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Professor: Mick Finch

Mick Finch, Book of Knowledge 116, 2019
Archival digital print

Written by
Teleri Lloyd-Jones
Published date
23 September 2019

To mark our new Professors, we hear more about their research plans. Here, Mick Finch, Professor of Visual Art Practice, discusses re-reading the archive and the need for multidisciplinary practice.

What will be your particular focus?

I see the Professorship as having three areas of focus: my artistic research, my academic research and my activity at the College.

I’m currently working on an AHRC project entitled A Vision for Europe which examines image-led scholarship in relation to British Art and the Mediterranean – the photographic exhibition staged at the Warburg Institute during World War II . This research relates directly to my studio practice which appropriates photographic material from the 1950s encyclopedia The Book of Knowledge.

At College, I am working on projects and funding bids with members of staff from the Art programme – across a range of institutions and disciplines. The themes addressed include reading archives against the grain – to reveal a diversity of perspectives in particular histories. I am also questioning what constitutes the “creative quarter” in an international context of regeneration projects.

In terms of your future research: why this and why now?

The multidisciplinary nature of my research and work represents an urgent need for art and design to engage with the humanities and STEM subjects on an equal platform. Due to unfolding technologies, fine art disciplines and their methodologies now find themselves in an important and active position; it is this I am currently exploring.

What piece of work are you most proud of?

Mick Finch, Book of Knowledge 116, 2019
Archival digital print

If you could change one thing about the way your discipline is viewed what would that be?

The wider “utility” of the visual arts outside of, or even opposed to, its aesthetic processes.

What one question would you most like to find the answer to?

What are the emerging economies of the artist?


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