Meet the researchers

We are practice-led researchers and members of the Contemporary Arts Practice research group, along with guest researchers from Lucerne University, Switzerland. As a group, we cover a wide range of contemporary arts practice, including sculpture, sound design, painting, installation, filmmaking and multi-media. We come together for this project, because, in our varying ways, we are all interested in the process collaboration, especially as it relates to knowledge production and the generation of new ideas. We enthusiastically invite approaches from science researchers across the spectrum, even if these inquiries, in the first instance, are speculative. We are excited to begin new dialogues.

Alison Dalwood

I am a practice-based artist currently working with painting. I usually work with oil on linen. I'm interested in working with layers of colour and building emmeshed structures.

Profile

The focus of my research is perception and my methods include observing, interpreting, making colour samples and drawings and developing paintings from these experiences, which are not in the end representational. I’m interested in how the observer is caught, whether consciously or unconsciously, between perception of the visible object and what makes it visible: light, how we remember experiences and through a fluid process, can arrive at painted equivalents.

For example, the project Hedge, brings in to question the whole idea of representing an aspect of the natural world by observing, recording and painting a specific hedgerow over a single year and taking fragments out of context and presenting them in a different one. In that one hedge, every centimetre is random and unrepeated. A painting, unlike a photograph, is equally random and unrepeatable. Details of the hedge are ‘sampled’, echoing a scientific approach but arriving at an entirely different outcome, a new form rather than an exact copy or representation. Through a process of painting with layers of colour and accumulated marks, I aim to translate visual experience and perception and echo peripheral vision and the impressions of colour and texture which are left in the mind’s eye.

Opportunities for collaboration

I'm interested to hear from ecologists or landscape historians with insight into the many layered story of a hedge, both from the perspective of the ecological inter-connectedness of species and the history of the intervention of mankind in forming hedges and field boundaries in UK. If you have knowledge of flora and fauna, preserving hedgerows and history of field boundaries, then please contact me.

Contact Details

Social Media: Follow alisondalwood on Instagram.

Email: a.dalwood@herts.ac.uk

Mob: +44(0)7428 238296

Rob Godman

I am a composer and sound designer in digital and acoustic sound. I am interested in music composition, live performance with digital technology and spatialisation.

Profile

I am a composer and sound designer in digital and acoustic sound, with a passionate interest in how sound behaves acoustically. I have developed many techniques for controlling and building virtual spaces for use within live performance and installation.

I'm an enthusiastic collaborator and have worked on many large-scale experimental and commercial music and sound design projects. I am part of an arts/science collaborative team with Simeon Nelson and Nick Rothwell, creating installation works combining sound and light sculpture. I have also composed the sound for several experimental films. I was awarded The Royal Philharmonic Society Prize for Composition in 1990.

In addition to my composing projects, I have recently completed a chapter for the book 'A Companion to the Reception of Vitruvius' (Brill, co-edited by Prof. Ingrid Rowland, publication 2020), the topic of the contribution being "Echeia" - a very early example of assisted resonance in Roman Theatres.

Opportunities for collaboration

I'm interested to hear from those interested in the significance of sound across disciplines, performative possibilities, people with imagination and all-round thinkers.

Contact Details

Website: robgodman.com

Email: r.godman@herts.ac.uk

Mob: +44(0)7812491670

Ronny Hardliz (guest researcher)

I'm a visual artist, with a strong background in architecture and urbanism. I'm currently interested in the use of documentary film for collaborative purposes.

Profile

I am an artist, researcher, filmmaker, curator, author, and architect. I studied architecture and urbanism at EPFL in Switzerland and CMU in the United States and worked as an architect in Berne. I am interested in discourse as the legitimate contender of contemporary art, architectural theory, collaborative visual strategies, correlations in the thinking of Walter Benjamin and Georges Bataille, cinematic prehistoric art, rejuvenation as a concept of time, Kunst und Bau, art and public spheres, and documentary film as a decolonizing artistic research practice.

I was a fellow at the Swiss Institute in Rome, where I started an art career exploring the concept of the 'architectural’. My current artistic focus is on the use of documentary film for collaborative art practices. Beside my independent art practices, participation in exhibitions, and curatorial work, I offer expertise in research as well as consultation and services in the organization of competitions in art and architecture. I have worked at Lucerne University  and CC Künstlerische Materialforschung leading a number of interdisciplinary research projects with HSLU-T&A and HSLU-W.

Opportunities for collaboration

I'm interested to hear from palaeontologists, astrophysicists and mathematicians specialised in topology.

Contact Details

Website: hardliz.ch

Email: ronny.hardliz@hslu.ch

Dr Alana Jelinek

Originally a painter, I have also worked in performance, sound, video and novel writing. I'm interested in relationships and interdependences from the microscopic point of view.

Profile

I have been working on an art-science virology project that, ironically, I can’t continue due to covid19. I am interested in the complexity of interactions between all the various human and non-human components of an individual, and the interaction of these with our environments, including other human and nonhuman species as well as the various inorganic bits of our environment.

In the past I have worked with anthropologists and archaeologists – so I have experience navigating multi-disciplinary relationships.

Opportunities for collaboration

I would love to work with anyone who is a biologist, an ecologist, a biochemist, a geologist, a virologist, a microbiologist – any or all of these! I am up for a collaboration across a small group – ideally 4, if research by Dr Theo Gilbert, from the University of Hertfordshire, is our guide.

Contact Details

Website: alanajelinek.com

Email: a.jelinek@herts.ac.uk

Sam Jury

I work across the mediums of moving image, installation, sound and photography. I am interested in social injustice and mass displacement, specifically, psychology, traumatic memory and climate change.

Profile

I work across the mediums of moving image, installation, sound and photography. My  work is concerned with the ability of photo-media to reflect and impact on psychological states. For the last 6 years I have worked on film projects that broadly explore, what I term 'suspended trauma', that being a form of cognitive stasis created when unresolved events are continuously relived by repetitious retelling or replay. Examples include To Be Here (2016) a series of film works examining the long-term displacement of Sahrawi refugees and For Lengths (2016 - ) and Popehelm (2016 - 17) a short film, collaboration with experimental writer Sarah Goldstein and composer Rob Godman, that imagines a societal decline and aftermath in the wake of an unnamed catastrophe. I often work collaboratively with partners from other disciplines, such as scientists, choreographers, writers, composers and psychologists, as well as with other visual artists. Recent major projects include Climart (2012-17) – a 5 year research project investigating the efficacy of arts/science collaborations and the effect of visual arts in communicating climate change and Disasters of Peace (2016 - 18 ), an initiative created to critique and examine filmic representations of disaster beyond the immediate spectacle.

Opportunities for collaboration

I'm interested to hear from any science researcher interested in the above areas. Equally, I am open to working outside these areas, if the researcher can see a novel link between my practice and their area of research. In other words, I am curious about other disciplines and would enjoy the challenge of working outside my usual thematics.

Contact Details

Website: samjury.com

Email: s.jury@herts.ac.uk

Simeon Nelson

I'm a sculptor, new media and interdisciplinary artist. I'm interested in installation, time based work, video, optical art, architecture, human, biological and human sciences.

Profile

My sculpture, installation and time-based work offers insights into pattern, perception and systemic connections between art and science. It also looks at problems of cultural encounter, tensions between the personal and the global and the difficulties of making sense of the other.

I am interested in the potential of shared languages, underlying aesthetics and concerns that occur within and between different art-forms. Mapping, ornament and other languages of systematic representation are a focus of my practice. My work transposes between graphical, spatial and temporal using the languages of cartography, ethnography and scientific illustration. I use concepts like topology, the study of the properties of form that remain invariant under distortion, entropy, the tendency for energy and organization to dissipate and autopoesis, the ability of a system, organic or machine to maintain a steady state internally in an entropic environment.

I rescale and recombine patterns and fragments that could be from the connective tissue of the city, for example a railway network or a street pattern, the branching of a tree, the migratory route of birds, a river drainage basin or a blood vessel network. cartography, biology, anatomy, cosmology and ethnography form a great part of my raw material.

Opportunities for collaboration

I'm interested to hear from scientists working with cybernetics, systems theory, set theory, mereology and other forms of spatial and relational thinking, for example topology, projective and voronoi geometry. I'm also curious about alignments between material-discursive practices in the laboratory and the studio.

Contact Details

Website: simeon-nelson.com

Email: s.d.lockhart-nelson@herts.ac.uk

Sebastian Utzni (guest researcher)

I'm a conceptual artist based in Switzerland. I'm interested in contradictory combinations of materials and subjects placed within a contemporary context. My work may be described as 'counter-monuments'.

Profile

I am a German conceptual artist based in Zurich and Lucerne, Switzerland. The materials with which I work are varied and are chosen to serve best the delivery of each project. My working technique is that of a flâneur, relying on happenstance to throw up new subjects of research and directions of thought. This is a time-based, peripatetic process of collection and absorption. I am interested in the quotidian simultaneity of academic, cultural, economic, historic, political, scientific and societal contexts, filtering and undertaking a detailed analysis of often-ambivalent cultural symbols. In this process I physically test materials, juxtaposing and making visible connections and existing structures that may go unnoticed. This leads to unexpected, often contradictory combinations of materials and subjects placed within a contemporary context. My work may be described as “counter-monuments”, after the viewer has internalised the concept of the work it may well disappear or dissolve and continue to be active in the viewer's mind. I am currently Head of BA Fine Arts at the Lucerne University of Applied Arts and Sciences.

Opportunities for collaboration

I'm interested to hear from any scientist who can see a potential for collaboration.

Contact Details

Website: sebastianutzni.com

Email: sebastian.utzni@hslu.ch

Mike Wyeld

I am a sound designer and filmmaker. I'm interested in how people are affected by sounds, especially those in conflict zones and the perception of sound in PTSD.

Profile

I am a sound designer and film maker and interested in the methods and processes of creating sound, and in listening. My sound design work has been heard in galleries around the world, including the Victoria and  Albert Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Art, and Sonar D in Barcelona  among many others. Whilst we perform various versions of ourselves, beneath the surface there are shared anxieties and personal truths. Sound finds ways to tease those out in my work.

I am Lecturer in Sound Design and Post-Production in Film and Television in the School of Creative Arts on BA and MA programmes at the University of Hertfordshire.

Opportunities for collaboration

I'm interested to hear from people working with military applications of sound, scientists working with the perception of sound/brain, medical practitioners working with people affected by PTSD / loud sound. People developing weapons or aircraft/rockets etc that have a particular sound. I'm interested in how people are affected by the sounds created in conflict zones. In sound we spend a lot of time making things explode, can we rethink this or add something new?

Contact Details

Social Media: Follow @mikewyeld on Twitter

Email: m.wyeld@herts.ac.uk