Driven by a desire to support artistic research, propose new forms of art and stimulate public discourse, we make a distinctive contribution to creative knowledge through practice-led, theoretical and historical modes of enquiry.
Our research seeks to engage both the production and reception of contemporary art, exploring the interlinking roles of artist, curator and writer, and the transforming categories of practice, theory and criticism.
Key areas of focus include exhibition and curatorial practice, publication projects and critical art writing, underpinned by an emphasis on digital technologies as a format for the production, dispersion and interpretation of art.
We work with international museums, galleries and collections – including the Tate Modern and Museum of Modern Art in New York – and share our research with both specialist and non-academic audiences.
Award winning research
For specific enquiries, please contact:
Research Division Lead
Telephone: +44 (0)118 378 8053
Reading International is a three-year contemporary visual arts research programme directed by Professor Susanne Clausen. Hosted by a rich mix of partners within the town, Reading International produces several major projects each year, giving artists and curators a platform to make new work in response to the unique social and historical context of Reading and wider Berkshire. Between October 2018 and January 2019, as part of a major new commission, The Outside In, artist and curator Steven Claydon created three sculptural installations for the galleries of The Museum of English Rural Life. Objects from Claydon’s personal collection, gathered from across the world, and new sculptural works were introduced into the displays to explore how we attach meaning and narratives to objects in museums.
Reading International is supported by Arts Council of England's Ambition for Excellence Programme, and Reading Borough Council. Read more about Reading International
Sensory Objects is an arts project that aims to make museums more inclusive by listening to, and acting on, research by people with learning disabilities.
In its first three years, Sensory Objects held more than 60 workshops at the National Trust's Speke Hall in Liverpool, the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading, and the British Museum. In doing so Sensory Objects has helped create new working practices, made public heritage sites more inclusive and enhanced public awareness of learning disability.
The unique and significant archive of artist and filmmaker Stephen Dwoskin, co-founder of the London Film Makers’ Co-op, is held in the University’s Special Collections. "The Legacies of Stephen Dwoskin's Personal Cinema" is a major research initiative led by Dr Rachel Garfield in collaboration with LUX, BFI and researchers from University of Glasgow.
By exploring the historical importance of a key figure in independent film and his ground-breaking work, the project is developing innovative research into the fields of experimental film, history of media arts, TV commissioning and disability aesthetics. Initial stages of the project include a dedicated dossier in Screen, a leading international journal; a major symposium at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London; international exhibitions and screenings; and an homage by Filmkollectiv Frankfurt at the Deutsches Film Institut.
Picturing ideas? Visualising and Synthesising Ideas as Art
An AHRC research project led by Professor John Russell used virtual digital imagery in exploring critical and aesthetic implications of 'picturing' or 'visualisation' of philosophical and political ideas as art. Outputs included the production of a series of images developed in response to an on-going dialogue with specialists in the fields of philosophy, contemporary art and psychology.