The Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art (SCEMFA) opened in 1995 and brings together artists and researchers based at the Slade each interrogating the material of the digital from a range of perspectives.
It provides an opportunity to focus on research into Electronic Media and Fine Art, and since its earliest days has contributed to debate on a national and international level.
In 1997 SCEMFA presented Collision, a public lecture series by artists, writers and curators working with interactivity, telematics and digital works, followed by Spontaneous Reaction, an Arts Council funded week-long seminar which took a critical look at interactivity with participants drawn from a variety of disciplines including psychology, architecture and computer science. Throughout 1998 SCEMFA collaborated with Channel to organise a monthly event called Cached which was held at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London. Funded by the Arts Council, this series investigated the conceptual and practical issues of making work for the Internet through a series of artists presentations.
Screenings and events have included Mislaid, an audio webcast from the ICA, 1998; Slade @ Sadlers Wells screening programme, 2000/2001; not-tv which launched in 2000; and the Slade/Transvision competition to showcase digital work presented on the large scale (transvision) LED screen in Euston Station in 2005.
A survey of SCEMFA’s first decade, FRAMED, funded by the Arts Council, took place at the Slade Research centre, Woburn Square in 2006.
With origins in the 1970s with Malcolm Hughes’s Computer and Experimental Department, SCEMFA has seen many important events. Visit some key moments on the Timeline.
SCEMFA has been at the foreground of artists’ streaming media in the UK (goto Archive); has close links with other areas in UCL including Computer Science (goto Research); and archives a range of past and present student, staff and research projects online
Martin John Callanan is an artist and researcher exploring notions of citizenship within the globally connected world and the systems supporting this. Concerns include information, data, and knowledge. Martin is teaching fellow in digital media and print and Artist in Residence at the UCL Environmental Institute (2008-09).
Susan Collins current works employ transmission, networking and time as primary materials, often exploring the role of illusion or belief in their construction and interpretation. She works across public, gallery and online spaces with works including the bafta nominated Tate netart commission Tate in Space. Her current exhibition and online work, Seascape (which received an AHRC Research Grant “Materialising Time: Developing new methods of visually representing time as embedded in The Seascape”) is shown simultaneously online and as a major exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea (April-June 2009). Collins is Reader in Fine Art and Head of Undergraduate Fine Art Media, Head of Electronic Media and Director of SCEMFA.
Simon Faithfull uses a variety of means including video, digital drawing and writing in his works. His interventions and explorations examine the normality and the oddness of the world around him. A forthcoming solo show at BFI Southbank, Gravity Sucks, opening in July 2009 brings together a series of works attempting to escape earth’s gravity. Simon is a part-time lecturer in Fine Art Media.
Jon Thomson (Thomson & Craighead) makes artworks, which look at how global communications systems like the worldwide web are changing the way we understand the world around us. Jon recently completed an AHRC Research project, “Sculpting the Web: Making permanent artworks that explore the boundaries between physical public space and the virtual space of the web”. The resulting artwork, BEACON has been exhibited at BFI, Southbank, FACT in Liverpool, Dundee Contemporary Arts and Royal College of Art, London. Jon is a part-time lecturer in Fine Art Media.
SCEMFA is a research group, as such we do not directly except students. Prospective students interested in Electronic Media or Fine Art Media should consider the Slade School of Fine Art taught courses, research programmes and affiliate study. Members of SCEMFA teach across the whole range of Slade courses.