TVAD - Theorising Visual Art and Design

We have every reason to believe that different disciplines have much to gain from each other. The 1960s saw numerous art-science experiments, often initiated by artists, some of which were innovations in higher education that momentarily broke down barriers between fields. For well over 50 years, artists have actively collaborated with scientists in all disciplines to expand their artistic reach.

Questions this conference asks include:

  • Are artists amateur enthusiasts of science or do we offer more?
  • Is there more to art-science collaboration than artistically novel uses of technology? On the one hand, we ask, what can scientists learn from artists?
  • On the other, what can be achieved by artists working with scientists that cannot be achieved by artists alone, or scientists alone? In other words, what is the point of sci-art collaboration?

Click here for full symposium timetable and further information


Curator, Dr Katy Barrett (PhD), Science Museum,


Esin Aykanat Avcı & Ilgım Göktürk Başal (Turkey)
A Laboratory or an Art Studio

Dr Barbara Brownie (University of Hertfordshire, UK)
The Final Frontier of Fashion

Prof Fiona Crisp (Northumbria University, UK)
The Cultural Negotiation of Radically Remote Science

Jessica Hough (Andrew W. Mellon COSI Curatorial Fellow in Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, USA)
“A Good Scout” in Art and Life: Generative Systems’ & Collaborative Techno-Art-Activism

Sam Jury (University of Hertfordshire, UK)
Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? Aka The Glitches and Bitches of Collaborations


Ulrike Kuchner (University of Nottingham, UK)
The value of ArtScience: what lies at the intersection of art and science?

Stuart Nolan (PhD candidate LICA Lancaster University, UK)
Touch, Telepathy, and Tango

Stephanie Owens (Head of School, School of Arts + Media at Plymouth College of Art, UK)
The invisible co-created and the phenomenal aesthetics of polymers

Dr Pat Simpson (University of Hertfordshire, UK)
Revolutionary Evolution in Apes and Humans in the 1920s: Sculpture and Constructs of the “New Man” at the Moscow Darwin Museum

Lisa Taliano (NY, USA) and Maria Patricia Tinajero (IDSVA, Portland ME)
Porous Borders, Toxic Landscape: Mapping The Massena Critical Zone


Theorising Visual Art and Design is a multi and inter-disciplinary research group in the School of Creative Arts. The aim of TVAD is to explore the relationships between material, object, text, narrative and image as they emerge within contemporary art practice, applied arts, design, film, and digital and text-based media. Our researchers examine issues and interrogate assumptions of historiography, methodology, epistemology and pedagogy in the creative arts and design.

TVAD blue logo