Phd researchers

CHARLIE TWEED - Rewriting the Overcode

Charlie Tweed's practice based PhD research project 'Re-writing the overcode' has developed from in depth research around the history, materialities and agency of contemporary technologies and their relationship with the environment. For the final output he has developed a large scale audio work along with an accompanying publication that vocalises the concerns of the post-human 'ghosts' of these technologies and their waste materials from a fictional research space located below one of the world's largest e-waste sites. Alongside this final work he has also created a number of video works throughout the PhD which have tested out particular responses and some of the 'escape routes' and theories that have been identified within the research.

“The film camera introduces us to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses.”
— Walter Benjamin


AHRC funded practice-based PhD student (completing in 2018)
Director of Studies, Phillip Warnell, Second Supervisor, Professor John Mullarkey

 dining evolutions

dining evolutions

Phd candidate

MYRTO FARMAKI - The Science of Ghosts:
Breaching the Psycho-Cinematic Frame

As Bernard Stiegler implied in an interview based on the film Ghost Dance by Ken McMullen, we are already incorporated into cinema and cinema is already incorporated within us. Identity and cinematics exist in a haunted interrelation, intimating what they were, are now, and are about to become a state Derrida calls 'the science of ghosts'. They share qualities that can be sensed, felt, and witnessed through character, story and image, all performed within a frame - an enclosed space in which their meaning is defined and delineated, disturbing their interconnection and incorporation. But the frame itself is questionable: the visual arises only from the invisible, for that which is seen is marked out by that which never comes to presence. Such a frame of reference, or 'frame of mind', has hitherto been formed only of limitations that ultimately prevent new propositions of identity and film arising from their spectral joint existence.


Techne funded practice-based PhD student
Director of Studies, Phillip Warnell, second Supervisor, Ken McMullen, third Supervisor John Mullarkey

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FELICITY HAMMOND - Portals in the Urban Terrain: excavating the virtual ruins of rendered architectural propositions.

TECHNE funded.  Supervision: Director of Studies: Julian Rodriguez, Second Supervisor Dr Sarah Bennett.

Monumental billboards concealing construction sites have become commonplace in towns all over the world, with images envisaging desirable, aspirational and unfathomably clean living and working environments. On closer inspection however, these projections quite literally disintegrate.

Felicity Hammond's photographic practice-based research addresses the spatial inconsistencies provided by simulated architectural propositions, and challenges their material status when they intersect the post-industrial landscape.  The research focuses on the disruption of the rendered image points to an inconsistency within a capitalist narrative, and through paying attention to this activates - a discussion about their unattainability.  The work draws attention to the ways in which propositions ignore the social landscape in which they are situated, posing serious questions around social cleansing and gentrification.



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MAXINE BEURET - Working in partnerships does a key blend of disciplines, applied with photography and sound, enable the creation of a more inclusive dynamic representation of cultural heritage in the everyday?

Funded by London Doctoral Design Centre. Supervision: Director of Studies: Julian Rodriguez, Second Supervisor Zoe Childerely.

This research is based on the depiction of a number of working dairies in England, with a focus on their door-step milk delivery service with electric milk floats (first widely introduced after the second world war). The work illustrates whether the milk floats and their milk men and women are part of the everyday cultural heritage of a neighbourhood, town or city.  Led by oral history, environmental sound and the physical journey of each milk round - the photography is combined into lively short photo essay films. The methodology applied has developed through Maxine's established work practice and will be further tested through this research. 

Archival research is based on the historical material available from a selection of sources including: the dairies themselves, local history libraries, regional film archives, the Wythall Commercial Transport Museum and The National Archives Dairy Council Film Collection.


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ANNE PFAUTSCH - The Ostkreuz Agency of Photographers. Tracing the Influence of GDR Documentary Photography in Contemporary Practice.

Supervision: Director of Studies: Julian Rodriguez, Second Supervisor Dr Stephen Barber.

Anne's research examines documentary photography as a 'substitute public'.  The research analyses and discusses social documentary photography in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) 1940 - 1990 and traces its characteristics in order to detect potential influences on contemporary documentary photography in modern-day Germany. The research looks at the way photographs in the GDR were 'coded' and 'layered' to avoid state repression and backlash.  Through an in-depth study of The Ostkreuz Agency, the agency's photographers, and, in view of the former mentioned characteristics this research tackles the questions of the significance of social documentary photography in artistic practice as well as on society. 


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MUILBIR RAI - The Way of the Gurkha: an investigation into the Gurkhas' position in the British Army.

Supervision: Director of Studies: Abbe Fletcher

Previous representations of Gurkha experience on film have been produced by non-Gurkhas, often romanticising their experience from an outside perspective. As the work of a Gurkha filmmaker, this practice-based research project offers a detailed insight into Gurkha values and standards and shows the life of a Gurkha from a position of embodied empirical knowledge using my trajectory from recruitment as a hillboy through active service towards retirement as a narrative line through The Way of the Gurkha feature documentary.

Building on the context of Gramsci’s concepts of hegemony and the subaltern, Said’s Orientalism of Gurkha regiments in British Army and Campbell’s Monomyth towards a theoretical framework which combines of Bordieu’s concept of Habitus and Foucault’s examination of power relations in Discipline and Punish, to examine the Gurkhas’ position in the British Army. This PhD adopts De Certeau’s tactics both in how it informs my methodological approach to documentary but also in real terms by taking time out from my military service and using the government’s resettlement grant, to undertake this PhD and pursue an opportunity to change career on retirement, rather than the limited options available in the security sector, I have repositioned myself as a Gurkha historian, academic and filmmaker.