Luke Pendrell is an artist and writer who brings visual communicative practice research to a range of issues across aesthetics, design and politics.
Luke creates digital visual work, for example his Ghost Light (Ignis Fatuus) 2015, and organises discursive forums such as the Tate Gallery Speculative Tate series. Through these investigations he publishes reconsiderations of cross-disciplinary thinking in the visual arts.
He has a leading role in the development of visual communications research at the University of Brighton.
Luke Pendrell is an artist whose work explores the interstices of science, technology and the supernatural.
Luke studied at the Royal College of Art. A founding member of the digital art collective Antirom, his work has been exhibited at amongst others; Le Salle de Legion d’honneur, Paris; MoMi, New York and at The Barbican, The ICA and Tate Britain in London and can be found in collections including the Tate artists book archive and featured in publications including The Happy Hypocrite (2009, Book Works).
Current work investigates the emergent field of Speculative Aesthetics, with particular attention to: the socio-historical relationship between art, design and politics, the conceptual and pragmatic role of artistic experience; the navigational potential of aesthetics. Exploring the possibility of a theory and practice no longer invested in the otherworldly promise of the aesthetic, but acknowledging the real force and traction of images in the world today. A volume documenting discussions to date published by Urbanomic can be found here. Speculative Aesthetics. Recently the project has developed as a series of conversations and gallery events hosted by Tate Britain under the name of Speculative Tate.
Art & Design are disciplines that engage with this imperative through attempting to change the way we perceive the world, the way we think about and understand it.
Because of this they tend to be as mercurial as the worlds they operate in and interact with, and the territories have never been as mobile and dynamic as they are today.
It is sobering to think that the whilst the printing press that made the written word accessible was invented almost 600 years ago, broadcast media such as radio and television that caught and shaped the modern world we live in are already in flux after scarcely a century. Social media technologies like Facebook and Twitter on the other hand are less than a decade old and yet the colossal impact they have had on our culture shows no signs of abating. As Marshal Macluhan predicted:
This constant change means that as artists and designers, working with changing technology, changing media and a changing ‘Do it yourself’ world we need to be as flexible, dynamic and adaptable as the world we work in. Central to this approach is an appreciation of the symbiotic relationship between theory and practice, both in the creation and situation or application of work.
Praxis in Art and Design is an active engagement with ideas and materials, eclectic, dynamic, flexible and responsive. Working with the world, influencing its culture, commerce and technologies.
The currently Speculative Tate Research Series, developed with Adrian Shaw at Tate Britain as part of The Speculative Aesthetics Research Project, is one example of such. A series of free seminars open to the public developed with Tate Britain to encourage discussion and explore the question “What bearing do developments in contemporary philosophy have upon aesthetics in theory and practice?”
Specifically it is an attempt to further investigate and develop debate around the emergent field of “Speculative Aesthetics”, with particular attention to: the socio-historical relationship between art and design; the relationship between speculative aesthetics and design; the conceptual and pragmatic role of artistic experience; the navigational potential of aesthetics. To explore the possibility of a theory and practice no longer invested in the otherworldly promise of the aesthetic, but acknowledging the real force and traction of images in the world today.
Speculative Aesthetics co-edited with James Trafford and Robin Mackay is published by Urbanomic, the first volume in the REDACTIONS series.
Pendrell, Luke and Trafford, James (2017) Hard Wired Hegemony Modes of Criticism, 3. pp. 79-92.
Pendrell, Luke (2017) What was once proven can now only be imagined: Overall I am satisfied [Working Paper]
Pendrell, Luke and Trafford, James (2016) Bad infinity 2.0 [Exhibition]
Pendrell, Luke (2015) Ignis Fatuus (Ghost Light) [Exhibition]
Pendrell, Luke (2015) Haunters and the Haunted [Working Paper]
Mackay, Robin, Pendrell, Luke and Trafford, James (2014) Speculative aesthetics [Edited Collections]
Pendrell, Luke (2013) The shape of the void Design Ecologies, 3 (2). pp. 258-278. ISSN 2043-068X
Antirom, Digital Archeology, Digital Revolution: Exhibition, The Barbican, London.