Beyond Research

Given the challenges posed by learning to live with the proliferating array of other kinds of life-forms that increasingly surround us – be they pets, weeds, pests, commensals, new pathogens, “wild” animals or technoscientific “mutants” – developing a precise way to analyse how the human is both distinct  from and continuous with that which lies beyond it is both crucial and timely.

Eduardo Kohn. How Forests Think. Toward an Anthropology beyond the Human. p9

The Deep Field Project has evolved through a period of significant transformation in research, in the visual arts and in the post/digital/critical humanities. In particular, it has evolved from a vast body of academic work, research publications, conferences and exhibitions, from artistic commissions, artistic projects and practices that value integrating, synthesising and working together through productive agonistic relations. Its history spans media arts, creative technology, art and science, as well as conceptual and situational art, social and investigative practices.

Artists who have worked in this context for many years recognise that this research practice necessarily hacks into the tools of science (digital platforms, coding etc), ruptures enclosures (the crypto-logic of science), experiments with new models (physical, theoretical), addresses the scalar structures and infrastructures of knowledge (as narratives, as material or experimental landscapes). It allows researchers to work across cultural and social imaginaries, enables formerly disconnected research fields to work together on shared goals and to generate new epistemic things and events, both within and beyond academia.

At Westminster (UoW), research in this area has been led by artist and researcher Neal White, who initially worked alongside Professor Tom Corby (now Assoc. Dean of Research at Central St.Martins, London) and then Dr Nicola Triscott (now CEO at FACT, Liverpool). Through a series of events, co-organised with Prof John Beck (Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, UoW) and the Internationally renown interdisciplinary agency The Arts Catalyst, a new model for new interdisciplinary research was started.

In this section, we have included a few events that give insights into this former work and the potential directions and trajectory to which we hope to travel beyond research alone.