Professor Ken McMullen

School: School of Art and Architecture
Position: Professor of Film


Ken McMullen is an award-winning experimental film maker and artist based in London. He has written and directed over thirty documentary films and eight feature films: Resistance (1976), Ghost Dance (1983), Zina (1985), Partition (1987), 1871 (1990), Seven Sighs (1995), Organisation of Dreams (2009) and OXI (2013). McMullen's films are grounded in philosophy, history, psychoanalysis and literature and have been screened world-wide. Trained as a fine artist, he continues to practice as a visual artist engaged in interdisciplinary practice which has involved collaboration with physicists in CERN and SLAC, and with leading contemporary philosophers such as Jacques Derrida. His art practice draws on the artist's engagement with contemporary physics and seeks to find new visual forms and topographies that visualize the deeply abstract concepts arising in particle physics producing art works across a number of mediums - sculpture, surface area montage, motion picture installation and expanded cinema, including live performance. In Arrows of Time 11 (2009), a recent live performance with film, McMullen integrates analogue and digital work and articulates the possibility of non linear narrative construction with the use of accumulative content.

His research has been funded by the Arts Council, England; British Council; Cascais Centre Cultural, Portugal; CERN, Cine Gloria, Lisbon, Portugal; Cinemateque Francaise; European Cultural Fund; Fundação Dom Luís I, Portugal; Greek National Film Archive, SLAC, California, and PPARC (The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council).

McMullen's work is in the collections of MOMA New York; Metropolitan Museum New York; BFI London; Centre Pompidou Paris; British Council; Arts Council England; Arts Council Scotland; Gulbenkian Foundation; Cinemateque Francais; GNFA Athens and BBC/ARTE/C4.

Research expertise

Fine Art, Film production and script writing, art and science, politics and philosophy.

Teaching areas & responsibilities

MA Film Making

Professional activity

  • 2011President of the Jury of the first Comedy Film Festival, Waterville, Ireland
  • 2011Adviser to InLab, the genetics international research laboratory partnered by the Institute of Psychiatry, London, Goldsmiths College, London, and the Russian Institute of Science
  • 2005 - 2006President of the Jury of the first international Digital Film Festival, Lisbon

Conferences & events

He has given many international public lectures, readings and presentations of his research at venues such as the National Greek Film Archive, Athens; SLAC Stanford, California; Centre Pompidou Paris; CERN, Geneva; LSE, London; Tate Modern; American Institute Paris; Cooper Union New York; Cal Arts Los Angeles; Trinity College Dublin; Tsinghua University, Beijing.

Research groups & programmes

Film still: OXI (2013)
Film still: An Organisation of Dreams (2009)