At what point will common sense prevail - Archive


The At what point will common sense prevail - Archive by Garrett Phelan is based on an online/ fm broadcast/ installation and performance based audio project, consisting of 26 sound works which was presented for a 5 year period from 2008 - 2013.

At what point will common sense prevail marked the second phase of a series
of projects by Garrett Phelan exploring the 'formation of opinion', particularly manifested through independent FM radio transmission projects, drawing, video, photography and web based projects in both art gallery and public environments. At what point will common sense prevail explores the personal, subjective assimilations of information, and the ways that society creates its values and notions of 'common sense'. Phelan approaches these complex subjects, touching on different disciplines such as Psychology, Politics, Ethics and Philosophy. 

This project dealt specifically with cognition and how the cognitive process is applied or called upon in conversation, discussion and debate. For this, Garrett Phelan generated a script for each of the 26 sound pieces by instigating and contributing to online forums, ranging from forums on physics to forums on religion. Instigating topics such as "Commitment to truth", "Youth isn't a defence" or "Change is our only Commonality", the subsequent responses and
discussions were later edited into scripts. Half of these scripts were then translated into different languages such as French, Chinese and Kirundi, and recordings then made of native speakers reading the script in their own language. Based on these initial recordings, each participant was recorded a second time listening to their own voice in the first recording, repeating the words in real time.  The result of this elaborate process was 26 "regurgitated monologues". A portrait of each of the participants was produced during the recording of each sound work. Together
with the recordings, the drawings, collated materials from various presentations of the project form an archive,  which can be presented in different formats such as installations, performances or radio broadcastscontinually .

The 'regurgitations' created an alienating combination of semi-coherent sentences, with the original content of the discussions becoming lost through the repeated transformation of information and opinion. At what point will common sense prevail artistically recreates the processes of discussion and creation of opinion, raising significant questions about the personal and public mediation of information. 

At what point will common sense prevail
was originallycurated by René Zechlin and commissioned by the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, as part of its Projects programme.

All MP3 downloads are 128kbps*.

Edited selections of these works by the artist are available on request for radio broadcast.

An archive installation of this project including 26 sound works and 26 drawings are also available for exhibition.

Performances of individual regurgitated monologues by the artist happened intermittently throughout the 5 year period.


At what point will common sense prevail - Archive - Selected Presentations


SMART Project Space, Amsterdam, Holland
As part of the solo exhibition - Between two ITs
20 March - 2nd May 2010,

Installation detail SMART Project Space, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Getting Even - Kunstverein Hannover,
curated by Matt Packer and René Zechlin,
Oppositions + Dialogues in Contemporary Art,

Installation detail Kunstverein Hannover, Germany, photo: Raimund Zakowski.

May 30–August 9, 200


Emotional Community

24th June - 25th July 2009

curated by Teresa Macrì featuring Francesco Arena, Jeremy Deller, Gabriele De Santis, Gülsün Karamustafa, Mike Kelley, Garrett Phelan, Alejandro Vidal, Akram Zaatari and The Joy Division

Installation detail Monitor, Rome, Italy.


Art on Air - Radiokunst im Wandel
Curated by Elisabeth Zimmermann, Heidi Grundmann and Dr. Anne Thurmann-Jajes.
Exhibited from 26th April - 29th March 2009
Weserburg - Museum of Modern Art

Installation detail Weserburg - Museum of Modern Art, photo: Bettina Brach.


Getting Even - Lewis Glucksman Gallery,
curated by Matt Packer and René Zechlin,
Oppositions + Dialogues in Contemporary Art,

Installation detail Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland, photo: Matthew Packer.



At what point will common sense prevail
MIMA Soundspace
Curated by Gavin Delahunty
23rd May - 17th August 2008
Middlesbrough institute of Modern Art