Barney Mccann: Myths and Data Corruption


Written by Don't Panic
26 Thursday 26th October 2017

Barney Mccann is a British currently based in Hong Kong whose most recent work is a study of traditional folk tales and characters in a modern medium, conflating classical subjects with a current aesthetic using glitching and data corruption. This is a process that he has used throughout his career but has now taken it to a further level.


The collection is inspired by the juxtaposition of western and eastern ideas of the self, both modern and ancient. Myths and folklore were concerned with answering the unanswerable, trying to explain mystery and ultimately trying to figure out what it means to be human. In the modern era, it could be argued that technology has become part of who we are as the human race which explains the medium and aesthetic that Mccann has chosen. The way that he manipulates his imagery through glitching could reflect the way that our connection with technology is unnatural and is in fact leading us toward tragedy, much like so many characters in myth. Mccann’s artwork is made up of flaws and glitches yet remains compelling and visually beautiful, again drawing comparisons the human experience.


We asked him a few questions on inspiration, technology and experience:

What inspires you?

At the minute Hong Kong and Greek Myths

What’s your favourite medium?

I like working in digital 3D Space at the minute, and little video edits sometimes, but I don't think anything's done until it's printed, projected or screened

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

Just got to keep working! Keep making mistakes, keep working and keep working

What has been a seminal experience?

Moving to Hong Kong from London two and a half years ago was a massive one and definitely influenced me a lot. I've been back and forth between London and Hong Kong a lot since but the original culture shock and excitement of seeing the city hasn't left.

What art do you most identify with?

David Hockney, Chris Cunningham, David Shrigley, Daniel Eatock, Martin Parr.. especially Hockney, I got to see his exhibition at the Taschen Store in LA and the massive Mulholland Drive painting at the LACMA earlier this year and it was really really brilliant

What role does technology play in your art?

Its just another way of making mistakes and messing about, I've doing lots of VR and interactive projects this year which are a lot of fun. Its also a pain and expensive and annoying..

For more of Mccann’s work check out his Instagram or his website here.

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