Writer in Residence June 2017 – May 2018
dlr Arts Office is delighted to welcome James Phelan as the writer in residence in dlr LexIcon for 2017-18. This year's residency will focus on screen writing and the theme of the future.
Book of the Month – November
‘To Be a Machine’ by Mark O’Connell
This excellent exploration of scientific and computer advancement bumping up against the problematic possibility of immortality through technology is an eye-opening, mind-bending odyssey with O’Connell as our sceptical, humourous and deeply human tour guide.
It trades under a succinct and evocative title but the longer strap on the book’s cover says it all – ‘Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death’.
It seems we are perched on a tipping point of science fiction swiftly becoming scientific fact. This book’s biggest achievement is in rendering the fervent beliefs and ambitions of the transhumanism movement into accessible nuggets of insight. Far from a dry thesis on the inexorable direction of technology, the author’s vivid varied encounters evoke a range of emotion in both himself and the reader. Ranging from profound to amusing to unsettling.
Yet in the face of seemingly unstoppable logic and progress, shards of hope and positivity endure too. O’ Connell may not have all answers but he does pose questions we should all ponder about the shifting landscape of a future that is hurtling towards us.
James Phelan is a professional screenwriter based in Blackrock. He has just won the 2017 IFTA for Best Script Drama for Wrecking The Rising, a three part TV historical time-travel comedy drama which aired on TG4 to universal critical approval.
He is also the creator of legal drama Striking Out for RTÉ which broadcast recently to impressive viewing figures and critical acclaim in both Ireland and America. His other work for TG4 includes the seven-part hit series Galway Races. The series won an IFTA, with James also nominated for his script-writing for the show. He later penned the entire second series Galway Races 2, earning an equally positive reaction from both viewers and reviewers. He garnered an Irish Writers' Guild Zebbie nomination for the second season.
James’ slate of animation work includes Oddbods, the hit children’s comedy TV series for One Animation/Boomerang TV, and also Cuby Zoo.
During the residency James is planning to work on a film script and develop a podcast. There will be lots of opportunities for the public to get involved throughout the residency.
Previous writers in residence include Sarah Webb, Selina Guinness and Colm Keegan.