Personal profile

Biography

Jenna is an artist and educator working primarily with text, sound and moving image but frequently including a wide variety of media including drawing, painting, the web, sculpture, photography, installation and performance. Her research interests including the archive, alternative notions of technology,  collaborative practices, the placement of art outside the gallery as critical intervention and approaches to practice based research.

Jenna’ solo art practice speculates on the impulses sublimated in extracts of minor speech and equivalent objects found in archival materials, encouraging them to flourish. She develops forms suggested by an extended consideration of nominated artefacts, such as a three line extract from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s screenplay, St Paul (1974) which became the basis of One, 2,3, a solo authored book published by JOAN in 2021; Polygraph, an audio work based on an interview carried out with a lie detectorist and broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction in 2018; and conversation in an author’s chat room informed SWIM, a video work selected for the London International Film Festival Expertimenta strand in 2015.

Jenna is active in forming and maintaining collaborative practices, projects include We Are Publication (2015 - ongoing), with Dr Alice Rekab (2017 - ongoing) and 0s+1s (2014 - 2018). Her teaching practice is informed by this activity, as subject and method.

She has an MFA from Goldsmiths College, a masters in Drawing from Camberwell College of Art, a post-graduate diploma in Documentary Features from the University of Salford, and a BA (hons) in Interactive Arts from Manchester Metropolitan University. The move to Huddersfield University as Lecturer in Contemporary Art and Illustration 2021 was preceded by teaching on BA and MA Fine Art courses at Kingston School of Art, Contemporary Film and Video BA at Manchester Metropolitan University, and BA and MA Fine art, and MA Experimental Film at the University of Central Lancashire. 

Jenna won an AHRC Techne scholarship for her PhD studies entitled, We Are the Road (2019) completed at the Contemporary Art Research Centre at Kingston University. The study developed an approach to the artefact and strategies of artists moving image production that run contrary to the typical habits of these practices. She foregrounded certain artefact's own internal and pre-existing complexities, separate from the complexities of an archive, developing an approach distinct from archival art practices that focus on specific histories and their misrepresentation or absence; and practices that critique the archival construct itself. The research engaged with archival materials relating to the development of HDTV in the US and was undertaken through the production of moving image and sound artworks that sought to adopt and critically reformulate the processes of commercial moving production and the artefacts it produces. This manoeuvre responded to the notion of instrumentality criticised in philosophical thinking about technology and further informed by a variety of sources and disciplines including literary criticism, film theory and pop-cultural discourses.

Underpinning her research, artistic practice and approach to teaching, Jenna works as a freelance animator, illustrator, editor and web project manager in a range of commercial and non-commercial contexts. Recent work includes the co-programming and web-design for the Stanley Picker Public lecture Series and an animation for Sense UK which was screened at the Aesthetica film festival in 2021.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • the archive
  • collaborative practices
  • moving image
  • sonic Art
  • practice-based research
  • Alternative conceptions of technology
  • documentary modes of production

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