Visual Intelligences Research Project

Symposia : The Documentation of Fine Art Processes and Practices : Sue Wilks

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Subjectivity through e-motion: Digitised documentation in a dialogical dimension
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Dr SUE WILKS Artist (PhD Leeds University)

Subjectivity through e-motion: Digitised documentation in a dialogical dimension

The URL <> leads to my research website, set up in the hope that it may work as a potential opening to unknown, critically reflexive activities or perhaps to reciprocally communicative relations.

Constituted using feminist theoretical and critical approaches towards the production and presentation of art practices, it offers a virtual archive that tracks the progress of my PhD project (in Fine Art Practice) as a continual process of personal and academic development. I would like to discuss how this website
presents, (through a wide and varied range of documentation), some ways in which my experimental methodologies for aesthetic production have evolved
and shifted, (in conjunction with my feelings and  emotions), as I worked my way through specific learning experiences and events.

Throughout my studies I have allocated significance to unknown feelings, (seemingly unrelated to my ongoing research interests), documenting them through diaristic forms, or in intensely personal notes and records. I included these unknown elements in my research and on my website, (without being able to articulate my reasons for doing so in academic terms at the time), which was an inherently risky thing to do. But by holding on to a firm belief that clarification and understanding might be accessed in hindsight through critical reflection of these documents, (which detail intense investments of emotion), I have been able to benefit from significant learning that has pushed my art-thinking in unexpectedly productive ways.

As one of three interrelational elements that form my PhD project, my website documents the complexities and particularities of working with, and through,  differing forms of art practice, (the struggles, successes and failures), rather than seeking to present evidence of formal aesthetic considerations  and strategies in action. Using the direct address of an embodied subject it offers an individually developed methodology for art making, thinking, and writing about art making... a sort of learning at the level of the self. But art is not a singular activity and this work generates differing questions and issues according to individual user experiences.

Sue Wilks was born in Iraq in 1960 and has lived in West Yorkshire since 1968 . She is an artists who has worked as an art educator in Leeds for nine years, during which time she also completed the MA Feminist Theory, History & Criticism in the Visual Arts programme at the University of Leeds. Sue was awarded her PhD in Fine Art Practice (also at the University of Leeds) in September 2005. An online dossier of her research project titled 'Feda: Between pedagogy and politicised art practice' can be accessed at