Welcome to the Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre.

At D-MARC the focus of our research is on an understanding of the shifting boundaries and new relationships between traditional arts disciplines, which have been created by new technologies. We explore the creative potential of hybrid forms made possible by digitalisation, and are also concerned to develop theoretical and pedagogic understandings capable of keeping pace with, and informing, technological developments.

Recent Submissions

  • Border fictioning (Eile project)

    McCloskey, Paula; Vardy, Sam; University of Derby; Sheffield Hallam University (2019-06-09)
    This paper will explore how the Eile Project (20916- ongoing), an art and spatial research practice, seeks to invent new ways of conceptualising and intervening in borders, as a mode of ecosophical art practice in what Haraway calls the chthulucene. The Eile Project takes form as an investigation of borders using art research methods with the aim to queer the notion of borders, through border-fictioning, border- linking/making; territorial myth-fictioning. It uses multimedia visual art methods, which include the development of experiments (site-specific performances, rituals, audio-visual digital film). The fictional character ‘Eile’ weaves through the experiments. Eile is a changling; a gorgon; a transmuter; a creature, an outside of time, an indeterminate flow. Eile makes and unmakes the UK/Irish borderlands; passing through them as they pass through her. Through performative gestures on the border using a range of materials Eile intervenes into this geopolitical border scene to develop border-fictioning and creating a new ethics and aesthetics of the border. Eile intra-acts with buildings, different species, the bogs, rivers, flora and fauna, caves, mountains, as well as introducing new materials (glitter, smoke, wire) and discourse (legal, historical, political, and cultural etc) in a re-working of current border material-discursive phenomena. The Eile Project investigates the complex intra-relations between human and non-humans; between the matter and discourses of the UK/Irish border in continual entanglement. The presentation will include a presentation of the research, including showing extracts from the Eile films.
  • Territories of Eile, film screening

    McCloskey, Paula; Vardy, Sam; University of Derby; Sheffield Hallam University (2019-07-20)
    Territories of Eile in a short film from the Eile Project. Eile Project (2016-ongoing) is a transdisciplinary investigation of the UK/Irish border and its complex entanglement of colonialism, migration, border-imperialism and geopolitics. The project creates site-responsive performances on the border, from which sculptures, soundscapes, films, texts develop that enact ‘border-fictioning’: a resistant practice to oppressive manifestations of nation-state borders. These live performances capitalise on the forces of the earth to enact what Grosz, Povinelli and others refer to as ‘geopower’ as a form of resistance to colonial practices.
  • Digital warp blue part of silken threads exhibition

    Wells, Kate; University of Derby (2014-10-24)
  • Invent-re-invent-Itajime: barcode I, II, II

    Wells, Kate; University of Derby (2014-06-21)
    Today there is an ever-increasing demand for printed fabrics to exhibit an ethnic twist or provide the impression of being hand produced. Some of the reasons for this may be due to a merging of cultures, through increased travel and advances in communications but there is also a growing trend in the importance of identity, place and individualism that has created a renewed interest in craft, one-off and hand produced products. An increasing desire for the unique and traditional: In-praise of the ‘hand’; ‘flaw’; ‘accident’ has potentially resulted in a growth of digital representations of traditional designs, many originating through painterly, dyed or hand printed techniques that produce marks upon or within the cloth that act as indicators of the technique employed and as such exhibit irregularity with the occasional fault implying the influence of the ‘hand’ in its production. The digitisation of traditionally patterned materials that are seemingly too expensive to still be produced by hand has enabled such design styles to enter into the marketplace. But this re-production, copying process of traditional designs using the new technologies of the time is historic, having taken place within Europe since the C18th with the birth of textile printing manufacture, so what makes digitisation of the process any different from a traditional copy? Hopefully successful digitisation of a design helps retain some of the qualities of ‘Slow’ production allowing reproduction of one-off pieces to be successfully digitally printed, even re-coloured. But many questions still remain: ‘Can digital copy with extensive CAD re-working retain the quality of ‘hand’ and ‘accident’ and continue to deliver the magical qualities, depth of colour and uniqueness that hand dyed and printed textiles exhibit?’ or ‘Can ‘hand’ and ‘technology’ unite together in creating a new, unique form of digital copy in the future?
  • Digital warp blue

    Wells, Kate; University of Derby (2015-11-04)
  • Shibori: digital intervention

    Wells, Kate; University of Derby (2020-03-04)
    Digital Copy: The Uniting of Hand and Technology. Today there is an ever-increasing demand for printed fabrics to exhibit an ethnic twist or provide the impression of being hand produced. Some of the reasons for this may be due to a merging of cultures, through increased travel and advances in communications but there is also a growing trend in the importance of identity, place and individualism that has created a renewed interest in craft, one-off and hand produced products. An increasing desire for the unique and traditional: In-praise of the ‘hand’; ‘flaw’; ‘accident’ has potentially resulted in a growth of digital representations of traditional designs, many originating through painterly, dyed or hand printed techniques that produce marks upon or within the cloth that act as indicators of the technique employed and as such exhibit irregularity with the occasional fault implying the influence of the ‘hand’ in its production. The digitisation of traditionally patterned materials that are seemingly too expensive to still be produced by hand has enabled such design styles to enter into the marketplace. But this re-production, copying process of traditional designs using the new technologies of the time is historic, having taken place within Europe since the C18th with the birth of textile printing manufacture, so what makes digitisation of the process any different from a traditional copy? Hopefully successful digitisation of a design helps retain some of the qualities of ‘Slow’ production allowing reproduction of one-off pieces to be successfully digitally printed, even re-coloured. But many questions still remain: ‘Can digital copy with extensive CAD re-working retain the quality of ‘hand’ and ‘accident’ and continue to deliver the magical qualities, depth of colour and uniqueness that hand dyed and printed textiles exhibit?’ or ‘Can ‘hand’ and ‘technology’ unite together in creating a new, unique form of digital copy in the future?
  • The emerging evidence of a time through the emergence of an image through time: a correlation between the early photographic imaging processes anthotypes and natural dyes

    Wells, Kate; Jackson, Jane; Pearson, Emily; University of Derby (2015-03)
    This paper discusses the correlation of Natural dyes with the 19th Century photographic processes ‘Anthotypes’. Exploring the connection between natural dyes and their fastness properties in relation to the success of this early photographic imaging process: The emerging evidence of imagery on exposure to light as the colorants change with time either physically due to fading or heat and moisture. This project plans to document through Alternative photography, Archival evidence of an English Estate’s Garden (the traces that remain), Cotesbach Hall and the Marriot Family Archive from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries through collaborative research between different disciplines: historical archive and 19th Century English horticulture with natural dye colouration and ‘Anthotypes’ a early photographic processes of that period. By exploring the natural plant extractions of Cotesbach Hall Gardens with investigations and experimentation into ‘Anthotypes’ the aim of which, is to understand the symbiotic relationship that the natural colorant (Dye) has with the success or failure of this type of photographic process, the emerging evidence of a time through the emergence of an image through time: Positive exposure over hours/days/weeks. The main objective of the research is to employ archival research and past and current photographic images within a scientific technical methodology normally applied to textile coloration as to Why and How Anthotypes work? Their correlation both colorant and positive have with sunlight, artificial daylight and ultra violet light in relation to quality and colour of images achieved on exposure, with the fastness properties natural dyes /plant extracts employed within the process. The initial literature research undertaken was into the three completely different scientific areas that were being investigated during the 19th Century: English Garden Horticulture, Textile colouration via natural dyes and the success or failure of early photographic experiments using plant juices known as ‘Anthotypes’ developed by Sir John Herschel in 1842. Synthetic dyes had not been discovered or were employed within the Textile Industry until 1856 with the discovery of ‘Perkins purple’ or ‘Mauveine’ by William Henry Perkin. This was followed by a practical investigation into the relationship natural colours obtained from plants and vegetables within the gardens of Cotesbach Hall had with their fastness or fugitive properties in enabling the creation of a successful positive images using with the early photographic technique of the period, known as Anthotypes. The resulting imagery documenting: ‘The Emerging Evidence of a Time through the Emergence of an Image through Time’ A correlation between the early photographic imaging processes Anthotypes and Natural Dyes’.
  • Découverte de l’artiste’ (discovering the artist): Finding Marion Adnams through her work with a focus on ‘Infante égarée

    Forde, Teresa; University of Derby (2018)
    This video installation expresses the process of research Marion Adnams' paintings and the paper model of Infante égarée in particular. A version of paper model from the original painting has been constructed and animated in order to understand the structure of the original paper doll and to emulate the movement that is implicit in its structure. The animation was then superimposed onto the original painting. Adnams described the figure as lost and wandering in the forest and this sense of dislocation is captured within the twisting movement of the figure and haunting soundtrack. The title of the painting is also restored to Adnams’ preferred French title. The video is part of the Marion Adnams Project and illustrates an interest in practice as a form of research. The video installation formed part of the ‘Marion Adnams: A Singular Woman’ retrospective at Derby Museums and Gallery (Dec 2017-March 2018).
  • PaintingDigitalPhotography conference

    Robinson, Carl; University of Derby (2017-05-09)
    The PaintingDigitalPhotography conference seeks to investigate how artists and theorists are currently engaged in critical discourses around the shifting relationships of painting, photography, and digital manipulation. How are these mediums being defined in their connection to one another as new hybrid forms are being created through their combination? What do these combinations tell us about these mediums and disciplines, their natures and practices, in the digital age? In what ways might digital imaging and manipulation enable a painting / photography interconnectivity? Central to the debate will be the focus on the blurred boundaries, common threads, antagonisms, distinctions, and growing interrelationship between painting, photography, and ‘the digital’ in the development of new creative practices.
  • The legacy of Mad Men: cultural history, intermediality and American television

    McNally, K; Marcellus, J; Forde, Teresa; Fairclough, K; London Metropolitan University; Middle Tennessee State University; University of Derby; University of Salford (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019-12-12)
    For seven seasons, viewers worldwide watched as ad man Don Draper moved from adultery to self-discovery, secretary Peggy Olson became a take-no-prisoners businesswoman, object-of-the-gaze Joan Holloway developed a feminist consciousness, executive Roger Sterling tripped on LSD, and smarmy Pete Campbell became a surprisingly nice guy. Mad Men defined a pivotal moment for television, earning an enduring place in the medium’s history. This edited collection examines the enduringly popular television series as Mad Men still captivates audiences and scholars in its nuanced depiction of a complex decade. This is the first book to offer an analysis of Mad Men in its entirety, exploring the cyclical and episodic structure of the long form series and investigating issues of representation, power and social change. The collection establishes the show’s legacy in televisual terms, and brings it up to date through an examination of its cultural importance in the Trump era. Aimed at scholars and interested general readers, the book illustrates the ways in which Mad Men has become a cultural marker for reflecting upon contemporary television and politics.
  • Introduction

    Robinson, Carl; University of Derby (Cambridge Scholars, 2018-09-01)
  • Archaea and Rejoicing the Sun

    Rushton, Stephanie; University of Derby (Royal Photographic Society, 2019)
  • Abandoned village

    Fisher, Craig; University for the Creative Arts (2017)
    Rack 'n' Ruin was an invitation by an artist-led space to show work within the specific context of the gallery space which is modelled on American hunting lodges. Exhibited a series of new collage-paintings produced as a result of residency at Villa Lena, Italy that explore ideas of the architectural ruin through abstraction.
  • Jerwood drawing prize 2015

    Fisher, Craig; University for the Creative Arts (2015)
    Group exhibition tour.
  • Innovative curatorial strategies – a consideration of site

    Fisher, Craig; University for the Creative Arts (2015)
    In Miniature’ continues Fisher’s ongoing practice-based enquiry into exploring innovative curatorial devices and strategies. He was invited by curator Abi Spinks to respond to the particular context of the Small Collections Room, (four antique cabinets conceived as an innovative exhibition venue by artist, Pablo Bronstein) at Nottingham Contemporary in relation to his recent curatorial project, Mrs Rick’s Cupboard (2013-ongoing), which explores site and investigates the conventions of exhibition making and curating as a medium/methodology. Fisher responded to the Small Collections Room by curating, ‘In Miniature’ an exhibition within an exhibition in the smallest cabinet in the space (the other cabinets were used by Fisher and artist Debra Swann to present their own work in an exhibition entitled ‘Stand In’, which explored their shared interests in notions of representation). Under the curatorial umbrella of Mrs Rick’s Cupboard, ‘In Miniature’ brought together the work of nine artists to consider the particular confines of the chosen cabinet (the smallest) by asking each artist to make and present a work that was in some way a model, copy, or similar representation of their practice but on a smaller scale. Participating artists included Roy Brown, Louisa Chambers, Laura McCafferty, David Ersser, Lynn Fulton, Kit Poulson, Derek Sprawson, Emma Talbot and Paul Westcombe. Fisher currently invites 4 artists each year (artists such as Sean Edwards and Emily Speed, both 2014) who are at all stages of their career to respond to, make work and exhibit within an unconventional exhibition space, Mrs Rick’s Cupboard, a walk-in cupboard in the corner of his studio at Primary, Nottingham.
  • Razzle dazzle

    Fisher, Craig; Chambers, Louisa; Flint, Rob; University for the Creative Arts (2016-11)
    The collaborative exhibition, Razzle Dazzle takes as its starting point Dazzle Camouflage, credited to artist Norman Wilkinson where, ‘military vessels were painted with strong geometric patterns and bold contrasting colouration so as to misinform U-boat captains bent on attack. The intention was optical deception: to mislead the eye and manipulate visual perception.’ (Gil McElroy, The Uses of Abstraction). Artists Craig Fisher, Louisa Chambers and Rob Flint each employ pattern within their practice as a form of pictorial disruption, interruption and spatial collapse. Initially to start the dialogue each artist will work site-specifically by making work directly on the gallery walls. Over the duration of the exhibition each artist will develop work by responding to the space and each other; artworks will butt up against each other, they may be shown on top of each other making individual practices both indistinguishable and jarring. As the space begins to evolve, as well as adding, interjections will be made where artworks will be removed or displaced. The artists are interested in further crossovers, which will be made during a marked time frame, the possibilities of pattern disruptions and figure/ground painting relationships within the gallery space. Works in the exhibition are concealed within the overall dazzle effect of the installation producing interesting juxtapositions and correlations. The exhibition follows on from a public residency at the Harley Gallery in the East Midlands.
  • The subversive potential of the decorative/ornamental

    Fisher, Craig; University for the Creative Arts (2014)
    Selected to participate in the group exhibition, Craft Emergency, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth by Joanne Bushnell (Director) Alma Daskalaki, Exhibition Projects Curator, Crafts Council, Dr Outi Remes, Director, New Ashgate Gallery, Fisher presented ‘Homemade Devices’ an ongoing series of sculptural artifacts that are inspired by images of improvised explosive devices found whilst trawling the Internet. The works explore the formal inventiveness and provisionality of such objects, as well as their potent potential as representations of objects of threat and danger. Fisher investigates the subversive potential of the decorative through employing pattern and craft processes such as embroidery/stitch/ in the production of these sculptural objects. Ideas of filmic or cartoon violence are juxtaposed with decorative motifs/patterns and craft techniques from textiles; the sense of saturation at play in the work makes it easy to miss the horror due to the seductive nature and materiality of the artwork. Artists selected to participate in the exhibition were Chia Liang Lisa Kao, Angela Fung, Craig Fisher, Elizabeth Ashdown, Katy Jennings, Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, Olivia Walker, Paula Ortega, Sally Spinks, Kandy Diamond, Keith Varney, Luke Bishop and Lisa Pettibone. Fisher has continued to investigate the potential subversive nature of textiles/craft. He was also invited to participate in a museum exhibition, Subversive Design curated by Stella Beddoe at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery were he exhibited ‘Pile’ a collection of oversized textile weapons. Beddoe proposed that the exhibition would subvert preconceptions and challenge our relationship with objects you use on a daily basis. Subversive Design explores how artists, designers, makers and manufacturers react to the world around them, playing with form, function and materials to create objects that provoke and amuse. For over 200 years craft and design have been used to engage and challenge political and social issues in both obvious and more hidden ways. The exhibition included work by a wide range of designers and makers, including Alexander McQueen, David Shrigley, Studio Job, Philippe Starck, Grayson Perry, Richard Slee, Campana Brothers, Vivienne Westwood and Leigh Bowery. This work has been shown subsequently in the following exhibitions; ‘Up To No Good’ (solo) Lace Market Gallery Nottingham, 2014 and ‘Stand In’ (2 person exhibition with Debra Swann), Small Collections Room, Nottingham Contemporary, 2015. 'Gettin’ the Heart Ready' is a group exhibition celebrating The Royal Standard’s coming of age. The 23 artist-strong retrospective showcased artists that have been collaboratively nominated by directors past and present, in recognition of their previous work for The Royal Standard and their careers as practitioners.
  • Image-ness/Object-ness: a flattened encounter

    Fisher, Craig; University for Creative Arts (2014-04)
    ‘Homefront’ was commissioned by David Hastie (Director) and Gordon Dalton, project manager at LOCWS International in partnership with (Andrew Deathe) the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea. Fisher’s large-scale public artwork was realized after exploring material related specifically to the era of World War 1 such as propaganda posters, Dazzle/ pattern as camouflage, the lost generation, women in Wales through textiles/domestic interior and the War in Wales through the available archives across different museums across Wales (National Waterfront Museum, National Wool Museum and St Fagans National History Museum) to explore different facets of violence and war. Fisher develops a critical enquiry around notions of war, it's aftermath, disaster and gender stereotypes in relation to a continued exploration of the seductive power of media representations of violence and destruction. The work employs the architectural façade as a device to explore mediated narrative constructions and theatricality, the pictorial experience of sculpture is particularly important to this current inquiry and to the ways the work disrupts conventions. Pattern and craft techniques are investigated to complicate and subvert the artefact, challenging received ideas of masculinity and muddling ‘male’ and ‘female’ signifiers. LOCWS International specifically invited Fisher due to the nature of his continued exploration of the subversive potential of textile craft techniques in the fabrication of the installations/artifacts he makes. ‘Homefront’ was sited and exhibited at the National Waterfront Museum in April 2014, coinciding with LOCWS International's Art Across The City, 2014, which was their largest event to date (visited by 44,000 people,) with over 25 public artworks exhibited across Swansea.
  • Narratives of catastrophe

    Fisher, Craig; Stratford, Helen; University for the Creative Arts (2015)
    ‘Standardized Versions’ is a collaborative project between artist Craig Fisher and artist/architect Helen Stratford that takes as its starting point the idea that representations of scenes of disaster are based on standard types. There are always repeated elements: shards of timber, an upturned car, papers, barricades and piles of rubble. What if these elements were all deliberately and carefully placed to give the appearance that they had been assembled in an apparently random manner? Perhaps selected from a ‘Catalogue of Catastrophe’® with accompanying instructions and specification on their construction and placement? Fisher and Stratford are engaged in examining how representations of disaster and destruction are mediated for our consumption. Fisher and Stratford’s ‘Standardised Versions (Rubble)’ presents Standardised Rubble through a typology of paper objects, 3D drawings and a plan, with means of assembly, associated specification and the technical equipment necessary, the very precise measuring stick (VPM®). Employing humour, the drawings/objects play with and subvert the language of architectural conventions, typologies, plans and written specifications, to provide a set of instructions to reconstruct (through live performances) that, which has the appearance of having been deconstructed. Fisher and Stratford have been commissioned by Bloc Projects, Sheffield (2016) to present Standardized Versions (Rubble) within the public realm as a billboard. This enables Fisher and Stratford to consider further how representations of ‘ disaster, aftermath and wreckage’ become flattened and consumed through its mediation in the media.
  • Stand in

    Fisher, Craig; Swann, Debra; University for the Creative Arts (2015-04)
    Nottingham based artists Craig Fisher and Debra Swann present their work in three cabinets of the Small Collections Room at Nottingham Contemporary. The exhibition explores their interest in ideas of representation. In the fourth cabinet Fisher curates a group exhibition 'In Miniature' as part of Fisher’s ongoing curatorial project, 'Mrs Rick’s Cupboard' at Primary. Contemporary artists are asked to develop artworks to be presented within the unconventional gallery setting - a walk in cupboard. Exhibiting artists: Roy Brown, Louisa Chambers, Laura McCafferty, David Ersser, Lynn Fulton, Kit Poulson, Derek Sprawson, Emma Talbot and Paul Westcombe.

View more