The Visible Institute – research into lens-based media

About the Institute

The Visible Institute (Vi) is a lens-based research group set within a discursive framework and culture of predominantly practice-based research at KSA, working in association with various UK and international organisations, lens-based operatives and individuals to achieve this.

We are an inclusive, participatory entity, propelled by an entanglement of questions, raised by diverse practices and shared activity. The Visible Institute forms local and international sector-based proposals, to generate experimental initiatives and industry partnerships alike. These include: archival, curatorial, festival and/or exhibition-based research projects and dissemination.

Our researchers include filmmakers, photographers, doctoral researchers (practice & theory), technical staff and alumni from across Kingston School of Art (KSA) along with associated members, engaged with individual, group and institutional dialogues and exchange.

We support ventures at the cusp of stillness and moving image, raising questions on political, cultural, historical and ‘pioneering' aspects of photography and cinematic imagining, addressing contested sites and otherwise excluded voices. Our current partnership activity involves the British Film Institute (BFI), LUX Moving Image, The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), The Photographers Gallery and The Wellcome Collection, amongst others. We welcome approaches from similar research organs to develop inter-organisational projects, outputs and approaches to impact.


Research clusters

In 2021 we have two blue-sky research clusters, operating as reading groups to develop ideas and discussion points: firstly around the fragment, whereby lost, incomplete or unfinished work encourages deliberation on absence-in-presence, how a moment can be haunted by its disappearance, to convey a sense of its seemingly irrecoverable erasure. The second cluster considers the proximity between diagrammatical elements as a correlate with image-making, producing questions on hauntology, spatial proximity and theorisation within lens-based media and philosophy.

Research clusters

Programme of events

Our programme of events and activities has recently (2020) included the ‘Sensitive Film' series, realised in association with the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) London, exploring the collaborative potential embedded in image-making from the perspective of editing, design and cinematography. Invited contributors to this series have included Claire Atherton (Chantal Akerman's editor), David Raedeker (Joanna Hogg's cinematographer on ‘The Souvenir', parts I and II) and Chu-Li Shewring, sound designer); speaking on their methods and perspectives. We also support the BBC/ACE New Creatives scheme, commissioning short-form film and audio works by emerging creatives.

Interim joint leaders