Ciara del Grosso

Carlow Arts Festival, but in a 360 virtual space


3 – 13 June 2021


Altspace VR, also available for desktop.
Download here:


Not satisfied with just small scale in-person and online options, Festival Director Jo Mangan approached Artist/Designer/Coder Ciara del Grosso to imagine the festival in the virtual world. The result is epic. You imagine it, and it can happen. Want to fly high above the site and get a birds eye view? You can.  Want your avatar to dance beside others in close proximity while shouting in each other’s ear over the music? You can. 

The festival campus is situated in an imaginary version of the usual festival site at Carlow College between VISUAL and the Cathedral and also features the interior of the former Braun site. Digital art, film and sound projects that are part of both and the broader festival offering are available to view/experience in the virtual festival campus. Film content from our Latin American Dance programme will be streamed here, and a meditation walk-in sphere can help take you away from it all when the time comes. 

Join us for a walkthrough/tour, curated talks and meet and greet opportunities throughout the festival beginning with a guided tour on Thursday 3rd June – details below.

Content of curated talks with all our avatars will be broadcast  via the festival website.

For further info about access please click link to instructions here>>. 

Events in our Virtual Festival Campus

Come join us in our Virtual Carlow Arts Festival Campus live in Altspace VR. Meet and talk to people in real time, see art works from Woman In The Machine, listen to the Invisible Opera, light fireworks and even dance in our DJ area. This is as close to the real festival experience that you can get right from your very own home – except here you can also fly! As well as being the venue for 2d films, sound installations, VR films and art works, we will be hosting numerous talks in the Virtual Festival Campus over the course of the festival.

Altspace can be accessed in a few different ways. The best experience is in 360° through a VR headset, but if that’s not an option you can also try 2D mode on a PC or a (new) Mac. For anyone who can’t access Altspace, all of the events will be streamed onto our Youtube channel live

Carlow Arts Festival Virtual Festival Campus

featuring Woman in the Machine (Braun) Virtual Site
A collaboration between Carlow Arts Festival and VISUAL
Director: Jo Mangan
Designer: Ciara Del Grosso
Coordinator: Christina Quill

Consultant: Camille Donegan

Cameras: Carlos Austin, Andre Burr, Ryan Wright


Thursday 3rd June @ 8pm
Carlow Arts Virtual Festival Campus Launch

  • Join us at our Virtual Festival Campus launch event. First up will be a guided tour of the super cool Carlow Arts Festival Virtual Festival Campus and the Woman in the Machine portal to the former Braun site. The launch will be led in Altspace by creator Ciara del Grosso and VR film strand curator Camille Donegan. We will explore an eclectic immersive environment of Dance Films from Latin America, Invisible Orchestra – a light and sound installation, films, sound installations and 2D artworks that will have been installed at the former Bruan building and at VISUAL, a meditation orb, mini games, and wings to make you fly while surrounded by models of Carlow buildings such as Carlow College and the former Braun building.


Tuesday 8th June @ 6pm
What The F are NFTs?

  • Hosted by Rachel O’Dwyer
  • Speakers Inte Gloerich (Artist & Researcher, Institute of Network Cultures), Martin Zeilinger (Curator, Senior Lecturer in Computation Arts and Technology, Abertay University)
  • Join the discussion on the use of NFTs for digital art. Are NFTs just another crypto ponzi scheme? Just another kind of asset class? Or can they help us think about ownership, authorship and collective action in new ways?


Tuesday 8th June @ 8pm
We are Cyborg. Are we?

  • Hosted by VISUAL’s Artistic Director Emma-Lucy O’Brien
  • Speakers are artists Michelle Doyle, Coilin O’Connell and Barbara Knežević
  • Join a discussion on our relationship to machines and networks. We’ll be chatting about Donna Harraway’s influential text The Cyborg Manifesto.


Wednesday 9th June @ 6pm
Sisters With Transistors

  • Hosted By Carlow Arts Festival Director Jo Mangan
  • Speakers are composers Jenn Kirby and Jennifer Moore
  • The film title was one of the jumping off points for the development of the Woman in the Machine project at the former Braun site. Meet some of the trail-blazing Irish female music makers commissioned and presented as part of the Woman in the Machine project and experience Jenn Kirby’s composed installation as part of the exhibition in the Virtual realm.

Wednesday 9th June @ 8pm
Theatre Making in a Virtual Space

  • Carlow Wedge recipient theatre director James Riordan, dramaturg Hanna Slattne,  composer Karen Power and film maker Paul Kinsella in conversation with VR Producers Camille Donegan and Hannah Mullen. 
  • Join in the conversation between theatre, sound and film artists stepping into the world of VR to ask questions about creating work in a XR space – what’s possible within story, sound, image and the relationship to the viewer? Where could theatre making in VR go?  And how does collaboration and workflow between artistic disciplines differ when creating virtually?


Thursday 10th June @ 6pm
The Means of Production

  • Hosted by Dublin Digital Radio DJ and writer Kate Butler
  • Speakers are music makers Roo Honeychild (Club Comfort, City Imp Records) and Gemma Dunleavy ( Up De Flats EP)
  • Join the discussion about the historic monopolisation of technology for music making, how this has changed but has a lingering effect, and each of the panellists’ experiences in using technology for their creative expression.


Thursday 10th June @ 8pm
Women in (Digital) Architecture

  • Hosted by Emma Geoghegan
  • With Cora Corbajo who works with the Building Information Models and digital parametric modelling tools that are a key part of contemporary architectural design.