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Dr Annabel Frearson

  • Admissions tutor for Art

  • School Director of Recruitment and Admissions (Arts and Communication Design)

  • Director of MA Art (from 2023)

  • PhD supervision

Areas of interest

Annabel has research interests in:

  • Text-based art and conceptual art writing
  • Critical methodologies
  • Strategies of creative constraint, e.g. OuLiPo
  • Feminisms
  • Frankenstein
  • Romanticism
  • Ecology
  • Experimental photography
  • Socio-economics and systems of value in a database economy of attention

Annabel works with historically significant cultural objects, such as texts and films, to create new works that are both poetic and political. She is currently working on a public art commission for the University of Reading Whiteknights campus that explores the language of meteorology and the politics of climate change through allegorical photograms, sculpture, and sound work.


Other major projects include an ongoing reconfiguration of the entirety of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' (1831) into an expanded contemporary novel and associated works, including an album of pop songs written using only words from Frankenstein, 'Bad Brain Call' (2012); a science fiction short story, ‘Affectation Correspondence(2018); and a corporate sales PowerPoint presentation, ‘Light in dust tree all(2014).


In a 2016 project called 'Wollstonochlincraft 1791-1971', Annabel creates playful neologisms by combining words from Mary Wollstonecraft's landmark feminist text 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman' (1791) and world-renowned art historian Linda Nochlin's essay 'Why have there been no great women artists?' (1971), such as: aboutsiders, fanatomy, believery, breducation, cementioned, yessence... Nochlin herself selected 100 words for inclusion in a small publication by Ma Bibliothèque (2017) shortly before her death.


Annabel pushes the limits of language and criticality through her project 'Sic' (2018) in which she engaged online gig-economy workers to liberate the text from Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' (1925) through anagrams and unspeakable sounds, reproduced as a printed and audio book.


Working with film in 'Last Tango Inception', Annabel establishes an uncanny confluence between Bernardo Bertolucci's 'Last Tango in Paris' (1972) and Christopher Nolan's 'Inception' (2010).


Postgraduate supervision

Annabel welcomes research proposals on part practice research projects in the areas of:

  • Text-based art and conceptual art writing
  • Critical methodologies, e.g. refusal or constraint
  • Contemporary reconfigurations and applications of historical culture
  • Feminisms
  • New materialisms
  • Critical digital humanities
  • Novel interdisciplinary research
  • Experimental photography


Annabel's interest in language stems from her first degree in French and Italian (Bristol Uni) and work in translation before going on to complete and MA in Fine Art media at the Slade School, UCL, where she worked largely with experimental photography, including long exposures under moonlight. 


In the late 1990s, Annabel became interested in the phenomenon of online chatrooms and produced a series of notable works including 'BaudriR' in which she reproduced the entirety of the late twentieth-century French philosopher Jean Baudrillard's essay 'In the Shadow of Silent Majorities' word for word in a range of themed chatrooms, under the moniker BaudriR. Writer and artist Stuart Home, who interviewed Annabel about the work for Mute magazine, concluded that it was a 'triumph'.


Annabel took a sidestep in the early 2000s when she co-founded a successful web and arts development company Platform3, running projects for major clients and policy makers in the creative industries for ten years, before returning to academia and an AHRC-funded art practice-based PhD at Goldsmiths College London, where she significantly developed her Frankenstein2 project.


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