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Spencer Roberts is primarily interested in the confluences between art, design, philosophy and technology. He holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Hull, and an MSc in Interactive Multimedia Production from the University of Huddersfield. He is currently studying for a PhD at the University of Hertfordshire, with supervisorial input shared between the Department of Art and Design and the Department of Philosophy.
Spencer is a practising artist whose work focuses on physical electronics as a material form of expression. He sometimes collaborates artistically with other artists, including Anneke Pettican. Their work plays with spatial and temporal realities using text-based experiments. The media they employ ranges from simple subtitling techniques to custom built electronics and GPS devices. Their work has been shown nationally, and at international festivals including Inter-society for Electronic Arts (ISEA). In 2007 they presented their practice as part of the Architecture in the Space of Flows conference at Culture Lab, Newcastle. In 2008 their work was shown at Bank Art, Yokahama, Japan.
Alongside his artistic practice Spencer has developed a number of database driven online archival systems, which have a primarily curatorial focus. He has also developed sensor and actuator systems for work in commercial realm.
Spencer teaches programming languages (ActionScript 3, Java/Processing, PHP, MySQL), alongside electronic interfacing and physical computing (Arduino, PIC Microcontrollers) to undergraduate and masters students. He also provides final year students with dissertation support and help to philosophically contextualise their practice.
As a part of the Research into Practice cluster at the University of Hertfordshire, I am exploring the relationship between 'practice-based' research and more traditional modes of enquiry.
There is a tension in formal structure of research enquiry between the broadly integrative aim of establishing a research context, and the broadly divergent, disruptive or innovative aim of saying or producing something new. In response to this I am developing a process-relational account of research that attempts to reconcile practice-based research with more traditional forms of enquiry. My research positions academic textual production as a long-durational, aesthetic process. In this sense I focus upon developing a material account of writing as an aesthetic construction of a body of inter-textual, affective and material relations as opposed to a logico-propositional form of reference. My research is primarily informed by the work of Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze.
Process Philosophy, Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, Research as practice.
Two years of AHRC funding.
Positive review in Art Monthly, September 2009.
Collaborative work with Anneke Pettican mentioned in White Heat Cold Logic: British Computer Art 1960-1980. (Leonardo Books)
A chapter of my PhD served as the basis for a paper delivered at the 2011 Doctorial Education in Design conference in Hong Kong.
Roberts, S (2012) ‘Deleuze and the Aesthetics of Relation’. In: Deleuze, Philosophy, Transdisciplinarity, 105h-12th February 2012, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Roberts, S (2011) ‘Process, Composition and Difference’ Radar , 1 (2), pp. 15-16. ISSN 2049-4327
Wilson, L. and Roberts, S.(2011) Pane [Show/Exhibition]
Roberts, S (2011) ‘Rhythm, Relation, Concept and Practice: A Process Relational View’. In: Doctoral Education in Design Conference 2011, 23-25th May, 2011, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Roberts, S (2009) Beckett Machine [Show/Exhibition]
Roberts, S. and Pettican, A. (2009) ‘The Typewritten Gesture’. In: Research Festival, 23rd March - 2nd April 2009, University of Huddersfield, UK.
Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2008) Rhetorical Line [Show/Exhibition]
Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2008) Tie Me in A Dream [Show/Exhibition]
Roberts, S. and Pettican, A. (2007) ‘Newsdrip An (A)Political Flow’. In: Architecture in the Space of Flows , 21st - 24th June 2007, University of Newcastle, UK
Roberts, S (2007) ‘The Beckett Machine: Something Mechanical Encrusted Upon the Living’. In: Repeat:Repeat, 19th - 20th April 2007, University of Chester, UK
Pettican, A. and Roberts, S. (2006) Reasonable Doubt [Video]
Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2006) Newsdrip [Phase four]. (Unpublished).
Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2006) INCH, Rhetorical Line, Mine. (Submitted).
Roberts, S (2006) ‘Process:Processed’. In: Wandering with Spinoza, 13th - 15th September 2006, The Centre for Ideas, Victorian College of the Arts Melbourne, Australia
Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2003) Chorus [Show/Exhibition]
Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2003) A Hidden Spectacle [Show/Exhibition]
Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2000) Look East, Look West [Show/Exhibition]