Professor John Roberts
Tel: +44 (0)1902 322017
The cluster is divided into three research strands, and contains both artists and theorists.
Researchers may work in any of these areas, just as the research interests of each strand may cross over. Similarly some researchers contribute to the different strands as theorists and artists.
Philosophy and cultural theory: caste (Meena Dhanda), the politics of sleep (Alexei Penzin), voodoo and representation (Louise Fenton) and violence and the symbolic (William Pawlett).
Art theory: the historic and contemporary avant-garde (Alexei Penzin, John Roberts), collaborative and participatory models of art practice (Alexei Penzin, John Roberts, Gavin Rogers)
Post-digital theories of representation: the historical archive and memory (Euripides Altintzoglou), light and luminosity (Euripides Altintzoglou), digitalization and the photographic installation (Su Fahy), painting after digitalization (Simon Harris) and the photo document (John Roberts).
Broadly, the cluster is concerned with two key areas: 1) it draws on critical theory, social anthropology, post-war European philosophy, and contemporary Anglo-American art theory, in order to examine the new fault-lines of cultural production, identity and subjectivity under neoliberal globalization; and 2) it invites new forms of research into theory and practice in art, in particular those that keep open the links between the (post-digital) image, and the research-based demands and socially engaged possibilities of contemporary practice.
The first two strands mix different approaches to practice-based research (conference papers, essay writing and project work inside and outside of the gallery); the latter strand is predominantly theoretical and supports researchers engaged in book writing, contributions to journals and conferences papers.
Overall, however, the cluster draws on art theory, cultural theory and philosophy, to provide a theoretical framework for the support and discussion of art as a field of skills and competences that cross the art/non-art divide. In this sense the research of the cluster is concerned with the development of, and reflection on, new forms of social-critical art practice.
Meena Dhanda, Caste Aside: A Philosophical Study of Cultural Identity and Resistance of Punjabi Dalits, Routledge, 2017
William Pawlett, Georges Bataille: The Sacred and Society, Routledge, 2015
Alexei Penzin, Against the Continuum: Sleep and Subjectivity in Capitalist Modernity, Bloomsbury, 2017
John Roberts, Revolutionary Time and the Avant-Garde, Verso, 2015