Dr Ruth Blacksell

Position: Research Fellow

Biography

I am currently employed by the University of Kingston as a 0.5 Research Fellow in the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture. I also hold a 0.5 post as Director of the MA in Book Design in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading.

Research expertise

Much of my research to date has been concerned with examining typographic engagements and acts of publishing in practices of 1960s/70s Conceptual Art. I have also focused on the emergence of a contemporary inter-disciplinary territory, which following this historical and theoretical lineage, utilises, cross-references and extends the vocabularies and contexts of art, editorial design and architecture.

Since 2014 I have used the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London as a venue to stage a number of public-facing events connected with my research. For example, in 2015 and 2016, I co-organised and chaired (with Dr Stephen Walker from Sheffield University's School of Architecture) Architecture and the Spaces of Information, parts 1 & 2. The first of these events was scheduled to coincide with an exhibition in the ICA's Fox Reading Room Everything is Architecture: Bau Magazine from the 1960s and 70s and the second event coincided with the launch of our co-edited special edition of the journal Architecture & Culture (4.1) Architecture & the Spaces of Information (2016: Routledge: Taylor & Frances); Prior to this (in 2014), I organised and chaired the event Art Information: Editorial Strategies, Text-Based Formats, Publishing Contexts which brought together a panel of international contributors for a symposium, to follow on from my 2012 open lecture 'From Visual to Textual: Typography in/as Conceptual Art' and the ICA's exhibition In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artists since 1955.

In 2016, I was invited to chair a conference panel, Spaces of Information, at the annual Contemporary Artists' Books Conference (CABC), hosted by the New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1; I was also invited to present on the panel Art magazines and magazine art at the Association of Art Historians' (AAH) annual conference at the University of Edinburgh.

I have presented regular keynotes, conference papers and invited lectures at institutions including Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, UK (2015), Chelsea College of Arts, UAL (2014), The Artists Institute, Hunter College, New York (2014) and University of the Arts, Bremen, Germany (2014);

In 2015, I secured a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with Tate Library and Archive to investigate the forms, strategies and contexts of publishing in modern and contemporary art practice (1960s to the present day). Extending from this, I am currently developing a research focus on the intersections of art and editorial design through print, digital and/or hybrid forms.

Teaching areas & responsibilities

My post at Kingston University is research only but I also hold a post at the University of Reading where I act as an undergraduate lecturer, a postgraduate programme director and a doctoral supervisor.

Professional activity

  • 2016 - presentResearch Fellow in the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at Kingston University
  • 2002 - presentLecturer and MA Programme Director in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading

Educational and professional qualifications

  • 2013PhD University of Sheffield through a concordat scholarship with the British Library. Thesis title: 'Typography after Conceptual Art. Text-based Conceptual Art: A Contribution to Contemporary Typographic Discourse'
  • 2004MA in Aesthetics & Art Theory Middlesex University
  • 1991BA in Typography & Graphic Communication University of Reading

Conferences & events

2016 (17 September): Conference panel chairing and presentation paper. One-day session at the annual Contemporary Artists' Books Conference (CABC), hosted by the New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, New York.

Panel title: Spaces of information. Invitation to chair from Stephen Bury, the Andrew W. Mellon Chief Librarian at the Frick Art Reference Library.
Title of presentation paper: 'Categories & order systems'
Other speakers: Dr Andrew Hunt, the University of Kingston, London; Karen di Franco, Tate Britain and the University of Reading.

2016 (11 September): Conference co-organisation/chairing and presentation paper. One-day symposium event at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Symposium title: Architecture and the spaces of information, Part 2. Co-organised, with Stephen Walker from Sheffield University's School of Architecture. Event drawing on Blacksell & Walker's co-edited special issue of the journal Architecture & Culture: Journal of the Architectural Humanities Research Association, vol. 4, issue 1(2016).
Title of presentation paper: 'Claude Parent & Dexter Sinister/The Serving Library. Intersections of architecture, art & editorial design'.
Other speakers: Dr Stephen Walker, the University of Sheffield; Dr Tim Gough and Andrew Hunt, the University of Kingston, London; Ana Bonet Miro, The University of Edinburgh.

2016 (17 June). Invited panel member in public-facing round table discussion at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Title of roundtable: 'Towards a new publishing house'. Roundtable convened by Dr Arnaud Desjardin.
Other speakers: El Vonne Brown, X Marks the Bökship; Kathy Slade, Publication Studio; Dr Andrew Hunt, Slimvolume and the University of Kingston; and Arnaud Desjardin, the Everyday Press.

2016 (8 April): Invited presentation paper. One-day session at the Association of Art Historians (AAH) annual conference, hosted by the University of Edinburgh.

Session title: Art magazines and magazine art, convened by Samuel Bibby, AAH.
Title of presentation paper: 'Refusing cultural confinement: magazine art then and now'.
Other speakers: Stephen Perkins, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Samual Bibby, AAH; Marie Boivent, Université Rennes 2; Katharine J Wright, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Amy Tobin, University of York; David Brittain, Manchester School of Art; Gwen L Allen, San Francisco State University.

2015 (19 October): Invited presentation paper. One-day symposium event at Hauser & Wirth gallery, Somerset, UK.

Symposium title: The message and the medium
Title of presentation paper: 'From visual to textual: typography in/as Conceptual Art'. Event scheduled to coincide with the exhibition Softer targets by Jenny Holzer.
Other speakers: Professor Jon Bird, Middlesex University; Professor Dave Beech, Valad Academy, Gothenburg; Professor Pavel Büchler, the University of Manchester.

2015 (15 September): Conference co-organisation/chairing. One-day symposium event at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Symposium title: Architecture and the spaces of information, Part 1. Co-organised, with Stephen Walker from Sheffield University's School of Architecture. Event scheduled to coincide with an exhibition in the ICA's Fox Reading Room: Everything is architecture: Bau Magazine from the 1960s and 70s.
Speakers: Dr Steve Parnell, the University of Nottingham; Eva Branscome and Carlo Menon, the Bartlett School of Architecture, London; Juliette Desorgues, ICA, London.

2014 (9 December): Invited presentation paper (keynote). Two-day symposium event at the University of the Arts, Bremen, Germany.

Symposium title: Typography as an artistic event since the 1960s (Typografie als künsterisches Ereignis seit den 1960er Jahren).
Title of presentation paper: 'From looking to reading: text-based Conceptual art and typographic discourse'.
Other speakers: Tania Prill and Michael Glasmeier, Hochschule für Künste Bremen; Jan-Frederik Bandel, Freie Universität, Berlin; Susanne Beieri, Nationalbibliothek, Bern; Gabriele Wix, Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn; David Bennewith, Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe; Lisa Steib, Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Braunschweig; Anette Geiger, Hochschule für Künste, Bremen; Sabine Mainberger, Freidrich-Wilheims-Universität, Bonn; Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer, Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig; and Annette Gilbert, Freie Universität, Berlin.

2014 (29 September). Invited student-facing lecture at the Artists Institute, Hunter College, City University New York. Organised to coincide with the New York Art Book Fair, MoMA PS1, 26–28 September, 2014.

Title of lecture: 'Art information: editorial strategies; text based formats; publishing contexts'. Invited by Jenny Jaskey, Director and Curator, the Artist's Institute, New York.

2014 (10 June). Invited public-facing PechaKucha presentation at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

On the occasion of the book launch for Please come to the show: invitations & flyers from the MoMA Library archive New York, edited by David Senior, published by Occasional Papers, London.
Other speakers: Professor Juan Cruz, Royal College of Art; Clive Phillpot, independent art historian and critic; Fraser Muggeridge, Fraser Muggeridge Studio; and John Morgan, John Morgan Studio. Invited by Sara de Bondt and Antony Hudek, Occasional Papers, London.

2014 (26 April): Conference organisation/chairing and presentation paper. One-day symposium event at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Symposium title: Art information: editorial strategies; text based formats; publishing contexts. Tile of presentation paper: 'Art-Information'.
Other speakers: Dr Jo Melvin UAL, London; Dr Lucy Mulroney, Syracuse University Library & Archives, New York; Dr Stuart Bailey, Dexter Sinister, New York; Professor John Russell, the University of Reading.

2014 (13 March). Invited student-facing lecture at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London.

Title of lecture: 'From visual to textual: Typography in/as Conceptual Art'. Invited by Christopher Wilson, Theory coordinator, BA Graphic Design Communication, Chelsea College of Arts.

2012 (29 February). Invited public-facing lecture at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. Organised to coincide with the exhibition In numbers: serial publications by artists since 1955, 25 January–25 March 2012.

Title of lecture: 'From visual to textual: typography in/as Conceptual Art'. Invited by Matt Williams, curator, ICA London.

Grants, funding and awards

  • 2015 - presentIn 2015 I established an AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral partnership between the University of Reading and Tate Library & Archives. This award has provided AHRC funding for a full-PhD studentship under my co-supervision

Research groups & programmes


Publications

Number of items: 7.

Article

Blacksell, Ruth and Walker, Stephen (2016) Architecture and the spaces of information. Architecture and Culture, 4(1), pp. 1-8. ISSN (print) 2050-7828

Blacksell, Ruth (2016) Categories and order systems : Claude Parent and the Serving Library. Intersections of architecture, art and editorial design. Architecture and Culture, 4(1), pp. 73-89. ISSN (print) 2050-7828

Blacksell, Ruth (2015) Studio International. The Burlington Magazine, 157(1347), pp. 430-431. ISSN (print) 0007-6287

Blacksell, Ruth (2013) From looking to reading : text-based conceptual art and typographic discourse. Design Issues, 29(2), pp. 60-81. ISSN (print) 0747-9360

Walker, Sue, Edwards, Viv and Blacksell, Ruth (1996) Designing bilingual books for children. Visible Language, 30(3), pp. 268-283. ISSN (print) 0022-2224

Conference or Workshop Item

Blacksell, Ruth (2014) From visual to textual : typography in / as conceptual art. In: Typografie als Kunstlerisches Ereignis seit den 1960er Jahren [Typography as an Artistic Event since the 1960s]; 09 - 10 Dec 2014, Bremen, Germany.

Thesis

Blacksell, Ruth (2012) Typography after conceptual art. (PhD thesis), University of Sheffield.

This list was generated on Tue Mar 21 21:00:09 2017 GMT.