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Arts and Creative Industries events

Our Arts and Creative Industries Research Seminars afford researchers with a discursive platform to present work in progress, test out ideas and seek peer input.


Current Events

Ben James Beyond the White Cube and the Black Box. The exhibition space as a matter and method in the documentary filmmaking process.

Ben Evans James

Image Credit:  Ben James and Emma Charles.

Filmmaker, curator and AHRC PhD candidate, Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, University of Sunderland.

Wednesday 23 November 2022, 4-5pm, via Teams

Both mapping and documentary filmmaking offer us strategies relating to and representing space, of offering subjective translations of a reality. This online session posits that both processes share analogous methods of production that allows the application of the spatial language of mapmaking, to filmmaking. Immersing the film process within the language of mapmaking can then act as a bridge into the spatial practices of the gallery environment, into curatorial practice, and exhibition design. The presentation defines this two-step process by the term film-mapping.  

To develop a language and process around the idea of film-mapping, the presentation puts forward alternate methods developed through a series of practice-based projects realised at transmediale festival in Berlin, Germany and South Kiosk in London. These methods are developed from and anchored within a cannon of (artist) documentary films that engage with themes of landscape and sense of place. One film theorist Dara Waldron describes it as “a category pertaining to films that occupy the space between documentary, understood historically as an imparting of factual and objectively accumulated knowledge, and “art” when thought of as an object that seduces and orientates the senses toward the personal (and) subjective” (Waldron, 2018: 25). Focussing on the link between landscape and artist film, Martin Lefevbre describes the relationship as one in which landscape determines film form, “in the domain of art, landscape is not so much the result of a work; rather, it is the work itself which is the result of the landscape” (Lefevbre, 2007).  

Book on Eventbrite

 

Hybrid Research Seminar – Professor Kim Fox, American University Cairo, “Scholarly Research on Black and African Podcasts” 

Professor Kim Fox

Monday 28 November 2022, 5-6:30pm, David Puttnam Media Centre, Room 233, Sunderland, SR6 0DD.

This paper will draw on Prof Fox’s framework for a “Curriculum for Blackness: Podcasts as Discursive Cultural Guides, 2010-2020 “and also address how Egyptian female podcasters shape feminist identities. Her research focuses on podcasters from diverse backgrounds and typically from a qualitative perspective. 

Kim Fox is a professor of practice in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (JRMC) at The American University in Cairo (AUC) in Cairo, Egypt. She primarily teaches Audio Production and other journalism courses. PodFest Cairo, Egypt’s first podcasting conference was founded and organized by Fox in 2020. Nearly 100 podcasters converged on AUC’s Tahrir Cultural Center for a keynote address and many sessions on podcasting along with a podcast pitch competition. In 2016, she accepted a short-term fellowship at Ohio University to conduct an audio bootcamp for students interested in audio and radio. Since then she has facilitated audio-related workshops in Beirut, Lebanon; Budapest, Hungary; Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and more. She has been a consultant on numerous audio-related projects including the HUSSLab, an organized research lab, on the AUC campus as well as for the Enterprise Egypt podcast “Making It.” As the executive producer of the award-winning Ehky Ya Masr (Tell Your Story Egypt) Podcast, a narrative nonfiction podcast about life in Cairo, Egypt, she works with young freelance producers, many of them former students, writing and editing audio content. Kim Fox | The American University in Cairo (aucegypt.edu).

Book on Eventbrite – in person or online.

 

Lothar GoetzDance Diagonal at Towner Gallery Eastbourne: The Impact of Public Art on a Community.

Associate Professor Fine Art, Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, University of Sunderland.

Dance Diagonal, artwork by Lother Goetz, covering the Towner Gallery

Image credit: Lothar Goetz, Dance Diagonal at Towner Gallery EastbournePhoto: Michael Franke.

Wednesday 7 December 2022, 4-5pm, via Teams

This presentation of the work Dance Diagonal at Towner Gallery Eastbourne follows the journey of an artwork from sketch to artist’s artefact to community ownership and the unexpected impact an abstract painting can have when placed into the centre of a town. The mural, which covers the entire outdoor wall space of Towner Gallery, was an open competition, The Brewers Towner Competition, and was originally planned to stay for one year. In covering the entire building, it did turn Towner Gallery into an architectural sculpture placed in the centre of Eastbourne and accessible to every passerby. Due to the extent of its impact and response from the community of Eastbourne, its lifetime got so far extended to five years. The presentation will focus on some of the surprising community responses.

Book on Eventbrite.

 

Nick Lewis The Impact of AI-Generated Imagery on Art and Design

An image created by Nick Lewis by typing

Image credit: Nick Lewis, Image created by typing "The Impact of AI-Generated Imagery on Art and Design" into Dream Studio's Stable Diffusion AI. Open-source image under the CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0.

Wednesday 22 March 2023, 4-5pm, via Teams

AI-generated imagery has developed quickly in recent years, from 'Neural Filters' in Adobe Photoshop that allow users to change facial expressions in photographs, to image generators like DALL-E 2, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion that can produce original images from a text description. The presentation will summarise the current state of AI-generated image creation, and its potential future uses, innovations and limitations. It will demonstrate how AI-generated imagery can be used within Art and Design practice and discuss the social and economic impacts that may result.

Book on Eventbrite.

 

Professor Yitka Graham Building Interdisciplinary Research in Health, Arts and Creative Practice: Veteran Wellbeing

Professor Yitka Graham smiling

Wednesday 29 March 2023, 4-5pm, via Teams

Professor Yitka Graham, Head of the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute, Professor of Health Services Research, University of Sunderland

Veterans are a population at risk of social isolation, and often low levels of wellbeing. The Health and Care Interdisciplinary Research Network has been working with a veterans charity for the last four years, developing innovative creative projects which have had a positive impact on veterans and their families living in Sunderland. Professor Graham will discuss the Time for Tea project as an exemplar of how arts, creative practice, and health can work together to produce impactful research.

Book on Eventbrite.

Past Events

 

Postgraduate Research Symposium on Research Methodologies

9 November 2022, 3-5pm 

Abstracts and bios 

Sam Lucas 

Same, same but different: A creative investigation through ceramics into the hidden condition of a neurodiverse population and the embodied/disembodied experience, which can result in issues such as disordered eating 

Abstract 

The aim of this practice-based investigation in ceramics is to research and make seen the unseen, with regards to neurodiversity and disordered eating. Qualitative research methods and material investigation will explore personal relationship to an individual’s own body and agency and investigate whether the haptic creative process and material properties of clay (which emulate visceral bodily qualities) can develop a more embodied experience and positive body awareness. The development of artwork and novel multi-methods will create new perspectives for navigating and understanding neurodiversity and disordered eating. The research questions are: 

  • What leads people with neurodiversity to experience distorted body awareness and eating disorders?  
  • Can the haptic creative process with clay develop a more embodied experience in neurodivergent people who experience distorted body awareness and disordered eating?  
  • How might a transdisciplinary approach to neurodiversity and eating disorders be used as a model for others in the field? 

Bio 

In 1990, Sam Lucas graduated from the BA in Ceramics programme at Cardiff School of Art and received an MA in Ceramics in 2018. Lucas won a one-year graduate residency at Fireworks Clay Studios in Cardiff and shortly after that was selected for the Rising Stars at New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham and New Designers in 2019. Lucas was selected for the headline exhibition AWARD at the British Ceramics Biennial 2019. This led to being noticed by curator Brian Kennedy and exhibited at Art Geneve 2020 with Taste Contemporary Gallery. Lucas was also selected for the Crafts Council Hothouse Artist Development Programme in 2020. 

 

Inga Hamilton 

Methodological evolution: How did I get here?  

Abstract  

Inga Hamilton’s research challenges the human-exceptionalist’s position toward nonhuman-animals’ sculptural intelligence. Beginning as an artistic, linguistics-based PhD, it was a successful, self-proposed Northern Bridge Consortium Studentship application. Methodologies were chosen and aligned with those of Dr Tracy Hayes’ creative methodologies. However, two months in, pre-existing research became apparent. Everything was re-evaluated and the research evolved into a practice-based PhD.  

Art, multispecies studies, and animal sciences’ ethology all offered established quantitative methodologies, but mostly continued the long tradition of animal as subject. Animal behaviourist, Traci Warkentin’s methodological attempt to give all voices in her research equal weight changed the course of methodologies used in this research.   

This presentation will follow the evolution of this research’s methodologies as they aim to de-anthropocentrise and decolonise, ultimately breaking from all previous methodologies to become post-qualitative.   

Bio 

Inga Hamilton is a PhD researcher and maker blending the spaces between species with her art jewellery and inhabitable sculptures. Hamilton’s international career as a sculptor and BA Hons in Ceramics, Jewellery and Silversmithing, Ulster University, provide a wide understanding of materials and processes that feed her practice-based PhD researching  ‘The Things That Nonhuman Animals Make’. Hamilton is a member of CARCuos in the Faculty of Arts and The Creative Industries at the University of Sunderland and a Northern Bridge Doctoral Candidate in the Arts funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK. In 2014, Hamilton was chosen as one of Ireland’s leading textile artists.  

 

Professor Peter Smith 

What makes a good rock performance? 

Abstract 

I am a retired academic who is fascinated by rock music. I have attended 2000+ concerts over the past 50+ years and have started to question what is so special about a rock performance. This has led to me producing a series of papers discussing the subject (see reference list). Is it about the artist, the music, the venue, the relationship between the artist and the audience/individual, or other factors? Is it spiritual? Is it religious? In order to explore this, I have used a mix of methods including narrative accounts, reflection, auto ethnography and published methods for performance analysis (e.g., Auslander, 2008). I don’t think any of these quite fit! I have also kept a record of my performances in the form of a music blog (see below). I consider this a piece of art practice which I am using to explore music performance! I am enjoying navigating the strange experience which is rock performance. 

Reference list 

Smith, P (2013). ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, the Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band in the World: Reflections of the Rolling Stones in Concert,’ in Staubmann, H. (ed) The Rolling Stones: Sociological Perspectives. Lexington books.  

Smith, P. (2015). ‘Holidays in the Sun: The Sex Pistols at the Seaside’, Popular Music and Society, vol. 38, no.4, pp. 1-13.  

Smith, P. and Smith, L. (2022). Rock Concert Performance from ABBA to ZZ Top. Rowman and Littlefield.  

Music blog.

Bio 

Peter Smith is an experienced author having written over 300 articles and six books including student textbooks and books on popular music. Smith is a retired academic and an Emeritus Professor of the University of Sunderland, a member of the Society of Authors, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, the Royal Society of Arts, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and the Chartered Management Institute. Smith is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Scientist, a Chartered Manager, and a Chartered Statistician, holds a BSc in Science, a PhD in Mathematics, and was recently awarded an Honorary Higher Doctorate by the University of Sunderland.

 

Dr Christopher McHugh From Sunderland to Seto: Ceramics as an Archaeology of the Contemporary Past

Wednesday 19 October 2022, 4pm-5pm, via Teams

Lecturer in Ceramics and Global Engagement Lead at Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster, Visiting Research Fellow in the faculties of Health Sciences and Wellbeing and Arts and Creative Industries, University of Sunderland.

This paper will discuss several examples of McHugh’s practice-led research, focusing on recent work investigating the figurine manufacturing industry in the ceramics centre of Seto, Japan. Seto is known as one of Japan’s six ancient kiln sites and pottery has been produced there since at least the fourteenth century. From the early twentieth century, manufacturers in Seto began to diversify into the production of bisque dolls for the export market. This accelerated rapidly after World War II, when the city reinvented itself as a centre of ceramic figurine production, exporting a vast range and volume of novelty figurines to the United States and Europe. While vestiges of the novelty industry remain, Seto now faces similar economic challenges to those experienced by other centres of ceramics production. The unique material culture and tacit knowledge associated with this industry is at threat as factories close and land is redeveloped. McHugh’s research adopts an art-archaeological methodology to raise awareness of this important, yet largely neglected chapter in Japanese design history. This will be placed within the context of recent archaeological approaches to the contemporary past. The research will also be related to earlier work undertaken in Sunderland as part of McHugh’s collaborative doctoral project based at the University of Sunderland and Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.

 

Publishing Art and Design Research

Online event: Wednesday, 6 July 2022, 4-5pm

Book launch: Wednesday, 6 July 2022, 5-7pm

This will be held at the Northern Centre of Photography, David Goldman Informatics Centre.

The University of Sunderland had significant success in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, with Art and Design research outputs identified as a particular strength within the institution.

We are delighted to invite you to dive into a core area for Art and Design research and join our interactive seminar Publishing Art and Design Research. We invite you to consider the opportunities and challenges that new and established researchers must navigate in a rapidly evolving publishing landscape.

Speakers:

Emeritus Professor of New Media Art, Dr Beryl Graham and Lecturer in Digital Arts and Enterprise, Dr Suzy O’Hara will launch To Fit the New Art: 7 Years of Curating Art After New Media (2022). This co-authored, online publication celebrates seven years of collective insights and experiences from international curators, as they share emerging new media art practices and discuss how curators can best fit their practices, so that audiences can engage with this exciting art.

Associate Professor of Photography and Digital Media, Dr Alexandra Moschovi will present her monograph, A Gust of Photo-Philia: Photography in the Art Museum (2020). Published by Leuven University Press, this book—part institutional history, part account of shifting photographic theories and practices—tells the story of photography's accommodation in and as contemporary art in the art museum.

AHRC Northumbria-Sunderland Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) students, Dena Bagi, Helen McGhie, and Georgia Smithson will present the collaborative publication A Book for Research that is Art (2022). With contributions by Dena Bagi, Dr Crystal Bennes, Ben Evans James, Theo Harper, Laura Harrington, Helen McGhie, and Georgia Smithson, the publication demonstrates how artists and makers are redefining the conceptual core of their practice as they create forms, motion, and spatial emulations that are directly informed by technology.

These three short presentations will be followed by an informal discussion led by Professor of Visual Art, Dr Mike Collier.

Please note, this is part of a hybrid event. Please join us in person from 5-7pm at the Northern Centre of Photography for a drinks reception and to pick up your free copy of the publication A Book for Research that is Art.

Gaming Festival - Media and Culture

Date/Time: Friday 24 June 2022, 12pm-9pm

The University of Sunderland is to host its first Gaming festival at the Prospect Building on St Peter's Campus.

The festival will be a chance to connect the community of Sunderland with the amazing work happening locally in the games industry.

Students will showcase their work, visitors will be able to see and play on exclusive footage of games currently in development, and local developers will be able to connect with the local community and upcoming stars in games development.

With the announcement that Sunderland will be home to a multi-million pound esports centre, it is time to connect the local community and our students with a booming industry. 

The University of Sunderland's Esports network will be hosting a tournament throughout the day. There will also be a raffle with prizes including games, and merchandise.

Developers and games artists from across the North East will take part in our festival, giving students and the public a chance to network and learn about our growing games industry. There will be chance to speak to developers, see exclusive content and ask questions of the leading games industry experts. Taking part are:

Tanglewood Games - an established games development studio based in the north-east of England. ​ As a friendly team of Unreal Engine experts with long careers based at the forefront of this technology, we have a proven track record working with well-known AAA publishers on some of the biggest Unreal Engine titles to date, such as Fortnite, Sea of Thieves, and Paragon.

Atom Hawk - Since 2009 Atom Hawk  been working with movie studios, game developers and product designers to help realise their visions and bring ideas to life through world class visual development and design. 

Cardboard Sword - a growing independent games company that has worked on games such as Forza Horizon 3. 

Radical Forgehave pushed, grown and succeeded since their formation to become an established name within the game development industry as a place of creativity, innovation and adventure. Handling many projects across multiple platforms including PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Oculus Quest, iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch. They have several years of experience on a vast range of indie and externally published titles as well as tirelessly working away on our first original IP “Bright Paw”. 

Nosebleed Interactive - a multi-​award-winning independent studio based in Newcastle upon Tyne, in the heart of the North East of England. Nosebleed have worked with some of the world’s biggest companies, brands and content providers such as Channel 4 and Sony Interactive Entertainment. At our core, we're all gamers, passionate about playing and making great games and entertainment software. Named as one of the Top 50 creative companies in the country by Creative England. Nosebleed Interactive also won the PlayStation Mobile Pioneers competition, as well as best small to medium business in the Newcastle Business Awards. Alongside this the company was one of the first handful of companies to receive support from the prestigious UK Games Fund.

The festival will provide an opportunity to speak to some of the biggest names in the game industry, and to see the wonderful media work being created in our region. 

Register via Eventbrite

 

Research Seminar - Art and Design

From Sailing the World to Saving the World:  How bast fibres could help high street fashion become more sustainable' by Naomi Austin

Date/Time: Wednesday 29 June 2022, 4-5pm

The event will be hosted online via Teams and is internal only. For further details on how to join externally, please contact alexandra.moschovi@sunderland.ac.uk

Bast or bark is the fibrous material found inside certain plants sandwiched between the woody core and the outer layer. Bast fibres include flax (linen), hemp, kenaf and ramie, all which have been used by humans for thousands of years for everything, from building materials to sails and ropes to clothing. These fibres are known to be the most environmentally friendly out of all fibres, with a fineness, strength and flexibility which surpasses many other fibres; therefore, offering great potential as sustainable alternatives to the dominance of cotton. However, since the 1960s, consumption of garments made using bast fibres is very low compared to other textiles. This presentation will offer an insight into the reasons for this and what can be done to help increase consumers’ and manufacturers’ interest in these fibres.

 

 

 

Research Seminar - Art and Design

'The Introduction of New Media Art Practices in Greece in the 1970s and 1980s' by Stamatis Schizakis, Curator of New Media, Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, GR; Ph.D. candidate University of Sunderland
Wednesday 16 March 2022

This presentation focuses on the discourse and practice of new media art produced and presented in Greece from the early 1970s to the early 1990s, for the first time through a new media art scope. It aims to throw light into the aims and methods of new media artists and organisations active in Greece during the period in question. The content of the presentation originates in a doctoral project with the same title and subject, which resulted in a new chronology of new media art in Greece, an evaluation of the role of institutions and public support, an account of the efforts of certain new media artists for connecting to a global network and market, as well as a mapping of common characteristics of the works produced and presented during this period.  

Pantelis Xagoraris  Computer drawing in ink

Pantelis Xagoraris
[Computer drawing in ink], 1973
Ink on paper
31 x 27 cm
National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens, Inv. No. 428/02,
donated by Zafos Xagoraris, 2002 

Research Seminar - Art and Design

From Sailing the World to Saving the World:  How bast fibres could help high street fashion become more sustainable' by Naomi Austin

Date/Time: Wednesday 29 June 2022, 4-5pm

The event will be hosted online via Teams and is internal only. For further details on how to join externally, please contact alexandra.moschovi@sunderland.ac.uk

Bast or bark is the fibrous material found inside certain plants sandwiched between the woody core and the outer layer. Bast fibres include flax (linen), hemp, kenaf and ramie, all which have been used by humans for thousands of years for everything, from building materials to sails and ropes to clothing. These fibres are known to be the most environmentally friendly out of all fibres, with a fineness, strength and flexibility which surpasses many other fibres; therefore, offering great potential as sustainable alternatives to the dominance of cotton. However, since the 1960s, consumption of garments made using bast fibres is very low compared to other textiles. This presentation will offer an insight into the reasons for this and what can be done to help increase consumers’ and manufacturers’ interest in these fibres.

Research Methodologies in the Arts and Creative Industries

Postgraduate Research Symposium - Art and Design
Wednesday 9 February 2022

13:00   Introduction, Dr Alexandra Moschovi, Associate Professor of Photography and Digital Media and Dr Kevin Yuill, Associate Professor of American History

13:30   Welcome, Prof. Kevin Petrie, Head of the School of Art and Design

13:10   HOME, Janine Sykes

13:30   Casting Self Reflection: Three-Dimensional Mirrors within Contemporary Glass Art Practice, Joanna Manousis

13:50   Don’t Deny Your Past, Andy Mellors

14:10   Discussion

14:20   Preview of the research publication A Book for Research that is Art, Dena Bagi and Helen McGhie

Abstracts and biographies

Research Seminar - Art and Design

'Sustainable Ceramics: An Exploration of Some Conceptual and Professional Factors' by Visiting Professor Dr Wendy Gers
Wednesday 16 February 2022

What are the issues behind developing ethical and sustainable ceramics practices? Who are the pioneers in this field? What are the milestones involved in becoming a more sustainable ceramics artist? Is it enough to develop an engaged practice, with an environmental policy and action plan? This presentation surveys international art practices that have moved beyond environmental advocacy and are actively engaged in reducing their environmental impact. 

Dr Wendy Gers, Visiting Professor

Gaming Festival - Media and Culture

Date/Time: Friday 24 June 2022, 12pm-9pm

The University of Sunderland is to host its first Gaming festival at the Prospect Building on St Peter's Campus.

The festival will be a chance to connect the community of Sunderland with the amazing work happening locally in the games industry.

Students will showcase their work, visitors will be able to see and play on exclusive footage of games currently in development, and local developers will be able to connect with the local community and upcoming stars in games development.

With the announcement that Sunderland will be home to a multi-million pound esports centre, it is time to connect the local community and our students with a booming industry. 

The University of Sunderland's Esports network will be hosting a tournament throughout the day. There will also be a raffle with prizes including games, and merchandise.

Developers and games artists from across the North East will take part in our festival, giving students and the public a chance to network and learn about our growing games industry. There will be chance to speak to developers, see exclusive content and ask questions of the leading games industry experts. Taking part are:

Tanglewood Games - an established games development studio based in the north-east of England. ​ As a friendly team of Unreal Engine experts with long careers based at the forefront of this technology, we have a proven track record working with well-known AAA publishers on some of the biggest Unreal Engine titles to date, such as Fortnite, Sea of Thieves, and Paragon.

Atom Hawk - Since 2009 Atom Hawk  been working with movie studios, game developers and product designers to help realise their visions and bring ideas to life through world class visual development and design. 

Cardboard Sword - a growing independent games company that has worked on games such as Forza Horizon 3. 

Radical Forgehave pushed, grown and succeeded since their formation to become an established name within the game development industry as a place of creativity, innovation and adventure. Handling many projects across multiple platforms including PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Oculus Quest, iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch. They have several years of experience on a vast range of indie and externally published titles as well as tirelessly working away on our first original IP “Bright Paw”. 

Nosebleed Interactive - a multi-​award-winning independent studio based in Newcastle upon Tyne, in the heart of the North East of England. Nosebleed have worked with some of the world’s biggest companies, brands and content providers such as Channel 4 and Sony Interactive Entertainment. At our core, we're all gamers, passionate about playing and making great games and entertainment software. Named as one of the Top 50 creative companies in the country by Creative England. Nosebleed Interactive also won the PlayStation Mobile Pioneers competition, as well as best small to medium business in the Newcastle Business Awards. Alongside this the company was one of the first handful of companies to receive support from the prestigious UK Games Fund.

The festival will provide an opportunity to speak to some of the biggest names in the game industry, and to see the wonderful media work being created in our region. 

Register via Eventbrite

Professorial Lecture Series

‘Songs of Time and Place’ by Professor Mike Collier
Wednesday 2 February 2022

Front cover of book 'Songs of Time and Place'

Games, Culture, and Identity: The MultiPlay Conference 2022 - Media and Culture

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Games, Culture, and Identity: The MultiPlay Conference 2022 is a multi-disciplinary conference which brought together a range of academics and practitioners across different fields. It also launched the new academic network MultiPlay, committed to a multidisciplinary approach to video games. The conference was hosted online.

The MultiPlay Conference 2022 is a conference supported by the University of Sunderland’s Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies and the Participations Interdisciplinary research Network.

Keynote

Dr. Rob Gallagher (Manchester Metropolitan University) Rob Gallaher’s research specialises in examining the relationship between video games and identity, with focus on personal data and posthuman subjectivity, and life narrative games. He is author of Videogames, Identity, and Digital Subjectivity,( Routledge 2019)

“In right-wing NPC memes gaming jargon is deployed to articulate a reactionary critique of liberal democracy, one that contends only some identities should be recognised as valid and only some subjects as fully human; in ludobiographical games by creators like Cassie McQuater and Tabitha Nikolai materials poached from retro videogames and 90s gaming magazines are repurposed in the service of more radical and progressive explorations of identity and subjectivity. Putting these forms in dialogue, this keynote considers how terms, images, concepts and characters drawn from gaming culture are being used to contest and reformulate liberal conceptions of personhood and politics.”

Confirmed speakers

Dr. Poppy Wilde (Birmingham University School of Media) presented research on posthuman subjectivity at play. Wilde is an expert on the use of avatars and the relationship they have to the posthuman. She has published multiple academic articles on the posthuman, from death and resurrection in the online game to the lived experience of gaming.

Daz Skubich is one of the driving forces behind the popular streaming channel Game Assist, a channel dedicated to creating video essays on accessibility and liberation in video games. Their work poses new questions and considerations for academics about our approaches to video game analysis.

Javier Rayón is The Director for the upcoming Dream of Darkness game which explores the true history of Mexico before colonialism whitewashed the nation’s heritage. A leading content creator in the games industry, Rayón also supports the efforts of academics to address history ethically through video games.

Benjamin Carpenter is a visiting Fellow in the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communications Study at the University of East Anglia. He completed his PhD in 2021, writing on philosophical critiques and solutions to the problems of contemporary identity politics. Benjamin’s current research interests are in contemporary online media and identity, with a particular interest in bringing these into dialogue with phenomenology and existentialism.

Adam Jerrett is a lecturer and PhD student in the School of Creative Technologies at the University of Portsmouth. As a games studies researcher, he is particularly interested in pervasive games, and the way games can break out of their “magic circles” to truly affect the lives of their players. His ongoing PhD work explores values like empathy, identity and reflection in order to create games that have personal and social impact.

Stephanie Farnsworth is a PhD candidate at the University of Sunderland. Her research focuses on examining the mutants of Mass Effect, as well as the wider themes of biological manipulation and exploitation in science fiction. Farnsworth is a co-founder of MultiPlay.

Imo Kaufman is a Midlands 4 Cities Researcher in collaboration with the British Games Institute Videogame History: Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies University of Nottingham

Dr Ayisi is an early-stage academic researcher and a member of the faculty of the Communication Studies Department of the University of Ghana. Prior to joining the University of Ghana, she taught in several higher education institutions both in the United Kingdom and in Ghana. Her research interests are in the fields of gender and new media, popular culture and digital cultures. Her focus is on issues around identity and participatory cultures and online activism.

Eyram is the co-founder and CEO of Leti Arts. As an experienced game developer, Eyram believes that Africa can make a salient contribution to the world of game development and preserve culture through this. He has pioneered developing the gaming industry in Africa with Leti Arts. Eyram believes preserving cultural diversity through gaming and entertainment is very important and aims to prove this by creating world-class games and comics using African talent. Eyram is an experienced game developer who designs and implements games in most programming languages based on the platform. He's won several awards for his work in the African video game development space, is a frequent speaker at game conferences globally and is an author of the book Uncompromising Passion documenting his Journey as an African video game developer.

Lisa Meek completed her MA in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sunderland in 2020. She completed a dissertation researching the creation of space and place in the videogame Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo EPD, 2020). She hopes to complete a PhD which will continue this research and develop the use of phenomenological geography within media studies, as well as contribute to ongoing discussions surrounding videogame theory. 

Conference schedule

Logo of Multi Play Conference 2022, capital letters M P

Research seminar - Art and Design

'Curating Participation, Curating New Media Art'  by Prof Beryl Graham
Wednesday 15 December 2021

This illustrated presentation showed how artists using net art, interactive video, software art and other 'things that plug in', are changing the ways in which audiences (or is it users, participants and prosumers?) relate to art. Prof. Graham explored how curators and cultural organisations can show this exciting artwork in meaningful ways.

CRUMB logo 

Research Seminar - Media and Culture

Organised by FACI Research group and Participations Interdisciplinary Research Network

'How Women can Save the Planet' by Dr Anne Karpf (Professor of Life Writing and Culture at London Metropolitan University)
Wednesday 17 November 2021 

Writer and academic Dr Anne Karpf talked about her recent book's themes: activism, climate, gender and racial justice.
How might practitioners/researchers in the arts and creative industries incorporate such themes in their work? What kind of collaboration between researchers from different disciplines is possible?

Research seminar - Art and Design

'Airs, Phrases and Notes in Neon: The Language of Birds' by Professor Mike Collier
Wednesday 20 October 2021

A short talk about the research behind an exhibition staged for the research gallery at the National Glass Centre in November 2021.
Prof Mike Collier has been assisted in this work by gladd artist Dr Ayako Tani and neon craftworker Bryn Reeves.

As the world went silent in lockdown March 2020, something else happened; for the first time, many people became more aware of the spring sounds of the birds around us.

This talk explored the background and research process involved in creating six circular large-scale neon birdsong pieces that foreground the value of our acoustic environment and will be displayed in an exhibition from November 2021 to April 2022 at the National Glass Centre.

The form of each piece has been drawn from Geoff Sample's sonograms of each bird (Wren; Great Tit; Spotted Flycatcher; Mistle Thrush; Goldcrest and Nuhatch). The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of six poems (called airs) by acclaimed Scottish comtemporary poet, Gerrry Loose. 

Digital drawing of Spotted Flycatcher

Mike Collier, Spotted Flycatcher, digital drawing, 30 inches square 

spotted flycatcher
by Gerry Loose

singer not song
only here here note
now not song now
only singer now not
song now now note
now fly

Launch of Interactive Film - Media and Culture

'Jessica’s Story - Young Parents and Perinatal Mental Health'
Wednesday 13 October 2021

David Puttnam Media Centre Cinema

The Film was followed by Q and A from health educators, actors, Trylife film director and project researchers

The NENC ICS’s Child Health and Wellbeing Network’s (CHWN) have commissioned this Interactive film. You can view the trailer here. Developed by our local phenonium, Trylife, a true CHWN partnership project, the ICS Mental Health funding for this work was secured in partnership with the Perinatal MH Network and was commissioned by the William Howard School in Cumbria.  Clinicians and Youth workers across mental health, Maternity and Perinatal mental health have contributed to this work and a programme board have managed its progress throughout the pandemic. The CHWN has evolved from the ICS and promotes partnership working to enable all children to thrive.  Our episode has been filmed on location in the NENC and focuses on pregnancy in young parents, Mental Health and Perinatal mental health.

University of Sunderland researchers Drs. Rick Bowler, Floor Christie and Amina Razak who have followed and researched the process of the partnership and production will be present at the launch as will Laura North Laura Northmore University of Sunderland Media production student who advised on storylines and acted in the film.

Once launched this resource will be freely available to both children and young people (from 13yrs and above) and professionals supporting them to ‘try life’ and see the impact of their choices in these interactive films on a range of hard hitting topics:

  • Episode 1 Sophie’s Story -  Substance Misuse, Sexual Health and Consent
  • Episode 2 Aaliyah’s Story-  Knife Crime and Drug Misuse
  • Episode 3 Jacob’s Story  - Mental Health and Relationships
  • Episode 4 Avani’s Story - Grooming
  • Episode 5 Shane’s Story - Isolation and loneliness & Covid
  • Episode 6 Jessica’s Story - Young Parents and Perinatal Mental Health

Research Symposium

Wednesday 6 October 2021

This symposium involved advanced postgraduate students doing 10 minute presentations on their projects, the challenges they have faced, and their experiences of prosecuting a PhD.

The purpose of the symposium was to get PhD students used to presenting their ideas in succinct and understandable form, to expose their research to questions and challenges from their academic peers, to inspire and instruct new research students, and to enhance the research culture in our faculty through participation of our academic staff.

Schedule

1:00   Introduction - Kevin Yuill
1:05   Siouxsie Barber
1:20   Elizabeth Waugh
1:35   Steph Farnsworth
1:50   Dena Bagi

Art and Design Past events

 Art and Design events 2020/21

 Art and Design events 2019/20

 

CRMCS Past research seminars

 Research seminars 2000-2017