Professor Teresa Dillon

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About me

Teresa is a multi-disciplinary artist, researcher and educational designer who writes, studies and creates stories about the techno-civic that is the relationships that exist between people, communities, technologies and governance.

Trained in theatre studies, set design and psychology. Since the early 2000s, Teresa has worked with performance and sound as her main medium. She has worked and toured with the performance collective 'Pearson/Brookes' and created a number of collaborative site-based performances under the name Polar Produce including MEASC (2005), a large-scale multimedia work on trade and consumption, which took place in an 18th century chapel; Taking Ground (2006), which took place on a defunct bridge that explored technology, speed and communication and Come Outside (2007) a collective bike ride about energy consumption and transfer. With the visual artist and composer, Kathy Hinde she formed BOP (2007-2009) an experimental sound art project, where objects, videos and stage sets were manipulated in real-time. Between 2007-2012, Teresa directed a number of independent media art festivals, including OFFLOAD, Systems for Survival, Bristol (2007) and UM (2007-10), which took place in Lisbon, Porto and Dublin. In 2012 she was invited as led curator for the HACK-THE-CITY, Science Gallery Dublin and in 2016, invited as part of the curatorial team for transmediale, Berlin.

Teresa holds a PhD in social and educational psychology. Her research in this field has focused on music within learning and therapeutic settings and the design of learning experiences outside of school settings, in cities and with technology. As an independent educational designer, she has worked in multi-disciplinary teams, co-developing ideas and prototypes for mobile, locative and pervasive learning in city, school and community settings. In this capacity she has worked (2003-2009) for Futurelab and the BBC on Participate a nation-wide environmental sensing project and for various government and semi-state bodies on future technology trends and their impacts.

Since 2016, Teresa has returned to making performances. Canary Songs (2016), a sonic re-enactment and choral performance made for a 5.1 cinema space, drew on history of female workers in WW1 ammunition factories. MTCD – A Visual Anthology of My Machine Life (2018) a solo performance and monologue, with accompanying visuals, explored on her relationship with machines, taking one from year of her life.  Her installation based work (AMHARC, 2018; UNDER NEW MOONS WE STAND STRONG, 2016) expands traditional set design, collaborating with artists such as Jana Barthel she creates large scale, models of urban surveillance and network hard-wares from discarded materials, namely cardboard.

Teresa's work has been published and exhibited internationally (Art Electronica, Helsinki Design Week, LABoral, 7a*11d, Locws International); presented at various conferences and symposia (ISEA, Make City, EcoCity, Istanbul Biennale) and reviewed in Nature Magazine, Wire, Creators and BBC online. She is a Humboldt Fellow and held research and lecture positions at Cambridge University, UK and Trinity College Dublin. Since 2013, she directs Urban Knights.

Area of expertise

Teresa writes, studies, makes and tells stories about urban space and technology with a special interest in notions of survival; maintenance and repair cultures; interspecies relationships; sonic histories and re-enactments of the build environment and the performance of such histories and folklores; data and digital rights; surveillance and its effects; and the creation of free and open source civic resources. 

Prior to focusing on such topics, her academic research explored the design and use of music technologies and sound in learning and therapeutic settings and the learning processes involved, when we make and collaborate with others outside of formal, institutional settings (e.g., DO-IT-WITH-OTHERS, informal peer-to-peer situations).  ​

Since joining UWE in Sept 2016, alongside continuing to work on the above themes, she also supervises PhD students and teaches into Fine Art programmes. She is the modular leader on the MA in Creative Production and currently the Principle Investigator on RepairActs, with Co-Investigator Professor Caitlin de Silvey, Exeter University and Co-I with Professor Jon Dovey on the South West Creative Technology Network.

Full list of art works and publications can be found here: Teresa Dillon and (publications only/requires registration).


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