Mark Aerial Waller

Research project: Flipped Hierarchies: Exploring Narrative Metalepsis As A Radical Critical Tool Through Artists' Moving Image Practice


My practice-based research aims to critically examine the concept and processes of metalepsis, a condition experienced by audiences through a particular encounter with the uncanny.

Narrative metalepsis occurs when a story's narrator intrudes into the narrative universe, or the inverse. 

Metalepsis is the central theme of an emerging field of research termed ‘Boundary Language' (Kunze, 1998-present) a visual study promoting experiment in critical theory, through interdisciplinary study of topology, architecture and psychoanalysis. My own research seeks to employ this methodology as a means to test ways that radically shift the subjectivity of a spectator of moving image to profoundly reconceptualise the experience of difference.

I shall set up a series of experimental moving image works that radically flip the subjectivity of the audience. The works will test how a spectator may be radically positioned in relation to the screen, author and auditorium, to confront oneself as Other.

  • Research degree: Practice-based PhD
  • Title of project: Flipped Hierarchies: Exploring Narrative Metalepsis As A Radical Critical Tool Through Artists' Moving Image Practice
  • Research supervisor: Professor Elizabeth Price
  • Other research supervisor: Mr Volker Eichelmann


My work is concerned with the transmission and interpretation of culture across time. My fine art practice explores relationships between cinema, sculpture and live performance, where the spectator, art object and its relative position in space and time become an interdisciplinary medium. I have exhibited extensively, with recent screenings and commissions at CAAM Gran Canaria, Tate, Hayward Gallery, BFI Southbank and Channel 4. In 2000 I founded an experimental research platform, The Wayward Canon, is a site for radical exploration of cinematic practices. Events include portmanteau film with disco transition Simon and the Radioactive Flesh (with Giles Round) (2007), Horror Yoga (2014) Tate Britain and 40 Days at the Rhumba (2018) Kunsthall Oslo / Daedalus Street, Athens.  I have published articles and essays on cinema and art in Artforum and Frieze magazine. My video work is distributed through LUX. 

Find out more:

Areas of research interest

  • contemporary art
  • Moving Image
  • Philosophy
  • Psychoanalysis
  • The Uncanny and Metalepsis


  • BA Fine Art, Central St Martins
  • Fellow of the HEA
  • SEDA qualification in research supervision

Funding or awards received

  • Techne studentship
  • Elephant Trust Award
  • Arts Council Professional Development
  • British Council Exhibition Funding
  • UKRI International Placement Scheme


Waller, M.A. (2021) The Wayward Canon. Las Palmas: CAAM. ISBN: 978-84-17434-13-7

[Author. Co-editor of monograph with Gemma Medina. includes essay by Mike Sperlinger and conversation between Jennifer Teets, Lorenzo Cirrincione and Marie Bonnet. Mark Aerial Waller interviewed by Gemma Medina.]

Lau, J (2021) Appropriations of Literary Modernism in Media Art: Cultural Memory and the Dynamics of Estrangement. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter 

[My work Phantom Avantgarde (2010) as a central example and drive for the thesis.The book considers the formation of cultural memory and how artists have used adaptation and appropriation to reflect and sometimes influence the direction of cultural memory.]

 Carpenter, E. (2016)  Nuclear Culture Sourcebook, Black Dog Publishing ISBN-10: 1911164058

Waller, M.A. (2014) 'Synthetic Nature' in Rut Blees Luxemburg, ed. Science & Fiction, ISBN13: 9781908966506, Black Dog Publishing

Waller, M.A. (2012) SO-LA, Cell Projects, London

Waller, M.A. (2008) The Flipside of Darkness, Warsaw: CSW Zamek Ujazdowski, ISBN:978-83-61156-36-9