Image-making is the quintessential process of production

The Photography and Image Research Group at Birmingham City University brings together academics, artists and thinkers who engage with research and discussion around an expanded notion of the subjects of images through their production in the fields of photography, film and technology. Our aim is to renew and refresh the study of all these disciplines. We do this by opening up discussions about how images and image-making are at the centre of our understanding of a range of other topics.


Our areas of interest


One of the key interests for our researchers are images. Our aim is to examine the specificity of all contemporary forms of image and image-making.


We consider an expanded view of photography by understanding it as the practice that embodies much of our image-making today.


Film is one of the multiple forms of image-making that animates our research interests. We are particularly interested in modes of delivery and distribution alongside understanding films as cultural objects of study.


Technology informs how many images are made and distributed. We are particularly interested in how technology is transforming our experiences of images.


Although it is decidedly technological, we consider AI to be of specific interest to our research since it connects thought and technology together.


Philosophy is central to our approach simply because its aim is to help shape who we are to become. In the context of our research, philosophy forms our approach rather than informs it.


Psychoanalysis is one of the approaches we take as part of our analysis of images and cultural. We are particularly interested in Lacanian psychoanalysis and its usefulness in understanding everyday phenomena.


Today, we experience images as an environment. They are located all around us, informing how we interact and experience the world. Considering how images shape culture is an important part of our research.

We develop a range of resources and activities linked to our research

Publications and Articles

Conferences and Symposium

Research Seminars

Keynote Lectures and Master Classes

Our research focuses on thinking and restating the cultural value of images and image-making.

Intensifying our understanding of theory is at the heart of our approach. Fundamentally, we believe our work begins with helping to locate an understanding of what images are and what they do within the university and school curriculum.

Who we are


What unifies John’s interests is the exploration of how theory can enrich and offer new insights to creative practice and lived experience. His approach is distinctive in its foregrounding of theoretical ideas and in how it attempts, not to explain phenomena through theory, but to elucidate theory as it appears within contemporary culture.


Kristian’s work focuses on New Media Art and digital interaction, combining generative graphics, algorithmic procedures and sound / sensor-driven technology. His research currently focuses on surveillance culture and human-computer interactions.


Carla’s research engages with how photographic encounters between photographer and photographed subjects are seen as transparent evidence of ‘reality’ that is then turned into images for the viewer’s aesthetic pleasure. She is interested in the possibility of photography to challenge a representational logic, which normalises relations and discourses of power by assuming the ‘other’ as passive, preceding and definite.


Joanna’s research combines the fields of the photographic image, art practice and pedagogy to examine contemporary appearances of school. She explores how returning to education in a landscape newly shaped by the pandemic looks and feels.


Jo’s research is based around photographic archives and history. Central to her practice is the idea of the photograph as a two-dimensional slice of history and its function in relation to the progression of time. She uses historic photographic techniques such as the wet plate collodion process, daguerreotypes, calotypes and photogravure to make contemporary images that disrupt the linear representation of time.


John is a PhD candidate and lens-based artist. He uses archive and contemporary images to articulate and construct personal narratives as they interfere with current histories. He has been a photographer and, more recently, a moving image-maker for over 40 years. His principle concern is the nature and construct of his “Racial Whiteness” set within a post-colonial capitalist framework. 


Ravi’s work focuses on the intersection of still and moving images. It is driven by themes of identity, historical archives, psychology, social conditioning and scientific exploration. His work deploys strategies such as conceptual documentary, choreographic and kinetically employed aesthetics. 


Ana’s research is concerned with gathering audio and digital imagery and working with them to construct affective atmospheres and spaces. She is particularly interested in the everyday and the commonplace. She is particularly motivated by ideas associated with affect and the embodied encounter.

In the Twenty-First Century, the instrumentality of photography has become increasingly prominent.

Many of the photographs we currently make are made for the pleasure of others and not for ourselves