Dr Peter Ride
Principal Research Fellow
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I am the Course Leader of the MA Museums, Galleries and Contemporary Culture and my background is in the arts and cultural industries.
After graduating from the Australian National University with a BA (Hons) in History I came to the UK and began working in cultural organisations in the 1980s and 1990s, including the National Museum of Photography, Watershed Media Centre and The Photographers Gallery, where I developed a specialism as a curator working with photography.
In the 1990s I began to specialise in digital media and worked at Artec, the Arts Technology Centre, London and DA2, Digital Arts Development Agency, Bristol, where I was the Artistic Director. In these organisations my work concentrated on curating online, devising projects with digital artists and organizing digital media exhibitions around the UK and internationally, in museums, galleries and festivals. I joined the University of Westminster in 2000 as Senior Research Fellow in Visual Culture, and I am now a Principle Research Fellow.
The MA in Museums, Galleries and Contemporary Culture, of which I am the Course Leader, is a unique masters course because it has been developed closely with leading cultural organisations in London, such as Tate Britain and the Museum of London. Much of the teaching takes place in partnership with these organisations, and the MA thus draws on the expertise of their curators and professionals. This makes it an exciting and challenging course to direct since it is intensely collaborative. It also means that we give our students unrivalled behind-the-scenes access to museums and galleries and other cultural organisations in London.
I am also the director of the undergraduate London Studies programme which is a special set of modules devised for Study Abroad students. In this context I lead the module Art and Society, which introduces students the rich cultural offerings of London and teaches them how to examine and contemplate the visual material of galleries and museums.
My research work covers three activities: curating arts projects, collaborations with museums and critical writing. As a curator I specialise in digital media projects, addressing the way that artists and develop new forms and systems to create innovative work. These projects include retrospectives of the Canadian artist David Rokeby (Silicon Remembers Carbon 2007, and Plotting with Time 2008) and a group exhibition examining landscape and technology (Timeless: Time, Landscape and New Media 2006). I also work consistently with photography, in particular looking at the ways that the internet becomes a site to present and disseminate the photographic image (Solstice: the longest day of the year 2013).
My research also involves creative partnership with museums, particularly in examining how digital media offers museums new ways to collect and to present material. This work includes a collaboration with the Museum of London to collect tweets about life in London during the London 2012 Olympic Games (#citizencurators 2012). This area of research also examines the way that museum and gallery audiences respond to presentations of digital media.
As a writer my books include The Digital Media Handbook (Routledge, 2013) and The New Media Handbook (Routledge 2006), both co-authored with Prof Andrew Dewdney, of London South Bank University.
I would be happy to hear from prospective PhD students who would like to enquire about research relating to my areas of interest.