About bookRoom

bookRoom is an experimental post-digital research and publishing platform within the School of fine Art and Photography at University for the Creative Arts in Farnham.

‘Postdigital’, ‘Publishing’ and ‘Platform’ are key concepts at the heart of all our projects.

Postdigital, as no longer considering digital technologies emerging or new but already deeply imbedded in our lives and in being human.

Publishing as in making public, sharing, disseminating original thinking and practice based research, in 3 formats; open access online, print form and public events.

Platform as a shared and collaborative network and virtual space for multidisciplinary modes of inquiry and production of new knowledge.

For the past 10 years, bookRoom has surveyed and published the impact of digital technologies on emerging publishing practices, bringing in contact the various perspective of artists, publishers, thinkers, collectors while always acknowledging an affinity with the artists book, the kind of books that enabled artists, writers and thinkers to operate at the critical edge and on the margins of art institutions, conventional publishing and their respective gate keepers.

In 2016 bookRoom started to formulate new research questions around post digital interaction. We began to propose and test new models of outward facing research and publishing based on the model of platform and network technologies as context for post-digital environment, community construction, and collaborative modes of research and publishing.

Rethinking Interaction in the Post-Digital: A Roundtable Discussion – RISE WITH YOUR CLASS – Building a better world, working (with) archive –  here.here concert series

bookRoom has attracted and supported 5 PhD projects (see research section).

About bookRoom press

bookRoom press was established in 2012 to publish and disseminate critical surveys of current thinking and innovative practice by key international practitioners and thinkers, as well as artists’ publications: 2 anthologies/surveys of writings /the book is alive ! (2012), Code X (2015), one publication on working with archive and art activism / RISE WITH YOUR CLASS (2016) and 10 artists publications by UCA researchers and invited artists: all in major public collections and mostly out of print.

A bit of history

bookRoom was co-founded by Anna Fox and Emmanuelle Waeckerlé  in 2004, bringing together members from Photography, Graphic Design and Fine Art department at UCA Farnham, to examine “books made by artist and/or photographers evolving in parallel with more conventional publishing such as monographs and illustrated books”. 

In 2009 Anna Fox left to pursue other projects and eventually set up Fast Forward : Women in Photography. Emmanuelle continued developing the project internally and externally: bookRoom website (2010), bookRoom collection (2009) in collaboration with the Farnham library, bookRoom exhibitions and launch events at major UK and international artists’ book fairs (Whitechapel gallery, ICA, Bristol, Leeds, Valencia, Barcelona, Limerick), bookRoom facilities on the Farnham campus (2010), bookRoom press (2012).

whose who

Jeremiah Ambrose

Senior Lecturer in Film and Digital Art at UCA Farnham

Jeremiah is an artist and researcher whose work explores digital arts, media futures and experimental practice. He is particularly interested in interactive 360 environments, but is looking to expand his practice, pedagogy and research into XR aesthetics and intersections between contemporary immersive media technologies.

Jeremiah was awarded a practice-based PhD at the University of Brighton, looking at emergent narratives and interaction aesthetics in VR and interactive 360° environments. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in English, Media and Cultural Studies from Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology in 2009. After this he was awarded an M.Phil in Film Theory and History and an M.Sc in Interactive Digital Media from Trinity College Dublin in 2011 and 2014.

Amanda Couch 

Senior lecturer in Fine Art at UCA Farnham

Amanda’s art practice researches, reinterprets and reimagines histories, myth, ritual and embodied knowledge weaving the theoretical, personal, and material processes. The work enacts new materialist entanglements of the human and more-than-human exploring relations with historical artefacts, materials (straw, parchment, hair, pastry, guts), plants (wheat, wild herbs), and interior bodies (livers, tongues, intestines) through the domains of performance, sculpture, the live and recorded image, the book, print, participation, and writing to experience situated ways of knowing and becoming.

Her artists’ publications published by bookRoom press, are in private and public collections including the Wellcome Library, London; the Metropolitan Museum and MoMA library, New York; the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Joan Flasch Artists’ Books Collection, Chicago; Saison Poetry Library, London; and the Scriptorial Museum, Avranches, France.

Kathleen Rodgers

Professor of Media Arts and Sciences  at UCA Farnham

Kathleen Rogers is a visual artist working within interdisciplinary fields that intersect the arts and humanities, and the life sciences, assimilating themes from post human theory to explore affinities between advanced life sciences and deep ecologies of matter. Reflecting on concepts of the evolutionary post human and the Anthropocene her work seeks to demonstrate ways in which the visual arts can shift and challenge meaning in advanced scientific cultural contexts to expand the cultural, ethical and social dimensions and impact of art and science on culture and human identity. Her arts research, past, and present reflect her long-time interest the philosophical frame working of quantum physics. Her projects have been exhibited internationally, including representation in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, USA, Japan, Russia and Lithuania, Albania and is held in international public collections the UK and Russia.

David Rule

Senior Lecturer in Photography at UCA Farnham

David studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, his practice, almost wholly on the page, looks to preserve the ways we share stories, look back, make plans, offer advice, enthuse on things – the ways we communicate each day with each other through words, images and other means. David has great knowledge and expertise in photography, experimental writing, layout, design and bookmaking and has been involved with bookRoom from the beginning.

James Trafford 

Reader in Philosophy and Design at UCA Epsom and author of The Empire at Home: Internal Colonies and the End of Britain (Pluto, August 2020).

His written work deals with issues relating to rationalism, non-standard logic and reconceptualizing formal language as a dynamic and creative practice. He has been published in numerous journals, gallery catalogues and design-books, and is currently working on a monograph on meaning, dialogue, and interactive logics for Springer. His artistic practice deals with hegemony in the context of the post-digital, which has been exhibited, most recently, at Tate Britain and Xero, Kline, and Coma.

Altea Vidal

printmaking technician at UCA Farnham

Altea is an artist and researcher who completed a PhD at Chelsea College of Arts London. Her practice explores the materiality of the notion of double page spread and how it is perceived in relation to concepts such as echo, fold, space and mirroring.

Emmanuelle Waeckerlé

Reader in Fine Art and Relational practices at UCA Farnham, bookRoom director

Through her continuing commitment to both education and practice based research Emmanuelle tries to foster new enquiry across image, music, text and the page, developing along the way collaborative projects both at local and international levels, in academic and non academic contexts. She  is inspired by Rosi Braidotti’s concept of the 21st century University.

The combination of technical skills and civic responsibility, a concern for social and environmental sustainability, and a discerning relationship to consumerism, are the core values of the contemporary multi-versity. (2013)

Her practice and research have evolved from the single discipline of Fine Art Photography, into multiple, interconnected work zones: conceptual writing, performance, new musical composition and artist-publishing. Her scores and music are distributed by Wandelweiser editions and her artist publications are in private and public collections including Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris, Tate Britain, V & A, and Southbank Poetry Library in London.