Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Surrealism and the politics of the Modernist avant-garde
The Situationist International and post-situationist art/activism
Performance art and institutional critique
Social art history and Cultural theory, particularly Marxism and post-structuralism
My research focuses on the connections between art and social movements, particularly in attempts to synthesise Surrealist and Marxist thought in the notion of "revolution-as-festival." This is a theory taken up and developed by successive theorists within the avant-garde, and later within social movements such as autonomia, which argues for social and cultural change not as the product of objective social forces but of the subjective force of desire. For them, revolution thus takes place primarily not on the plane of economics or institutional politics, but of culture and everyday life.
My work also traces the parallel historical movement from the art and literature of the Surrealist avant-garde to the performance art and visual culture of 1960s and 70s groups associated with radical social movements, such as the Situationists, Yippies, Provos and creative autonomists, as well as contemporary art-activists associated with the global justice movement from Reclaim the Streets onwards.
I completed my PhD in 2007 at Manchester University, supervised by Prof. Terry Eagleton, and am currently preparing a history of the theory of revolution-as-festival from surrealism to the present. I am also editing a history of the Orange Alternative movement for Autonomedia.
I would be interested in hearing from anyone interested in any of the above areas.