St. Patrick’s Tower lights up with the digital dreams of Dublin 8

  • Laser show by acclaimed artist Robin Price examining Dublin 8’s digital subconscious
  • Project will be live for 7 weeks and looks to bring to life society’s relationship with social media

The Digital Hub, in partnership with acclaimed artist and inventor Robin Price, has commissioned one of its most unique art projects to date in the form of a laser installation called ‘Do Algorithms Dream of Electronic Shapes?’. The public artwork will see a nightly laser projection on the iconic St. Patrick’s Tower in the Liberties and will explore Dublin 8’s relationship with social media and data.

The project, which is part of The Digital Hub’s involvement in health and wellbeing initiative Smart D8, is aiming to explore our complex relationship with technology and how people share their lives through social media. At its core is to question the back-and-forth effect of algorithms on society and society on algorithms.

Philip K. Dick famously asked, ‘Do androids dream of electric sheep?’. His question was inspired by how, even fifty years ago, technology was starting to give our man-made environment the appearance of being somehow intelligent and alive. We don’t have androids yet, but Dublin and Dublin 8, already a technology hub, is now becoming a smart city. This means an increase in the collection of data, connecting people with institutions in new electronic ways, and increasingly allowing algorithms to help guide decisions. What the long-term effects of this will be, both positive and negative, are not yet known. This artwork looks at some of the data we already give away and reflects on how this has shifted society now.

Many of us share our lives to some degree online, uploading images throughout the day to companies with a presence in Dublin. The project imagines what if Dublin’s servers and data centres really were intelligent and alive? Watching us by day, and trying to make sense of us by dreaming at night? What might these electronic dreams, fed from our data, look like?

‘Do algorithms dream of electronic shapes?’ takes a random selection of Dublin’s social media, posted by day, and feeds them through artificial intelligence at night to ask what the computers see in us. Drawing out these digital dreams with laser beams, we can see what biases we have already trained into these algorithms, and how the ability to share and perform our lives through curated displays of imagery has changed us.

Robin Price said:

“St Patrick’s tower once caught the wind in its sails to power the distillery that previously sat on the site of the Digital Hub. Now the air around us is alive with the invisible data that powers Dublin 8’s present industries. Everything from sensors to smart phones wirelessly beam all sorts of data from both humans and machines, personal and public, back and forth from the WiFi access points and cell towers that are the new windmills. I hope that viewers are excited to see how what appears as a chaos of binary pulses of laser light projected on the side of the tower reconstructs as meaningful images inside the camera’s electronic eye.”

Fiach Mac Conghail, CEO of The Digital Hub, said:

“We are delighted to have commissioned Robin Price to create this public artwork. We worked with him previously with his ‘this is not a table’ exhibition at The Digital Hub in 2018. This is an ambitious art project for us at The Digital Hub as we continue to explore the intersection between art and technology. The challenge and tensions of data and privacy in our increasingly online world is an important topic, and we hope that Do Algorithms Dream of Electronic Shapes? can visualise that conversation in Dublin 8 and spark discussion around how we use social media and its effect on us.”

Do Algorithms Dream of Electronic Shapes will be displaying up to 1500 interpretations of images each night, with the laser light show running on St. Patrick’s Tower at The Digital Hub campus from dusk until dawn. The resulting animations and photography are displayed throughout the day both in the windows of The Digital Hub’s iD8 studio and online at the @do_algorithms_dream Instagram account. The public artwork will run for 7 weeks from Monday 17th of January until Sunday 6th of March.

The Digital Hub has a long-standing commitment to supporting the arts and creativity. Ongoing educational programmes, include The Liber8 Music Project in collaboration with BIMM Dublin, and Screen8 a special programme with the Dublin International Film Festival, which works with local groups to write, produce and film a short movie for the festival each year.

The Digital Hub also has an Artist-in-Residence programme which allows artists to bring their unique perspectives to life at The Digital Hub and contribute to The Digital Hub’s programmes and community initiatives, as well as the artistic and cultural life of the area. Earlier this year The Digital Hub’s previous artist in residence, Elaine Hoey, curated a series of talk in partnership with the National College of Art and Design on the impact of virtual reality, artificial intelligence and algorithms on everyday life.

Exhibition privacy notice

The privacy notice for this exhibition can be accessed here


For more information:

Andrew Smith | Murray | | 083 076 5717

About The Digital Hub

Based in the historic Liberties area of Dublin city centre, The Digital Hub is an enterprise cluster for growing technology companies. Thirty established businesses operate in The Digital Hub. Together these businesses employ approximately 290 people.

The Digital Hub is the largest cluster of digital media, technology and internet businesses in Ireland, providing a space for indigenous enterprises such as Bizimply, Neuromod, Good Travel Software and Akara Robotics to scale and grow. Major global companies like Black Shamrock and Lonely Planet are also based in The Digital Hub.

Since the project’s inception, over 400 companies have progressed through the enterprise cluster at The Digital Hub, generating thousands of skilled jobs. Some well-established alumni include Amazon, Athena Media, Boomerang Pharmaceutical Communications, Distilled Media Group (, eMaint, Etsy, Havok, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Riverdeep), Kavaleer, Lincor, MTT, patientMpower, Slack, Software AG, Silicon Republic, Square1, Stripe, TIBCO, VSware and Wachsman.

The Digital Hub is a supportive partner of the local community, by running several learning initiatives for people of all ages. Community learning programmes are run with local partners. For example, the Future Creators Cadets is delivered by H2 Learning and supported by National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and The Liber8 Music Project is run with BIMM Institute Dublin. The Digital Hub also works with community groups and organisations such as the Robert Emmet Community Development Project and Pocket Forests amongst others. The Digital Hub is one of three lead partners on the Smart D8 initiative which aims to improve and sustain the health and wellbeing of Dublin 8 citizens through innovation and collaboration.

The Digital Hub Development Agency is the Irish state agency that manages The Digital Hub. The Agency was established by the Irish Government under the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment.

In March 2021, the Government decided to dissolve the Digital Hub Development Agency and close The Digital Hub. The Agency will now embark upon an orderly winddown process which will see the transfer of lands to the Land Development Agency. All operations at The Digital Hub, including various community initiatives and partnerships, will continue as normal up until the closure date.

The Digital Hub is in a position to offer leases for new and existing companies up until 2025 following an agreement with the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment.

Further information is available at: or on Twitter: @TheDigitalHub.