School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Dr Tom Schofield

Lecturer in Digital Cultures

Background

Background

My practice-based research spreads across creative computational and electronic media, archives and collections interface design / visualisation and physical computing. My PhD thesis explored the role of technological materiality in developing works of art and design as part of ecologies of experience and I continue to explore how the materials of everyday technologies can be reconfigured for new forms of creativity.

Membership of Committees 

NICAP Steering Committee member

Institute for Creative Arts Practice Steering Group Member

Education

My PhD thesis (2015) explored the role of technological materiality in developing works of art and design as part of ecologies of experience. I maintain a portfolio website for my practice here.

Languages

Italian (intermediate)

French (advanced)

Japanese (intermediate)

Research

Overview

My work with archives and cultural data engages practically with issues of digital culture through creative art and design practice. As heritage is increasingly experienced through digital means, issues of objecthood become sites for potential scholarly and creative intervention. I use art and design methods to help us think about the value of cultural heritage, bring it to new publics and rethink scholarly approaches to it. This work is significant and impactful both inside and outside the university as cultural institutions strive to retain, expand and enthuse audiences and scholars develop new understandings of the possibilities of digital methods, for example in the Digital Humanities.

I build on and extend established methods in design research mixing experimental technical development, exhibition and scholarly publishing arguing for new forms of hybrid contribution to knowledge. In my published work I draw on influences from Science and Technology Studies and contemporary continental philosophy to develop a rigorous critical approach to my creative work.

Current Funded Projects

Knowledge Transfer Partnership: Northern Stage and Newcastle University

AHRC / Innovate UK, Lead Academic: Dr Tom Schofield, Academic Supervisor: Prof Jonathan Sapsed (NUBS)

Total Value: £112,657

This project will establish within Northern Stage a new process methodology that will enable the theatre to incorporate digital technologies as part of the actual production itself and also in post-production activities. The project will focus on the use of Internet of Things technologies as the basis of participatory engagement with experimental theatre.


Out of Bounds

AHRC, PI: Dr James Proctor, CI: Dr Tom Schofield, CI Dr David Kirk, CI Dr Gemma Robinson

Total value: £77,380 

On publication, the anthology, Out of Bounds (OOB), was hailed by the leading Caribbean poet and novelist, Fred D'Aguiar, as 'an alternative A-Z of the nation'. The book focuses on black and British Asian poets as they imaginatively interact with the diverse landscapes of Britain, from the Highlands of Scotland, to the Isle of Wight. The proposed Out of Bounds project re-purposes this critically-acclaimed book to engage schools, young people and the wider public in thinking imaginatively about one of the most pressing issues facing Britain today: migration. While questions of diversity, belonging and inclusion are included in Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence and are being embedded in the revised GCSE curriculum, high profile national debate around immigration has transformed the themes of this book into a key part of daily public life. This project invites the next generation to explore these issues of national and regional belonging through the creation of an online multimedia resource, and a series of live poetry events across England, Scotland and Wales led by OOB poet, Vahni Capildeo.


Plural Heritages of Istanbul's World Heritage Sites: the case of Land Walls

RCUK-TUBITAK (AHRC), PI: Prof Chris Whitehead, CI: Dr Tom Schofield, Turkish Cis: Dr Asu Aksoy Robins, Istanbul Bilgi University; Dr Figen Corakbas, Anadolu University

Total value: £392,452

The project will develop new valorisations of the Istanbul Land (Theodosian) Walls, working with communities to co-produce both situated and web-based, public-facing digital heritage interpretation resources that reflect non-official, hitherto unauthorised understandings of the Walls and their environs. The project also builds capacity, in line with the aims of the Newton Fund, through modelling heritage management/interpretation practice, digital technologies and community engagement within the heritage sector.


Crossing Borders in the Insular Middle Ages

Humboldt Alumni Network Grant,PI: Victoria Flood (Birmingham University), CI: Dr Tom Schofield, CI: Prof John Bowers

Total Value: £22,000

This project will develop an emerging research network, tracing the transmission and translation of literary texts across the Insular world – Britain, Ireland and Iceland – during the period 1250—1550. Bringing together scholars from institutions across Europe (UK, Germany, Switzerland and the Russian Federation), we aim to produce a pilot for a digital database of transmitted and translated medieval texts. The database will detail key texts in two important medieval categories – historical and scientific literature – identifying known manuscript witnesses, with date, provenance, and language. 

History

I have contributed as a research associate to projects funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.
May-Aug 2015: Research Associate, Computer Science, CuRAtOR: Challenging online feaR And OtheRing, Newcastle University. (ESRC funded)April-May 2015: Research Associate, Computer Science, Charting the Digital Lifespan, Newcastle University. (EPSRC funded)2013-2015: Research Associate, Computer Science, Poetics of the Archive: Creative and Community Engagement with the Bloodaxe Books Archive, Newcastle University. (AHRC funded)Oct 2011-Jan 2012: Research Associate, Architecture Landscape and Planning, PATINA (Personal Architectonics through Interactions with Artefacts), Newcastle University (EPSRC funded)

Teaching

Degree Programme Director for the MA in Creative Arts Practice.

The MA in Creative Arts Practice is an opportunity to develop your creative identity, bringing it in to a conversation with digital culture. We are a vibrant and active community of professional artists, designers, musicians and performers, working together to develop and diversify our work.
Based in Culture Lab, Newcastle University’s home for creative digital practice, we are a research community at the forefront of thinking about the role of creative practice in generating new kinds of knowledge.  You will learn to work flexibly with open source and emerging technologies to develop innovative creative work. Your practice will be strengthened by exposure to research methods from experimental design and an engagement with theories of digital art, culture and technology.

Across the university

  • I contribute to the faculty PGR training programme
  • I contribute to modules in BA Fine Art

PhD Supervision

I currently supervise the following PhDs

Kathy Clough, 'Curating and interpreting historic institutional collections in the digital realm: the Maurice Broomfield photograph archive.'

Sean Cotterill, 'Investigating Open Source Hybrid Practice with Research through Design.'

Benjamin Freeth, 'Human and non-human networked experiences: investigating the aesthetic potential of post-dualistic concepts for digital media transdisciplinary practice'

Sixian Chen,  'Designing Embodied Experience as Affective Behaviour Intervention'

Outside the University

I frequently mentor hack events and teach creative technologies to artists, writers and musicians including for the British Council and Future Everything.

Publications