Dr Angela Piccini
Associate Professor in Fine Art
School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)
Dr Angela Piccini is Associate Professor in Fine Art and programme lead for BA Fine Art.
Angela's work 'stays with the trouble' (Haraway) of the traces of the past in the present. As a practitioner, she works with the ways in which the moving image, performance, and sculptural practices co-create place, land, belonging, exclusion and the potential of these practices to produce new, imagined, and real places. Angela has specific interests in contested city spaces and spatial practice, co-creation, and practice-as-research. Her research spans mega event screen infrastructures; representations of cultural heritage via mega event city screens; histories of urban video art and their relationships with port planning and infrastructure; participatory, social practice and co-produced moving image projects that engage with critical questions of heritage and society; digital technologies and moving image archives.
Current research includes social practice platform Association of Unknown Shores, which Angela and her collaborator Kayle Brandon co-founded in 2018. AUS responds to the historic and ongoing links between Bristol and Iqaluit, Nunavut, which were sparked by Martin Frobisher’s attempt in 1576-78 to colonise Inuit territory. In August 2020, they participated in the Chale Wote Festival in Accra, Ghana with Our Sceptre, a collaborative Zoom performance and installed video work with former Bristol Deputy Lord Mayor Cleo Lake and current Iqaluit Deputy Mayor, Janet Pitsiulaaq Brewster. Angela is also working on a practice-based project investigating the potential contemporary activation of video art archives from the 1960s-80s for port city planning, which looks at Bristol, Vancouver, and Yokohama.
- University of Sheffield, PhD in Archaeology, 2000. My thesis explored questions of performance, narrative and aesthetics in contemporary 'Celticised' representations of the British Iron Age and looked at moving image, museum and heritage display, and tourist material culture
- University of Sheffield, MA in Archaeology, 1993
- University of British Columbia, BA Art History, 1990
Angela's story begins in Vancouver, Canada – the unceded, shared territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tseil-Waututh) nations.
She is a first-generation academic with a long-standing commitment to interdisciplinary, intermedial and cross-sector research through peer-reviewed scholarship and through social practice, performance and the moving image. What connects these activities is her turning a critical lens across all materials and media involved in the making, circulating, consuming and subverting of narrative in order to investigate how narrative itself becomes a medium for material transformation. These interests were first cultivated during her undergraduate degree. Angela's education in attentions to place, material sensitivity, aesthetics, politics, and tricksterism has been enriched further by productive journeys across archaeology, geography, performance and screen media.
Before working in academia, Angela worked as a janitor, a college radio DJ, an archivist, a librarian, a cook, and a publications officer for Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments where she commissioned photography, design, and print for guidebooks and postcards.
Roles on external bodies
She is co-director with Sefryn Penrose of Bureau for the Contemporary and Historic (ButCH) and of 37 Looe Street gallery and workshop in Plymouth. She enjoys working with different publics as a curator-producer-artist and is involved in a number of collaborative research projects that involve film and artists' cinema. She is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, Landscapes, and the new BARS book series on contemporary archaeology. Previously, she was Head of Film & Television at University of Bristol and was on the Management Committee of Bristol UNESCO City of Film.
Angela is on the Board of Plymouth Arts Cinema. She's a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). Angela is a member of Bristol Expanded and Experimental Film (BEEF), Cube and Contemporary Art Membership Plymouth (CAMP). With Dan Hicks, she co-founded the Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory Group (2003-date).
As programme lead for the BA in Fine Art, Angela teaches across all undergraduate modules
SELECTED PAST PROJECTS
2013-18 Productive Margins: Regulating for Engagement (PI, Morag McDermont, School of Law). I was Deputy PI (PI, 2014-15) on this Connected Communities project co-produced research with Cardiff University and seven community organisations in Bristol and South Wales, which included several artist commissions, residencies and artist placements.
2013-15 Know your Bristol on the Move (PI Prof Robert Bickers, Historical Studies). AHRC Digital Transformations project (2013-15) follow-on project. We aimed to enable people to explore, research and co-create Bristol history, heritage and culture using digital tools. As a Co-Investigator, I led Exploring Models of Community Co-production with Knowle West Media Centre and the Knowle West TV archive, working with artists David Hopkinson and Zoe Tissandier
2012 AHRC-funded Connected Communities project Know Your Bristol (PI: Prof Robert Bickers) hosted a series of free public events about local community heritage. With Knowle West Media Centre, I explored the potential for home movies to provide information about Bristol's changing built environment and create opportunities for co-producing planning. The project worked with Peter Insole and Bristol City Council's Planning Department to develop further the Know Your Place web tool.
2011-12 University of Local Knowledge (PI: Mike Fraser, Computer Science) RCUK Digital Economy 'Research in the Wild' project emerged out of initial collaboration between US artist Suzanne Lacy, Knowle West Media Centre, BBC and Arnolfini. The University of Local Knowledge brings together KWMC and the Knowle West community to study the deployment and use of technologies and techniques that enhance understandings of the relationships between physical and digital communities.
2011-12 AHRC-funded Into the Future: Sustainable Access to the National Review of Live Art Digital Archive (PI: Prof Simon Jones; CIs: Paul Clarke and Angela Piccini; RA: Amanda Egbe) project preserved the digitised National Review of Live Art archive using the Performing Arts Documentation System (PADS) and the Semantic Tools for Arts Research System (STARS) to enable public participation in the production of user-generated metadata, interactivity and the curation of performance documents (including video) across the whole range of the Theatre Collection. Rethinking ways of delivering and processing the archived information using these web technologies generates new forms of understanding, both of the documents and records themselves, but also of the methodologies for online use of other kinds of archival materials.
2006-08 PI on an AHRC Landscape and Environment Network (with UWE and University of Aberystwyth) exploring transdisciplinary and mixed-mode research approaches to site, with a specific focus on enactments of place as ‘empty’. Participants included performance scholars Mike Pearson and Heike Roms
2006, PI on the eScience project, Locating Grid Technologies, with explored tools for distributed networked performance and semantic web approaches to visualising relationships between digital media assets generated by those performances. In 2007-08, I collaborated with Bristol's Institute for Learning and Research Technology and Watershed Media Centre on the JISC-funded STARS (Semantic Web Tools for Screen Arts Research) project, which further developed the work.
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
As member of staff at University of Bristol:
2020, Co-supervisor, Will Finch, Sound and music in the BBC’s Arena documentary series, PhD
2020, Primary Supervisor, Molly Niu, Digital visual effects in contemporary Hollywood cinema aesthetics, networks and transnational practice, PhD
2018, Member of supervisory Committee, Greg Bond, Co-producing Spaces of Descent, practice-based PhD
2018, Primary Supervisor, Vesna Lukic, The River Danube as a Holocaust Landscape: Journey of the Kladovo Transport, practice-based PhD
2017, Primary supervisor, Greg Bailey, Soundings, practice-based PhD
2016, Primary supervisor, Laura Aish, A practice-based exploration of authenticity, found footage and structural filmmaking, MPhil
2016, Primary supervisor, Yuyu Zhang, A practice-based exploration of expanded cinema and site-specificity, MPhil
2013, Co-supervisor, Sy Taffel, Digital Media Ecologies, PhD
Grants & contracts
As member of staff at University of Plymouth
2021-24, Co-Investigator, Exhibiting Fashion: exhibition-making and curation as a catalyst for advancing innovative museum practices, AHRC, PI Jeffrey Horsley (London College of Fashion), £202,766, https://www.arts.ac.uk/colleges/london-college-of-fashion/stories/jeff-horsley-ahrc-announcement
As member of staff at University of Bristol
2018-19, Association of Unknown Shores, Brigstow Institute, £5k; University of Bristol, £3k; Canada-UK Foundation, £1k
2014-15, Acting Principal Investigator, Productive Margins, ESRC/AHRC Connected Communities large grant programme. www.productivemargins.ac.uk/ £2.4m
2014, Principal Investigator, Productive Margins, Connected Communities Showcase, AHRC Festival fund. £47k
2013-18, Deputy Principal Investigator, Productive Margins, ESRC/AHRC Connected Communities large grant programme, PI Morag McDermont, Law, £2.4m
2013-15, Co-Investigator, Know Your Bristol on the Move, AHRC Connected Communities, PI Robert Bickers, Historical Studies, £600k
2013, University of Bristol Research Fellowship, Institute for Advanced Studies, £10k
2012, Co-I, Know Your Bristol, AHRC Connected Communities, PI Robert Bickers, £25k
2011-13, Co-I, University of Local Knowledge, EPSRC, PI Mike Fraser, £370k, Collaboration with artist Suzanne Lacy, Knowle West Media Centre, Arnolfini Gallery
2010-11, Co-I, Into the Future, AHRC, PI Simon Jones, £140k
2007-09 , Co-I, STARS: Semantic Tools for Screen Arts Research, JISC-funded, PI Nikki Rogers, ILRT, £280k
2006-08, Principal Investigator, Living in a Material World, AHRC Landscape and Environment Network, £30k
2006, Principal Investigator, Locating Grid Technologies, AHRC e-Science Workshop, £15k
Creative practice & artistic projects
2020, ButCH, Episodes in Two Flats and an Office, 37 Looe Street, Plymouth Art Weekender
2020, Association of Unknown Shores,Your Heart’s in the Right Place But, 37 Looe Street, Plymouth Art Weekender
2020, Association of Unknown Shores, Our Sceptre, with Cleo Lake and Janet Pitsiulaaq Brewster, Chale Wote Festival, Accra, Ghana
2020, Morecambe Mystery – a Seaside Noir, in Jo Carruthers and Nour Dakkak (eds) Sandscapes: British Seaside Writing. Palgrave Macmillan
2018, Association of Unknown Shores, Arnolfini Gallery, 20 October 2018, http://www.a-o-u-s.org/ and https://associationoftheunknownshore.wordpress.com/
2018, Neither Fish nor Fowl: Failing at the Edges of Discipline, performance, 13 March 2018, Collusion, Anglia Ruskin University
2017, 40 Suit, ButCH, a year of swimming and performance, various locations
2015, Burial, 4-min, single-channel video and written response. Commissioned by Gabe Moshenska, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, Shown at 2016 Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference, Southampton and Cube Cinema, Bristol.
2014, Commissioned writing for artists Close and Remote for their multi-sited work, The Zone, shown at FACT, Liverpool. 1500-word speculative fiction text for poster and website. http://www.zone2014.org/the-report/
2011, I Don’t Give a Fuck, Girl Gang, for Yvonne Bucheim’s Song Archive performances, Chapter Arts Centre Cardiff
2010, Guttersnipe, Beachley-Aust, Avonmouth, Kasian Gallery, University of Calgary
2009, Beachley-Aust, 14-minute single-channel video, DVD, published in Iain Biggs, Debateable Lands Vol 2, Bristol: Wild Conversations Press.
2008, Commissioned performance writing for Goat Island’s The Last Performance project, http://thelastperformance.org/title.php
2008,Walk the Line, 20-minute video and spoken-word presentation, given on 7 March 2008 at LAND2 colloquium (Leeds University) and on 18 April 2008 at Architectures of Emptiness symposium (University of Minnesota)
2007, ‘Purple Finger’ and ‘Rush of Gas’, commissioned performance writing for Barbara Campbell’s 1001 Nights Cast, http://1001.net.au
2007, Litterpicker, participatory geolocational mapping of archaeological debris, using mobile phones and Google Map, part of Teresa Dillon’s Offload festival, Bristol
2003-04, Guttersnipe, 14-minute video and performance presented at CHAT 2003 (University of Bristol), TAG 2003 (University of Wales Lampeter), Pixelache 2004 (Helsinki, Finland), Orange Ashton Court Festival 2004 (Bristol).
Curating, Programming, Producing
2020, Kate Rich, FeralMBA Succession, 37 Looe Street, Plymouth, 1-30 November
2020, Selection committee and host for Clare Thornton Memorial Residency, 37 Looe Street, Plymouth. Lisa Watts’s residency postponed to 2021 due to Covid19
2020, Sophie Ingram, Wet Concrete; ButCH, Episodes in Two Flats and an Office; Association of Unknown Shores, Your Heart’s in the Right Place But. 37 Looe Street, Plymouth Art Weekender, 25-27 September (supported by PAW seedfunding)
2017, The Live Model, Close and Remote, artist placement developed through Productive Margins programme, various venues
2016, Programmer, film screenings in response to Joseph Cornell, Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver Art Gallery’s MashUp exhibition http://www.thecinematheque.ca/shadow-boxing-the-legacy-of-joseph-cornell-in-american-avant-garde-cinema
2016, Life Chances, Close and Remote, artist placement developed through Productive Margins programme, various venues
2016, Programmer, panel and film screenings on the theme of utopia, Bristol Festival of Ideas, http://www.ideasfestival.co.uk/events/imagining-the-future-screen-utopias/
2015, Producer, KWTV, David Hopkinson, Know your Bristol on the Move
2015, Producer, Vaughan Collection Postcards, Zoe Tissandier, Know your Bristol on the Move
2014, Commissioned exhibition text, Roderick Maclachlan, Disappearance, Enclave Gallery, http://roderickmaclachlan.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Disappearance-essay.pdf
2020, Cole, Tim, Newman, Janet, McDermont, Morag and Piccini, Angela (eds). Imagining Regulation Differently: Co-creating Regulation for Engagement, Bristol: Policy Press
2015, Bickers, Robert A., Carstairs, Jamie A., Cole, Tim J., Eisenstadt, Nate, Gulliver, Mike, Insole, Pete, Jones, Mike, McLellan, Josie, Miller, Kate F., Nourse, Nick, Piccini, Angela, Skinner, Robert, Warren, Julian, Williams, Justin Know your Bristol on the Move, Bristol: Centre for Public Engagement
2013, Graves-Brown, Paul, Harrison, Rodney and Piccini, Angela (eds). Oxford Handbook of Archaeologies of the Contemporary World, Oxford: Oxford University Press
2012, Bickers, Robert A., Coates, Peter A., Cole, Tim J., Insole, Pete, McLellan, Josie, Miller, Kate F. and Piccini, Angela Know Your Bristol: Bristol’s History, People’s Stories, Bristol: Centre for Public Engagement, Jamie A Carstairs (Illustrator)
2009, Holtorf, Cornelius and Piccini, Angela (eds). Contemporary Archaeologies: Excavating Now, Frankfurt: Peter Lang
2009, Allegue, L., Jones, S., Kershaw, B. and Piccini, A. (eds). Practice-as-Research: in Performance and Screen, London: Palgrave Macmillan
2007, McAtackney, L., Palus, M. and Piccini, A. (eds) Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory: Studies in Contemporary and Historical Archaeology Pt. 4: Papers from the 2003 and 2004 CHAT Conferences, British Archaeological Reports, Oxford: Archaeopress
2021, Response to Clare McCracken’s ‘Dystopias for Discourse: The Role of the Artist in the Rapidly Reconfiguring City’, Global Discourse 11 (1)
2016, Media Archaeologies of the Olympic City, Public 53: 58-74.
2016, Martindale, A., Lyons, N., Nicholas, G., Angelbeck, B., Connaughton, S. P., Grier, C., Herbert, J., Leon, M., Marshall, Y., Piccini, A., Schaepe, D., Supernant, K. & Warwick, G. Archaeology as Partnerships in Practice: A Reply to La Salle and Hutchings, Canadian Journal of Archaeology 40 (1): 191-204.
2015, ‘To See What’s Down There’: Embodiment, Gestural Archaeologies and Materializing Futures, Paragraph 38 (1): 55-68.
2014, Piccini, Angela and Schaepe, Dave. The Messy Business of Archaeology as Participatory Local Knowledge: A Conversation between the Stó:lō Nation and Knowle West, Canadian Journal of Archaeology 38 (2).
2014, Profane Archaeologies: Erotic Ruins and a Case for Pornography. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology 1 (1): 29-33.
2013, Insole, Peter and Piccini, Angela. Your Place or Mine? Crowdsourced Planning, Moving Image Archives and Community Archaeology. Archäologische Informationen, http://www.dguf.de/index.php?id=9
2012, Materialities, Moving Images and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. World Archaeology 44 (2): 291-305.
2009, Locating Grid Technologies. Digital Humanities Quarterly 3 (4): http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/3/4/000076/000076.html
2020, Watson, Debbie, Marilyn Howard, Moestak Hussein, Sophie Mellor, Simon Poulter, Angela Piccini. Life Chances: The Role of Socially Engaged Arts Practices in Generating New Understandings of Low Income Situations, in Tim Cole, Morag McDermont and Angela Piccini, Angela (eds) Imagining Regulation Differently: Co-creating Regulation for Engagement, Bristol: Policy Press
2020, Cohen, Sue, Cole, Tim, McDermont, Morag, Piccini, Angela. The Forum as a Site of Experimentation, in Tim Cole, Morag McDermont, Janet Newman and Angela Piccini (eds) Imagining Regulation Differently: Co-creating Regulation for Engagement, Bristol: Policy Press
2019, Piccini, Angela and The Cube. The Cube: A Cinema Archaeology, in B Roberts and M Goodall (eds) New Media Archaeologies, University of Amsterdam Press.
2017, Piccini, Angela and Evans, Penny. The Regulatory Aesthetics of Co-Production, in A Ersoy, N Eisentstadt and H White (eds) The Impact of Co-production: From Community Engagement to Social Justice, Bristol: Policy Press
2014, Theory in the Public Eye, in A Gardner, M Lake and U Sommer (eds) Handbook of Archaeological Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press, http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199567942.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199567942-e-007
2013, Graves-Brown, P., Harrison, R. and Piccini, A. Introduction, in P Graves-Brown, R. Harrison and A. Piccini (eds) Oxford Handbook of Archaeologies of the Contemporary World, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 1-24.
2013, Scene Analyses: Snakes on a Plane; Stakeout; Swingspan, in R. Walls (ed.) World Film Locations: Vancouver, Bristol: Intellect, pp 40-41, 42-43, 90-91.
2013, Screening the Olympic City: Media, Matter and Making Place, in P Graves-Brown, R. Harrison and A. Piccini (eds) Oxford Handbook of Archaeologies of the Contemporary World, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 610-26