SYMPOSIA & research seminars




The Visible Institute organises regular research seminar presentations exploring various thematics. These include presentations by current PhD students, KSA alumni and Visible Institute staff - usually on campus, occasionally at the British Film Institute. They are co-ordinated by Abbe Fletcher and normally held at Kingston School of Art's Knights Park Campus Room LB202.

Dates for 2019/2020 are as follows, please note that these dates coincide with the new PG visitor programme on the same dates in the main lecture theatre at 2-4pm.

Research presentations 5-7pm. details to follow…

Nov 6, 20

Dec 11

Jan 15

Feb 12 

Mar 24

all in TB202 at Knights Park

Research events: a sample


Cinema 1, London ICA, Friday March 31st 2017
Symposium convener: Phillip Warnell
with support from Kingston School of Art, Kingston University & the ICA

'Wild Minds' is focused on the ambiguities and co-operations that define our relations with other species. Bringing together filmmakers, theorists, curators and those working directly with animals groups, the symposium will combine presentations, in-conversation, film, and notes on performance. The various contributors will consider processes by which co-presence, proximity, encounters and (impossible) relations with wild minds are established: from the origins of wild life photographic representation; generational transmission of zoo and conservation; one-to-one animal encounters; image-making solutions of contemporary artists' film and other commercial cinema. Participants will share from their research specialisms, experience, theoretical frameworks and practical references, traversing livelihoods and project-based work with other creatures." Phillip Warnell

Charlotte Corney (Isle of Wight Zoo) and Honor Beddard (Wellcome Collection) in conversation at 'Wild Minds'.

Charlotte Corney (Isle of Wight Zoo) and Honor Beddard (Wellcome Collection) in conversation at 'Wild Minds'.


  • Jean-Christophe Bailly - Poet & philosopher, Paris

  • Michael Lawrence - Sussex University

  • Lynn Turner - Goldsmiths University

  • Filipa Ramos - Kingston University

  • Phillip Warnell - Kingston University

  • Honor Beddard - Wellcome Collection

  • Charlotte Corney - Zoo director, IOW

  • Ben Rivers (filmmaker, introduction to film screening)

  • Fevered Sleep (performance company)

  • Myrto Farmaki - PhD candidate, Kingston University

  • Éléonore Saintagnan et Grégoire Motte - filmmakers, Brussels

  • Screening of 'from the pole to the equator' introduced by Ben Rivers


    Studio, London ICA, May 26th 2016
    Symposium convener: Phillip Warnell

This event, convened by Phillip Warnell for the Artists' Moving Image biennial at ICA, was chaired by Shama Khanna, and with presentations by Mihnea MircanFilipa RamosPhillip Warnell and Jessica Sarah Rinland, touches on themes of exhibition and encounter, companionship, animal spirits and unruly creatures in relation to the filmic medium. Prompts to participants and speakers include:

  • How can filmic ‘encounters’ change our relationship to the screen and representation?

  • How can we show animals on and through film as critical subjects?

  • What are some of the creative potentials of interruption by unruly creatures?

Mabel Stark was the world's first tiger trainer to train a big cat to tight-rope walk in the 1930s. She could also 'work' 17 Tigers simultaneously in the big top. The geometric form of such human-animal relations and precarious height at which they might take place provides a shape for cinema, sport and spectacle relative to its 'cinemality'. Phillip Warnell addresses some such examples, also referencing his own recent film, Ming of Harlem

"Melville talks about the bilateral placement of the whale's eyes - he thought whales could entertain two visual fields at once, thus transcend the linear one-thing-at-a-time mode of human consciousness”. Taking this passage from John Durham Peters’ Marvelous CloudsJessica Rinland explores the expired and living eye of a whale, its various functions including the ability to determine age, and the intimacy and mutual interruption created between the animal, camera and viewer. 

"I'd like to start from The Abandoned Shabono by Juan Downey, particularly the anamorphic space established when a Yanomami reciprocates the gesture of Downey filming him, using an iguana. A kind of animism of the camera and de-animism of the iguana, or perhaps more interestingly a point of intersection between different worlds and jurisdictions." Mihnea Mircan

Filipa Ramos
 is Editor in Chief of art-agenda and Lecturer in the Experimental Film MA program of Kingston University, and in the MRes Art: Moving Image of Central Saint Martins, both in London. Ramos is co-curator of Vdrome, a programme of screenings of films by visual artists and filmmakers. In the past she was Associate Editor of Manifesta Journal, curator of the Research Section of dOCUMENTA (13), and coordinator of “The Most Beautiful Kunsthalle in the World” at the Antonio Ratti Foundation. She is the co-author of the book Lost and Found – Crisis of Memory (2009) and is working on a survey of writings on Animals, to be published by the Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press in Autumn 2016.

Artist-filmmaker Jessica Sarah Rinland has exhibited work in galleries, cinemas, film festivals and universities internationally. Nulepsy screened at Bloomberg New Contemporaries, New York Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, among others, and was broadcast by Canal+. In 2013 she won ICA’s Best Experimental Film for Electric Oil and had a solo exhibition Dissecting The Exploding Whale at Limbo Arts. In 2014 she was artist in residence at the MacDowell Colony and Kingston University, and her film Adeline For Leaves won the Arts + Science award at Ann Arbor Film Festival. London Short Film Festival 2016 screened a retrospective of her work and commissioned a new film on pioneering natural history filmmaker Mary Field (1896 - 1968). In collaboration with author Philip Hoare and academic Dr. Edward Sugden, she is currently in production for We Account The Whale Immortal, exhibited at Somerset House from July to October 2016.

Shama Khanna is a curator, educator and writer based in London where she curates Flatness, a multi-format event and website project.

The Abandoned Shabono  by Juan Downey

The Abandoned Shabono by Juan Downey

Mihnea Mircan was the artistic director of Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp between 2011-15. His recent work includes the long-term research project Allegory of the Cave Painting. He has also curated exhibitions at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest; Museion, Bolzano; Stroom, Den Haag; Spinnerei, Leipzig; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Fondation Ricard, Paris; Project Art Center, Dublin; and the Venice Biennale, as curator of the Romanian Pavilion in 2007. He edited the books Hans van Houwelingen: Undone (2012) and Cross-examinations (2015), and has contributed essays to monographs on Pavel Büchler, Nina Beier, Victor Man, Jean-Luc Moulène and Laure Prouvost. His writing has appeared in exhibition catalogues and journals such as MousseManifesta Journal and Afterall.