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David Eckersley

Dr

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20192023

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Biography

Dr David Eckersley is an artist-researcher and academic, whose practice involves image-making, writing and performance. His interests are interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary even, and broadly focused on the intersection of aesthetics, politics, ecologies and philosophy, with a particular attentiveness to the production of subjectivity. Spanning several different concerns and critical directions, David’s work operates through multiple modes and methods, which are often collaborative and consist of practice-based research in concert with more conventional academic strategies. His work has appeared nationally and internationally.

His current research project focuses on Kinder Scout, the most famous of the north Derbyshire moorlands. It takes peat as a departure point, conceptualising it as a form of media. Drawing on posthuman aesthetics, the philosophies of elemental media and multispecies considerations, and employing a mixed media approach, including photography, moving image, oral histories, writing and peat itself, the project responds to Kinder as a site of productive ambiguity, where, for example, subsistence, joy and anguish at impending ecological devastation all intersect. It pays close attention to the polyphonic composition and varying scales of the multiple human-non-human entanglements that crisscross Kinder’s slopes and plateaus, seeking to develop artistic methods of responding to and synthesizing scientific and cultural reflection on this important site. It uses these methods to address how image-making and writing might be used to negotiate, describe and communicate the affective anguish associated with ecological crisis without erasing or diminishing the joy and vivacity of such a location.

David holds a BA in Photography and a Masters in Critical Theory. In 2019 he was awarded a PhD in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies from the University of Nottingham. His thesis, Get Rid of Yourself: Toward an Aesthetics of Anonymity, examines the conceptual history of anonymity in dialogue with practices that explore and experiment with the politics, ethics and aesthetics of anonymity as a way of resisting and refusing the dominant techno-economic system and the majoritarian forms of subjectivity it produces. During his doctoral research, he worked as part of the Public Programme and Research team at Nottingham Contemporary.

He joined the University of Huddersfield in 2023, having previously taught at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham. He is Course Leader for BA (Hons) Photography.