Autumn 2021

Organised by the Centre for Art and Politics

What if the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp had been closed, and replaced by a museum that critically reflects on the social and political significance of the prison? This is the premise that animates The Guantanamo Bay Museum of Art and History, an art project initiated by Ian Alan Paul and involving more than a dozen activists, theorists and artists.

Join us for a presentation on the museum, followed by a discussion between the artist and Dr Jeffrey Murer and a Q&A session.

Ian Alan Paul (b. 1984, US) is an artist-theorist whose work examines enactments of power and practices of resistance in global contexts. Their transdisciplinary practice is formally diverse, and is situated at the intersections of critical theory, contemporary art, and digital media studies. Ian has developed projects and lived for extended periods in the United States, Mexico, Spain, Egypt, and Palestine, and has exhibited their work and given lectures internationally.

Their research-creation practice approaches issues that are geographically diffuse yet thematically connected, including the digitized surveillance of the Mexico-US Border, the contested past and future of the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities, and the politics of memory in Post-Revolution Cairo. They received their PhD in Film and Digital Media Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 2016, their MFA and MA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2011, and is presently based in Barcelona.


Spring 2021

Artist Talk: Practice Makes Perfect by Rosa-Johan Uddoh

4pm, 27th May 2021, Zoom, Registration here.

Spring 2020

Data on Display: Media and the Making of Statistical Knowledge Before the Computer

Claire-Lise Debluë, Visiting Scholar Paris I University & St Andrews University
Advanced Postdoc Swiss National Science Foundation

Friday 6th March 2020, 4.15pm, Film Studies Boardroom, 99 North Street

Today, data visualisation is often referred to as ubiquitous. Visual computing tools enable quantitative information to be easily turned into images, increasing their capacity to reach a mass audience through an extensive range of media. Long before the rise of information graphics, the widespread use of so-called “statistical images” was already firmly acknowledged. During the first half of the 20th century, graphical statistics indeed became a core feature of visual modernity. The rise of mass media was instrumental in this process, enhancing the reproducible nature of visual representations of data.

Despite this apparent success story of early data visualisation, the increasing numbers of statistical displays circulating in the public sphere raised critical challenges. For most of the early advocates of visual statistics, turning abstract data into material expression (either through two or three-dimensional objects) had become a deep and permanent concern. Statistical data indeed were not purely abstract. They were – and still are – firmly entangled in material and technological dispositives such as printed material, exhibition displays, films or slideshows predating the first generation of computer-generated images in the 1950s.

How did the material expressions of data affect the visual forms of statistical knowledge? How did the reproducible nature of graphical statistics impact the spaces and spatiality of statistics? Taking a long-term perspective, this talk challenges the idea that history of data visualization should be first and foremost a visual history. Focusing on the materiality and spatiality of statistical displays, it will investigate new connections between media archaeology, history of statistics and material culture and will thus shed a new light on contemporary debates on the dissemination of quantitative information in the era of “data deluge”.

Wednesday 29 January: 2020 ‘From Performative Printmaking to Performing Periods,’ Bee Hughes Artist’s Talk
3-4pm, Barns Graham Room, School of Art History, 79 North Street

We are very excited that this term the CAA is hosting its first Artist in Residence, together with the School for Art History, funded by a Gender, Diversity and Inclusion grant. Bee will be giving an introduction to their practice and the Blood Lines project. Bee is an artist, PhD researcher and lecturer working across the fields of arts practice, art history, media and cultural studies and sociology. In this presentation they will discuss the development of their recent art practice which has seen them shift from traditional printmaking rooted in Graphic Arts, towards performance and body-oriented practices. Bee will discuss key themes and methods used in their work, such as autobiography, gender, performativity, permutation, collaboration and curation, illustrated through the body of work produced as part of their PhD project.

All welcome!

Autumn 2019

Memes and Art History: Challenges for Research and Teaching

Coordinators: José Ramón Marcaida (University of St Andrews) and Luis Vives-Ferrándiz (University of Valencia/Durham University)

Date: 6 December 2019, Time: 2-4.30pm

Venue: F2 – John B Henderson Lecture Room, Castlecliffe

For registration please contact José Ramón Marcaida (


Welcome & Introduction

José Ramón Marcaida (University of St Andrews) and Luis Vives-Ferrándiz (University of Valencia/Durham University)

Session 1

  • From Atlas Mnemosyne to WhatsApp: words, images and the tradition of visual rhetoric in internet memes.

Luis Vives-Ferrándiz (University of Valencia / Durham University)

  • Meme-ing classical sculpture in social media and the classroom: A case of classical reception?

Lenia Kouneni (University of St Andrews)

  • Early modern persistent beasts and visual wit

José Ramón Marcaida (University of St Andrews)

Session 2

  • Bloody Good Fun: Menstrual Memes, Artists and Appropriation

Camilla Røstvik (University of St Andrews)

  • Sous les pavés, le meme!

Andrew Demetrius (University of St Andrews)

  • Should museums collect memes?

Nicôle Meehan (University of St Andrews)

Workshop organised with the support of the School of Art History, University of St Andrews, the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art, Durham University, and the St Andrews Centre for Contemporary Art, University of St Andrews.


Tomás Ayuso talk + workshop, Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 November 2019: The photographer and activist Tomás Ayuso will be giving a talk entitled ‘Bordering Life: Movement, Identity and Images from the US, Mexico, and Honduras’ on Tuesday 12th November in School III at 5pm, hosted by International Relations and the Centre for Art and Politics. Tomás will also be very kindly giving a workshop on his activism and art practice on Wednesday 13 November, alongside an exhibition of his work in the Arts Building, in conjunction with the Centre for Contemporary Art. The session will run from 2.00-3.30pm in Room 104, Arts Building, and all are very welcome to attend!


Contemporary Art in Scotland: Franki Raffles Study Day, Thursday 7 November 2019: 1.00-5.00pm, Seminar Rooms 5 and 2, Arts Building and Special Collections Martyrs Kirk Reading Room, organised by the Contemporary Art in Scotland Tate British Art Network sub-group.


Lisandro Suriel Artist’s Talk – Ghost Island: Exploring Decolonial Imagination, Wednesday 9 October 2019: 4.15pm, School V, St Salvator’s Quad, University of St Andrews. Centre for Contemporary Art and Tilting Axis Fellowship lecture.

Spring 2019

Bodies in the Archive: The Role of Art History, Monday 18th March 2019


Department of Social Anthropology Research Seminar, Friday 8th March 2019

‘Different Worlds: the multimodal and the limits of vision,’ Chris Wright (Goldsmiths), United College, Room 50, University of St Andrews, 11am – 1.00pm.


Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, Wednesday 6th March 2019

Autumn 2018