’. Global companies, outsourced operations to the Republic, branded as a ‘trans-global site of operation’, attracted by a highly skilled and flexible workforce where direct cost of employment is among the lowest in Europe and, what continues to be, the lowest rate of corporation tax in Europe (IDA Ireland).
The Breathing Factory, a title inspired by the concept of a flexible economic management model responsive to the needs and demands of the global market and to be implemented not only at the level of the factory floor but to extend to the nation state, critically addresses the role and representation of labour and global labour practices in this newly industrialised landscape as manifest in manufacturing and technology. Global industrial practices are characterised by fleeting alliances; transient spaces as capital moves when and as required. In such an ephemeral and globalised context, the project focuses specifically upon the Hewlett-Packard Manufacturing and Technology Campus, part of a cluster formation of multinational technology complexes in the east of Ireland. Incorporating ethnographic practices in its undertaking. The full installation includes photographs, text-based work, digital video and sound archival material.
The Breathing Factory (2006) was published by Edition Braus with the support of Belfast Exposed, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Gallery of Photography, Dublin.