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Michael Punt


Personal photograph uploaded by Michael Punt

Professor Michael Punt - ()

  • Job title: Professor of Digital Art and Technology, School of Art and Media (Faculty of Arts & Humanities)
  • Address: Room 321B, 22 Portland Square, Drake Circus,
    Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA
  • Telephone: +441752586264
  • Email:



Qualifications & background

Michael Punt BA MA PhD ILTA

Professorof Art and Technology, 

International co-editor,Leonardo

Editor-in-Chief Leonardo Reviews

Michael Punt is a Professor of Art and Technology at the University of Plymouth. He is the

founding convenor of Transtechnology Research which has a constituency of 20 international

doctoral, post-doctoral and visiting researchers who use a range of practice and theory based

methods in making apparent evidence of human desire and cultural imperatives as they are

manifested in the way that science and technology is practiced, innovated by entrepreneurs and

interpreted by its users. Topics currently being researched concern the historical and philosophical

aspects of nineteenth century media and contemporary digital technology, cinema and the

technological imaginary, cognitive aspects of industrial design, affective interaction and

instrumentation, spatial awareness in scientific representation, and sustainable new materials for

artefact engineering.

He is an international co- editor for Leonardo and Editor-in-Chief of Leonardo Reviews that

publishes in excess of 150 reviews each year on science technology and the arts. He has founded

Leonardo Quarterly Reviews, an experimental publishing platform published through MIT Press

and UT Dallas, which is a digest of review items contextualized by newly commissioned essays

on ‘burning issues’ in the art, science, technology debates. He is also a founding member of the

Leonardo book series committee and advisor to Consciousness, Literature and the Arts (Rodopi).

Michael Punt practiced and exhibited internationally as a sculptor and film maker until 1990 when

he brought the experience of his practice and research into film history to bear on a revisionist

account of early cinema history as a consequence of a research grant at the University of

Amsterdam. He subsequently extended this into a wider consideration of the cognitive

determinants of technological form in audio visual media. He has jointly produced two books,

made 15 films and published over 100 articles on cinema history and digital technology in key

journals. Between 1996 and 2000 he was a monthly columnist for Skrien, the Dutch journal of

audiovisual media, writing on the interaction between the internet and cinema as it was

developing. In the past five years he has given papers and keynotes in more than a dozen countries

and is working on a two-volume book project on new technology and imagination during the

twentieth century.

He is a member of the AHRC Strategic Reviewers Group and is a reviewer and panel member for

AHRC and EPSRC, the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as for funding agencies,

in USA, Canada, Portugal and the European Commission. He is also a member of the UK JHEP

advisory board on cultural heritage.

His current academic functions at Plymouth are as a full-time research professor responsible for

leading interdisciplinary research projects across the University with teaching responsibility for

PhD supervision exclusively at Plymouth and external MSc Holistic Science dissertation

supervision at Schumacher College.

A full cv is at:


Roles on external bodies

2013. AHRC DigitalTransformations in the Community Panel.

2013. Reviewer, FWT(Austrian Science Fund).

2013. NationalEndowment for the Humanities, Digging into Data Panel

2013. Foundation forScience and Technology, Portugal; Cultures and CulturalProduction Evaluation Panel.

2013. AHRC StrategicReviewers’ Group.

2012. Foundation forScience and Technology, Portugal; Cultures and CulturalProduction Evaluation Panel.

2012. UK AdvisoryCouncil on Cultural Heritage, JHEP.2011.

2011/12. AHRCResearch Grant Panel 2

2010. ResearchSteering Committee. Humanities as a Source of Creativity (HERA).

2010. MetadesignNetwork, Kyung Hee University S. Korea.

2010. SteeringCommittee. ISEA 2011.

2010. EuropeanScience Foundation, Reviewer Pool

2009. TIF Forum,Yonsei University, Seoul.

2009. Advisor,Technology-Imagination-Future: Journal for Transdisciplinary Knowledge Design.

2008. AcademyScience and Arts of Finland. Reviewer.

2008. ScientificCommittee. Less Remote. International Congress of Astronauts.

2007. RCUK, Sciencein Society, Advisory group, RiR Scheme.

2007. Board, GreatWestern Research.

2007. ContributingEditor, Consciousness, Literature and the Arts.

2007. Reader, RodopiPress.

2007. Trustee, JagoEliot Foundation.

2007. EditorialBoard, Journal of Writing and Creative Practice.

2006-2010. AHRCPostgraduate Awards Panel.

2005-2016. AHRC PeerReview College.

2003. EditorialBoard, Refractory: a Journal of Entertainment Media.

2003. Academicreferee. Intellect Books.

2001. Board.Leonardo Book Series, MIT Press.

2001. Advisor,academic referee, MIT Press/Leonardo Book Series.

2000. Board, Leonardo/ISASTInternational Advisory Board.

1999. Academicreferee, Convergence, Artificial Life and Society.

1998. Academicreferee, Leonardo.

1998. Editor inChief, Leonardo Reviews.



Teaching interests

Technology and Culture

- art and technology

- scienceand technology as a history of ideas

- popular interpretations of science in the late nineteenth century

Film Studies and Cinema History

- early cinema and technology

- early film form

- cinema history and theory

Technology and Historiography

- interpretations of nineteenth century ideas in science and technology


Research interests

Technology and Culture

- art and technology

- scienceand technology as a history of ideas

- popular interpretations of science in the late nineteenth century

Film Studies and Cinema History

- early cinema and technology

- early cinema film form

- cinema history and theory

Current projects:

The Technological Imaginary:Science, Technology and the Popular Imagination


UoP Research group membership

AZTEC (Art, Science, Technology Research Consortium) 
Centre for Media, Art & Design Research (MADr) 
i-DAT (Institute of Digital Art & Technology) 

Other research

early television
early cinema
telepathy and parapsychology in cinema


Grants & contracts
Research grants and contracts

Large Grants:

2013- 2016- Co-Investigator, EU FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network, ‘CogNovo:

Cognitive Innovation’. €4.1m. This grant funds 14 PhD bursaries. Parallel to this scheme

Plymouth University also offers to 12 UK doctoral bursaries for research at the intersection of

cognition, creativity, the arts and humanities.

2010 – 2013 PI and Project Leader, project “Technology, Exchange and Flow: Artistic Media

Practices and Commercial Application”. Funded by HERA, Humanities in the European Research

Area. Value € 1M. Co-investigator, Dr. Martha Blassnigg. (Delivered in collaboration with VU

University Amsterdam, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Eye Film Institute Netherlands,

Institute for Sound and Vision Hilversum).

Small Grants:

2012/13. Principle Investigator, HERA Knowledge Transfer project “Advertising and the

Sublime”. Delivered in collaboration with Utrecht University, EYE Film Institute Netherlands and

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Value €40k. Co-investigator, Dr. M. Blassnigg.

2011 – 2013. Principal Investigator; International Network for Transdisciplinary Research

(INTR), Plymouth. University. Bringing together experts from the sciences and humanities to

develop transdisciplinary methodologies. Value £22,000.

2010. Leverhulme Trust Visiting Fellow Grant (for Prof. Jahrmann at Plymouth).

2007. Project Leader, AHRC ICT Methods Network Workshop: Immersive Vision Theatres and

Strategies for Knowledge Transfer, Value £2.500. Co-investigator, Dr. M. Blassnigg.

2006. Port Eliot, and AFoundation, research grant £6,000.

2005. Wellcome Trust/Theatre Royal Plymouth (TR2), research grant. Physical Theatre and

Knowledge Transfer. £1,000

2005. Wellcome Trust/Theatre Royal Plymouth, small research grant, Theatre of Science.

1992 -1996. Assistente in Opleiding

Bursaries attached to research projects:

2013. MARIE CURIE (INT), PhD Scholarship (four).

2010. CAPES, Brazil PhD Scholarship (two).

2010. HERA (ESF), PhD Scholarship.

2009. UoP, PhD Scholarship.

2009. AHRC, PhD Scholarship.

2008. FCT Portugal, PhD Scholarship.

2006. AHRC, PhD Scholarship.

2005. EPSRC, PhD Scholarship.


Additional information