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Dr Dean Kenning

Research Fellow


I am an artist and writer, involved in research directed towards aesthetic compulsion, political economy, art as social critique, art education, diagrammatics, and theories of representation.

I studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College and completed a PhD on 'The Political Nature of Art Today' at the London Consortium.

Since joining Kingston in 2008, I have co-organised symposia at the Whitechapel Gallery ('Art: What's the Use?', 2011), Tate Modern ('Towards An Avant-Gardist Conception of Gallery Education', 2012) and the ICA ('Plague of Diagrams', 2015 – part of the exhibition of the same name). I have exhibited recent artworks at venues such as BAK (Utrecht), Greene Naftali (NY) and Grundy Art Gallery (Blackpool). I have published essays in Third Text, Visual Culture in Britain, Mute and Art Monthly.

I am currently first supervisor for several practice-based PhD students at the Contemporary Art Research Centre.

Areas of specialism

  • Contemporary art
  • Kinetic art
  • Diagrams
  • Art and politics
  • Art education
  • Thinking through drawing
  • Marxism


  • PhD: 'The Political Nature of Art Today', London Consortium/Birkbeck College, 2008


I am interested in pursuing the possibilities for an art of social expression, cognitive exploration and enjoyment. Sometimes in my work, e.g. kinetic sculptures and certain videos, this is manifested through a compulsive, 'idiotically' repetitive, horror aesthetic. At other times, as with certain diagrams, live drawings and digital collages, the work operates with respect to specific issues, texts or problems (economic, political, philosophical, etc.). Influenced both by semiotic and allegorical methods of symbolic production, I am interested in creating affective forms of representation. These processes have extended into methods of teaching, as with my development of Social Body Mind Mapping and other forms of 'thinking through drawing'. Recently, I have written about art education, seeking to defend the principles of social inclusion, critical thinking and experimentation whilst drawing attention to the political contradictions of 'professional practice'. This is part of a wider political critique of the art world.

Research student supervision


Number of items: 30.


Kenning, Dean [Artist] (2017) Renaissance Man. (kinetic sculpture).

Kenning, Dean [Artist] (2012) Untitled. (Kinetic sound sculpture installation).


Kenning, Dean (2018) Art world strategies : neoliberalism and the politics of professional practice in fine art education. Journal of Visual Art Practice, ISSN (print) 1470-2029 (Epub Ahead of Print)

Kenning, Dean and Kern, Margareta (2013) Art & Politics: which side is art on. Art Monthly, 369, pp. 1-4. ISSN (print) 0142-6702

Kenning, Dean (2013) What schools can offer art: towards an avant-gardist conception of gallery education. Visual Culture in Britain, 14(3), pp. 319-341. ISSN (print) 1471-4787

Kenning, Dean (2012) Refusing conformity and exclusion in art education. Mute, ISSN (online) 1356-7748


Drew, Benedict, Hart, Emma, Jenkins, Dal, Kenning, Dean and Till, Corinna (2013) Reclaim the mural. London, U.K. : Whitechapel Gallery. 32p. ISBN 9780854882090

Book Section

Kenning, Dean (2018) The Zone. In: Duman, Alberto , Hancox, Dan , James, Malcolm and Minton, Anna, (eds.) Regeneration songs : sounds of investment and loss from East London. London, U.K. : Repeater Books. pp. 413-420. ISBN 9781912248230

Kenning, Dean [Interviewee] (2016) Dr Dean Kenning is a Research Fellow in The School of Fine Art at Kingston University. He is also a writer and an artist, most recently writing about art education. We interviewed him at the Royal Festival Hall, London. In: Allen, Jo and Rowles, Sarah, (eds.) Professional practice : 20 questions : Interviews with UK undergraduate Fine Art staff exploring how students are prepared for life after art school. London, U.K. : Q-Arts. pp. 221-232. ISBN 9780956435583

Addison, Nicholas, Burgess, Lesley, Kinsella, Victoria and Kenning, Dean (2015) Learning in art and design education. In: Addison, Nicholas and Burgess, Lesley, (eds.) Learning to teach art and design in the secondary school: a companion to school experience. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 21-70. ISBN 9780415842891

Kenning, Dean (2015) Thinking through art: the social body mind map. In: Addison, Nicholas and Burgess, Lesley, (eds.) Learning to teach art and design in the secondary school: a companion to school experience. 3rd ed. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. ISBN 9780415842884

Kenning, Dean (2010) Circling the borders. In: Sassi, Andrea, (ed.) Across the boarders. Reggio Emilia, Italy : Dispari & Dispari. pp. 28-40. ISBN 9788895600024

Conference or Workshop Item

Kenning, Dean (2018) Exploratory Diagrams. In: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018; 28 - 31 Aug 2018, Cardiff, Wales. (Unpublished)

Kenning, Dean (2018) Metallurgy of the subject. In: ASA18 : Sociality, matter, and the imagination : re-creating Anthropology; 18 - 21 Sep 2018, Oxford, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Kenning, Dean [Interviewee] and Power, Nina [Interviewer] (2018) Nina Power and Dean Kenning in discussion. In: Where it was; 31 Mar 2018, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Kenning, Dean (2017) Art world strategies : neoliberalism and the rise of professional practice in fine art education. In: For, about, nearby : the value of diversity and difference in fine art practice, research and education; 14 - 15 Sep 2017, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Kenning, Dean (2017) Neoliberalism and the politics of professional practice in fine art education. In: We Need to Talk About This : illusion of separation between us; 06 May 2017, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Kenning, Dean (2016) Freedom and control within the art school. In: Reflections on the Work of Albert Hunt / Within the Art School and Without; 17 Mar 2016, Bradford, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Cornford, Matthew, Rodriguez, Soraya and Kenning, Dean (2016) Panel 4. In: Transitions Out of Fine Art Education; 25 Jun 2016, Glasgow, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Kenning, Dean (2016) The social body mind map. In: Words of Art; 29 Nov 2016, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Kenning, Dean (2015) Exploratory diagrams. In: Plague of Diagrams : Symposium; 22 Aug 2015, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Kenning, Dean (2015) Social body mind mapping. In: Play Sense : Talking; 23 May 2015, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Berriman, Sovay [Artist], Plastique Fantastique, [Artist], Harris, Rowena [Artist], Kenning, Dean [Artist], Rebelo, Ines [Artist] and Sames, Lucy A. [Curator of an exhibition] (2013) The Starseed transmission: a diagrammatic message from outer space. The Starseed Transmission. .

Kenning, Dean, Hulson, Marc, Craddock, Lisa and Sharp, Andy (2015) Luxury Complex: Remembering Satan. Luxury Complex: Remembering Satan. .

Kenning, Dean and Burrows, David (2015) Plague of Diagrams. Plague of Diagrams. .

Still/Graphic Work

Kenning, Dean [Artist] (2018) Risograph prints. (risographs).

Performance/Live Event

Kenning, Dean [Artist] (2017) Diagramming Politics. Please Specify! International Conference on Artistic Research.

Kenning, Dean [Artist] (2017) Dialogue of the Dead. Janusware 2nd Cycle.

Kenning, Dean [Artist] (2017) Stuck Machine. Guest, Ghost, Host: Machine! Marathon.

Kenning, Dean [Artist] (2015) Building the Fetish.

This list was generated on Sun Oct 21 05:08:12 2018 BST.

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