Profile: Johnny Golding

Profile: Johnny Golding

2013-05-23 Johnny Golding

Johnny Golding is a contemporary philosopher, teacher and poet. Her research covers the curious intersections of fine art, digital, media and electronic arts via three distinct but interwoven strands: (i) ana-materialism; that is, the new materialisms of space/ speed/ curved-time and dimensionality linked to complexity, physics and the wild sciences; (ii) dirty theory; that is, the erotic logics of sense, radical heterogeneic / queer difference, feminism and the ethical-political care of self; and finally, (iii) the age-old 'Enlightenment' question; that is, what does it mean to be human – and what can this humanity become (cyborgs, artificial intelligences, species-beings and other augmented realities included).  Her research owes a large debt to the critical intellectual magic of Einstein, Mandelbrot, Foucault, Lyotard, Nietzsche, Van Gogh and, more contemporarily, Barad, Haraway, Basquiat, Acker, Roni Horn, Stengers, Cage, Wojnarowicz.

Internationally recognised for her philosophy sound-scape enactments, Golding is the Director of CFAR and holds the Chair as Research Professor of Philosophy & Fine Art at the Birmingham School of Art (Margaret St). Her most recent publications include: On the Verge of Photography: Imaging Beyond Representation; The 9th Technology of Otherness (a certain kind of debt); Fractal Philosophy (or Attunement as the Task of Art); Conversion on the Road to Damascus: Minority Report on Art; The University Must be Defended; and Assassination of Time (or the birth of zeta-physics). Executive Editor of zētēsis: a peer-reviewed journal for contemporary art, philosophy & the wild sciences (ARTicle Press), it foregrounds research driven by experiment, risk and curiosity.


Director, Centre for Fine Art (CFAR), Birmingham School of Art at Birmingham City University and Research Chair in Philosophy and Fine Art, Birmingham School of Art

Research: non-representational imaging, fractal philosophy and complexity, ana-materialism and the ana-logics of the body, especially linked to the erotic arts and contemporary feminist, secular Enlightenment. Research includes: immersive art practice and the wild sciences via adventures with discourse/figure; dimensionality/ duration / simultaneity, colour, timing, voice and light to critically inform new epistemologies of difference, curiosity (zētēsis), ethics (ēthos) and a certain kind of truth (parrahēsia).

Co-Founder, The AHRC Photography Research Network, with D. Rubinstein and A. Fisher (2012-current).

Co-Director, ARTicle Press – International Board; peer reviewed, Open Access.  For leading work in Contemporary Fine Art, Public Art & Education, Curatorial Practice, Philosophy and Design.

Director of the Strategic Research Network in Contemporary Art, Philosophy and the Wild Sciences (since 2006; renamed 2012); links include: The List Visual Arts Center, MIT; Parsons School of Design (The New School University, NYC); The Sorbonne (Media Arts); The International Academy of Media Arts & Sciences (IAMAS, Ogaki City, Japan), PACTAC (Pacific Center for Technology and Art, Victoria Canada), The Akademie der Kunst (Wein), Leipzig Academy of Art; The Univ of Cologne (History & Philosophy).

Research awards to date total just under  £900K in grants (1997-current)

Supervised 11 PHDs to a successful completion. 3 MPHIL to completion. PHD External Examiner: UK – 9+; Australia – 2; USA/Canada: 2; PHD Internal Examiner:  UK – 7; PHD Chair:  UK = 8

Previously: Head of Theory, The Jan Van Eyck Academy (Maastricht, NL) 1997-2003; Prof of Philosophy and Director, Institute for the Converging Arts & Sciences (UoG, London, until 2012).

Born in New York, with a good stint in Toronto before washing up on the shores of Soho (London). Now shape-shifting between Camberwell Grove and Margaret St. Occasional drummer with a penchant for long distance (25m/50m) rides of the wildly spirited equestrian kind. Known also as Sue Golding as well as johnny de philo.


On the Verge of Photography: Imaging Beyond Representation, 2 vols.  Vol 1. D. Rubinstein, J. Golding and A. Fisher (Eds). ARTicle Press, Sep 2013.  Vol 2. J Golding and D Rubinstein (Nov 2013) With contributions by each included. ISBN: 978-1-873352-02

The Cruelty of the Classical Cannon. Zētēsis. (Executive Editor and Editor, vol 1). Research generated by curiosity. International journal for the intersecting landscapes of Fine Art, Philosophy, Cultural Practice and the Wild Sciences. Executive editor. Sep 2013. ARTicle Press. International Advisory Board/peer review.

The 9th Technology of Otherness (a certain kind of debt).  In Henry Rogers (Ed). Queer Textualities. (ARTicle Press, 2013). ISBN:  Peer-reviewed

Ana-Materialism and the Pineal Eye.  In P. Baler. The Next Thing: Art in the 21st Century.  New York: Rowan & Littlefield. ISBN: 978-1-61147451-0. Electronic ISBN: 978-1-61147-4527. Earlier version in The Philosophy of Photography. Vol 3, Issue 1, Dec 2012, DOI: 10.1386/pop.3.1.99_1 and an extended version in Leonardo (Sep 2013: MIT Press online; ISBN tbc). Peer reviewed.

Fractal Philosophy: Attunement as the Task of Art. In Simon O'Sullivan and Stepphen Zepke, Deleuze and Contemporary Art.  (Edinburgh Press: 2010)   ISBN: 978-0-7486-3838-3. Peer reviewed.

The Assassination of Time (or the birth of zeta-physics). In H. Beressem / Leyla Haerkamp (Eds), Writing History/Deleuzian Events. Koln: DAAD, 2009), pp. 132-145. Peer Reviewed. Chapter in book. ISBN: 9783643101747 Peer Reviewed.  Originally given as part of The Digital Arts, ETH-Zurich University, director Art Clay, July 10, 2006. Longer version as Keynote at the Trans: A Visual Culture Conference, University of Wisconsin (Madison), Oct 20, 2006. Peer-reviewed.  Also produced as a digital 4-track album: The Assassination of Time (2009).

Conversion on the Road to Damascus: Minority Report on Art.  In R. Garnett and A. Hunt (Eds). Gest: The Laboratory of Synthesis. London: BookWorks, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-1870699969.

The Colour of Time.  In R. Adams, S. Gibson, and S. Müller Arisona (Eds): Transdisciplinary Digital Art: Sound, Vision and the New Screen, Selected Papers Series: Communications in Computer and Information Science, Vol. 7 (Zurich Springer: 2008). ISBN 978 3- 540-79436-8 ISBN: 978-3-540-79485-1. Conference proceedings / Chapter in book. Original version commissioned for the Istanbul Biennale and published in H. Guyerlez (ed) Strange Intimacies,  (Istanbul Biennale Arts Council and Mondrian Foundation: Amsterdam, 2005) ISBN 975-7363-43-X; bilingual text (English and Turkish). Peer Reviewed.

Games of Truth: a blood poetic in seven-part harmony (with 24' DVD) (Professorial Inaugural Lectures Series: UoG: 2003) ISBN 18166 190 8.

The Eight Technologies of Otherness (Routledge, 1997). ISBN 0 415 145805

Selected Conferences

Co-Investigator & Chair: On the Verge of Photography: Imaging, Mobile Art, Humans & Computers. 24-25 May 2013. AHRC Research Photography Network Grant with D. Rubinstein (100+ participants; international event). Keynotes: Barbara Bolt (Melbourne); Jo Longhurst (London); Martin Reinhart (Vienna), Maarten Vanvolsem (Brussels). On the Verge of Photography - Conference Call Out: On the Verge of Photography - Conference Poster: On the Verge of Photography - Conference Programme: and

Co-Investigator & Chair:  What is a Photograph? An international conversation, held at CFAR-The School of Art – BIAD/BCU. Nov 27, 2012. AHRC Research Photography Network Grant with D. Rubinstein (LSBU).  60+ in attendance.

Keynote: The 9th Technology of Otherness.  Reconceptualising Digital Creativity; re-mapping behaviour, engagement and the archive in the 21st c. The Winchester School of Art (Olu Taiwo, Street Art & Contemporary Performance) July 21-14, 2013; earlier version as invited speaker at Central St Martins, Feb 4, Mar 4, 2013.

Invited Speaker: The Cost of Living: Metasising Epistemes & Social Crises. With Bill Balaskas, Jonathan Munro, Marquand Smith and Lanfranco Aceti. The Royal College of Art, April 11, 2013

Public Speaker: Ana-Materialism and the Pineal Eye: Descartes, Duchamp and Bataille – After Photo Booth. As part of the Digital Image and Memory. The Photographer's Gallery.  London, Sep 05, 2011.

Keynote:  Sexing the 'Mouth-Breast':  When Aesthetics Met the Oral Tradition, International Symposium on Sexuality and Gender:  Queertopia!  Northwestern University, Chicago, May 27, 2011.  Concurrent: Invited Speaker: Fractal Philosophy, Erotic Art and the Small matter of Enfoldment, Department of Philosophy, The Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, Northwestern University, Chicago, May 25, 2011.

Keynote: Synthetic Life: From Ars Scientifica to Ars Erotica – The task of Philosophy, at Touched: When Philosophy met Art, collaborative invitation extended by the Dept of Philosophy at the University of Liverpool and The Liverpool Biennale, Nov 19 2010. Re-presented with sound installation at the kind invitation of Eliza Bonham-Carter, The Royal Academy of Art (Feb 22, 2011). Original concept rolled out as All's fair in love and war: the rhizomatic suspension of aesthetics (with apologies to Kierkegaard). Text soundscape/installation by J Golding. Music composition by Steve Kennedy. Art-Machine-Events, Frei University of Berlin, Feb 14-17, 2008.

Invited Speaker: Trembling the Plane of Immanence: Media Arts Philosophy and the Re-sounding of Art (or what does acoustics have to do with representation). The Royal Academy of Art, Feb 2009; Jan 2010.

Keynote:  Zeroes and Ones: Art in the Age of Algorithmic Reproduction. Text by J Golding, with sound installation by S. Kennedy. Closed think-tank. PACTAC (The Pacific Centre for Technology and Culture, University of Victoria), Victoria CA June 4-7, 2009). Earlier version as The Need to Know (Law): Minority Report on Museum, Interface, Space, Technology at The MIST Symposium Cambridge University, Mar 22-23, 2010.

Invited Speaker: Doing Philosophy at the Edge of Metaphysics, International Association of Philosophy and Literature (The IAPL, Brunel, June 2, 2009). Earlier version as Slip of the Tongue: Sense and Sensuality in the Ear of Philosophy, Research Seminar Series, Goldsmiths College, Mar 2009.

Keynote/Panellist/Speaker, Conversion on the Road to Damascus: Minority Report. The Serpentine Sweatshop Series On Failures: Evasive Gestures and Utopian Potentialities. Installed at the Goethe
Institute January 24, 2008. Initially presented as Keynote at The European Research Project for Poetics and Hermeneutics: Memory and Interpretation, The Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Skopje, Macedonia, Nov 16-17, 2007. Music composition by S. Kennedy. Also rolled out as a fluxus 'happening' at Press-2-Exit Gallery, Skopje.

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