FirefoxScreenSnapz001Art PhD Symposium, Department of Art, University of Reading

Friday June 10th 2016 10:30 – 16:30
Minghella Cinema
University of Reading


Dr. John Chilver, Artist and lecturer, Goldsmiths College
Dr. Kirsten Cooke, Artist & curator
Dr. Catherine Ferguson, Artist and lecturer, University of Leeds
Melanie Jackson, Artist and PhD candidate, University of Reading
Maggie Roberts, Artist & Research Fellow – Fine Art Research – Birmingham City University
Simon Willems, Artist and PhD candidate, University of Reading

The symposium Surface Value: Locating Conditions explores different conceptualizations of surface materiality as a means of locating value in contemporary art practice and research.

The properties of surface and outer appearance are integral to the development of any research methodology. In whatever capacity research questions are posed they configure within a complex of artistic, political and philosophical relations that continually attest an evaluation of surface conditions. Complex in its terms of application – ‘surface’ – resonates in all directions; harbouring the productive as well as the reductive possibilities of any aesthetic investigation. And yet how is this to be conceived and in what terns do we understand its realisation?

Surface is defined as being:

  • The outside part or uppermost layer of something
  • A continuous set of points that has length and breadth but no thickness
  • The upper limit of a body of liquid
  • The outward appearance of someone or something, especially as distinct from less    obvious aspects

Value is defined as being:

  • The relative worth, utility, or importance of something
  • The material or monetary worth of something
  • The worth of something compared to the price paid or asked for it
  • Principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life
  • The relative degree of lightness or darkness of a particular colour


10:30 – 10:45             Refreshments (tea & coffee)
10:45 – 11:30              Simon Willems (University of Reading PhD candidate)
11:30 – 12:15              Dr. Kirsten Cooke (Artist & curator)
12:15 – 13:00              Dr. John Chilver (Goldsmiths College, University of London)

 13:00 – 14:00              Lunch

14:00 – 14:45              Maggie Roberts (Artist & Research Fellow for Fine Art Research, Birmingham City University)
14:45 – 15:30              Dr. Catherine Ferguson (University of Leeds)
15:30 – 16:15              Melanie Jackson (University of Reading PhD candidate)
16:15 – 16:30              Refreshments (tea & coffee)

Image credit: Untitled, Lucy McKenzie 2002 (200 x 300 cm) Synthetic polymer and oil on canvas MoMA, New York



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