Dr Ken Wilder is an artist and writer. He is Programme Director for Interior and Spatial Design at Chelsea College of Arts. Having studied Environmental Design at the Royal College of Art, he has both practiced and taught architecture. Ken now makes site-responsive sculptural installations, often including video projection.
He completed his PhD, entitled Projective Space: Structuring a Beholder’s Imaginative response, at Chelsea in 2009. He has exhibited widely in the UK, and has also exhibited in Ulm, Germany (funded by British Council).
Drawing upon reception aesthetics, Wilder has written extensively for a number of academic journals, including the British Journal of Aesthetics, the Moving Image Review and Art Journal, Estetika: The Central European Journal for Aesthetics, Architecture and Culture, Theatre and Performance Design and Image [&] Narrative. His chapter on the Freee Art Collective is published in Manifesto Now! (London: Intellect, 2013), and there are forthcoming chapters in publications by Bloomsbury and Routledge. He is currently working on a book entitled Beholding In Situ Art.
Reception Aesthetics, theories of beholding, installation art, video sculpture, architecture and spatial practice, philosophy of art.
Wilder's research focuses on the phenomenological experience of art, particularly in terms of how artworks structure an often problematic relation with the beholder. While his own art practice continues to be central to this research, he has also developed novel philosophical positions on the role of visual imagination in the spectatorship of painting, installation and video art. His methodological position draws upon reception aesthetics and its relation to analytic philosophy.
One aspect of his research has been to question where the artwork is relative to the beholder. With relation to painting, Wilder argues that imagination is necessary to overcome the beholder’s extraneousness to the virtual world of the painting. He has used in-situ paintings, such as Masaccio’s Trinity, to claim that in certain works, integrated into their architectural settings, this imaginative engagement is situated.
A more recent aspect of his research attempts to extend this analysis to contemporary works, and in particular to define the phenomenological experience of video art as it shifts from the cinema to the space of the gallery. There has been little systematic analytic philosophical consideration of how the experience differs from that of cinema or sculpture.
His research attempts to construct a comprehensive analytic theory of the reception of ‘situated’ video art, based upon the notion of the configurational encounter – an encounter that acknowledges its conditions of access.
- Vermeer: Interruptions, Exclusions, and ‘Imagining Seeing’ - Wilder, Ken (2015) Vermeer: Interruptions, Exclusions, and ‘Imagining Seeing’. Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aestehics, 52 (1). pp. 38-59. ISSN 00141291 (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/8682/)
- Filmic Bodies: Transgressing Boundaries Between Filmic and Real Space - Wilder, Ken (2014) Filmic Bodies: Transgressing Boundaries Between Filmic and Real Space. Architecture and Culture, 2 (3). pp. 361-377. ISSN 2050-7828 (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/8683/)
- Standing By Their Words: The Manifestos of the Freee Art Collective - Wilder, Ken (2013) Standing By Their Words: The Manifestos of the Freee Art Collective. In: Manifesto Now! Instructions for Performance, Philosophy, Politics. Intellect, London, pp. 53-69. ISBN 9781783200054 (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/5864/)
- Anri Sala: Absorption and 'Theatricalizing' Reception - Wilder, Ken (2012) Anri Sala: Absorption and 'Theatricalizing' Reception. Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ), 2 (1). pp. 255-263. ISSN 20456298 (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/5937/)
- Michael Fried and Beholding Video Art - Wilder, Ken (2012) Michael Fried and Beholding Video Art. Estetika: Central European Journal of Aesthetics, XLIX/V (1). pp. 5-25. ISSN 00141291 (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/5936/)
- Neither here nor elsewhere: displacement devices in representing the supernatural - Wilder, Ken (2011) Neither here nor elsewhere: displacement devices in representing the supernatural. Estetika: Central European Journal of Aesthetics, 2011 (1). Pp. 46-62. ISSN 00141291 (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/2949/)
- Parade: public modes of assembly and forms of address - Cummings, Neil and Bradfield, Marsha and Szreder, Kuba and Wilder, Ken and Michaela, Ross and Warner, Ewelina and Metod, Blejec and Schwager, Scott and Robin, Bhattacharya and White, Neal and Cremona, Cinzia and Steierhoffer, Eszter and Hasegawa, Takako, Critical practice, Chelsea College of Art and Design (2010) Parade: public modes of assembly and forms of address (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/3161/)
- 'Plenum #4' - Wilder, Ken Installed 'Plenum #4', a site responsive work within Butterfield's Arts and Crafts chapel at Keble College, University of Oxford. Also showed film 'Milky Voids' (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/2947/)
- The case for an external spectator - Wilder, Ken (2008) The case for an external spectator. British Journal of Aesthetics, 48 (3). pp. 261-277. ISSN 00070904 (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/3642/)
- Negotiating Painting's Two Perspectives: a Role for the Imagination - Wilder, Ken(2007) Negotiating Painting's Two Perspectives: a Role for the Imagination. Image [&] Narrative, 18. ISSN 1780678X (http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/793/)
- Fangyu Cheng - Architecture as Performance: the Trace of Performance within the Ambiguities of Spatial Sequence.
- Keun Hye Lee - "The trace of everyday performance: A Contemporary Reinterpretation on the Ondol floor."