the speedie TELSTAR

TULCA Contemporary Arts Festival,
Galway, Ireland

The Speedie Telstar
Neal White and Tina O’Connell
The Golden Mountain - Galway Contemorary Arts Festival, Ireland

Commissioned by Val Connor
8-24th November 2013

The Telstar satellites were the products of a multinational agreement to develop space communications and television capabilities globally. It was Telstar that was used for the First Global Press Conference by John F Kennedy in 1962. The Speedie Telstar is in fact also a twin of sorts, as a replica of the original Telstar is housed at Bell Laboratories, now Alcatel-Lucent, in Blanchardstown, Dublin.

Fabricated using 3d printing and watercolours, the Sculpture not only acted as a jump off point for a local bus tour, but was a form of gift exchange between the work of the artists and the work of Brendan 'Speedie' Smith, co-founder and curator of the Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland, NUI Galway.

His gift to Galway, along with other volunteers is an outstanding museum that sets out Brendans own vision to create a national communications, science and technology museum in Ireland. To respond to this vision and gift, we created a sculpture that would be donated as a new display to this and a future Museum.

We organised tours that ran every week from TULCA to the Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland, nestled away discretely in an industrial science park. At the gallery, our guide, Maeve O’Neill introduced archival material and orientation. On arrival at the Museum, Brendan Smith delivered the tour of Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland, at the Insight (formerly DERI) building at NUI Galway.

The project explores the historical and contemporary developments of information and communications technology in Ireland and globally whilst celebrating the role of the enthusiasts who collect, maintain and educate this community about this critical history and its implications for the future and Irelands economy so beautifully, critically and generously communicated in the Museum.

As an intended, at the end of the show the Speedie Telstar was donated to the Museum where it is now on permanent display.