Dr Cecilia Wee
School of Communication
School-wide Tutor (Sound Design)
Dr Cecilia Wee is a Tutor with a specialism in Sound Design, working across programmes within the School of Communication. She is part of the team shaping the Information Experience Design: Sound Design pathway. Engaged with MA teaching, as well as Research students, she is also involved in Research Knowledge Exchange projects within the School.
Dr Cecilia Wee FRSA is an independent curator, researcher and Tutor in the School of Communication, Royal College of Art. Cecilia produces projects that challenge the assumed role of creativity in society, particularly working with experimental sound, performance, visual art and design practices. Her core research interests are cultural understandings of public space, financial and economic systems, relationships with technology, environmental change, security and dialogue.Show more
Her background is in contemporary classical and experimental music, gaining a 1st Class BA (Hons) in Music at Bristol University and a MA in Music with Distinction at Sussex University, where she focussed on contemporary musical aesthetics and the post-war avant-garde.
She developed a curating and producing practice in experimental music and performance/live art, alongside presenting and producing hundreds of radio programmes on contemporary visual art, performance, music and cultural issues for London art radio station Resonance FM.
In 2005 she co-founded the interdisciplinary art event series Rational Rec at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club and other locations including the Whitechapel Gallery – notable commissions include Stanley Chapman (OuTraPo), performance artist Marcia Farquhar, experimental composer John White, Celine Condorelli and Emma Hart.
She has curated projects for organisations such as Akademie der Künste Berlin, Magazin 4 Bregenz and Tate. She was part of the core curatorial team for the Anti Design Festival (2010). Through her independent practice as well as during her time as Senior Producer at Sound and Music, Cecilia has produced a number of large-scale installations, tours, events and exhibitions with practitioners including artists Broomberg and Chanarin, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Aura Satz, Peter Kennard, sound recordist and Touch artist Chris Watson, composer Jennifer Walshe, Steve Goodman (aka Kode 9) sound theorist/founder of record label Hyperdub.
Her curatorial experiences in live art and experimental performance fed into her DPhil at Sussex University, which investigated rationales for documenting live art, with a focus on UK-based artists.
Cecilia is Chair of the Live Art Development Agency, trustee of Resonance FM, advisory board member for Artquest and former Area Council Member for Arts Council England (London Area).
Cecilia has been producing, curating and commissioning creative practitioners, especially those working with sound, experimental music, performance and live art, for more than 10 years.Show more
Since 2008 Cecilia collaborates with and is part of the German artist group BBM (Beobachter der Bediener von Maschinen), whose work focuses on technology, scientific research and the social reality of European identity. Together, they have curated exhibitions at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2009) and Motorenhalle Space for Contemporary Art, Dresden (2015), and edited anthologies of essays accompanying their thematic curatorial research.
Cecilia is an experienced facilitator and workshop leader, working with participants in industry, the cultural sector, charities and community groups. She is passionate about education and life-long learning. She continues to be excited by the challenges, potentials and mutual learning experiences of working with emerging practitioners and those who wish to change their practice.Her work is concerned with the positioning, function and experiences of creativity within and beyond the boundaries of culture and the creative industries. She considers theories and practice of listening as fundamental to both sound studies and organisational systems. Therefore, she views participation in arts governance and engagement with arts and cultural policy as a part of her practice.
Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes
Selected Curatorial Projects:Show more
Co-curator (2015), Boom, Bubble & Blast, group exhibition Motorenhalle Space for Contemporary Art, Dresden, Germany
Curatorial consultant (2014), BMW Tate Live talks, Tate, London, UK
Curator (2011), In Search of Alchemic Times, group exhibition, Brompton Design District, London, UK
Co-curator (2009), Embedded Art, group exhibition, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany
Wee, C. (ed.) (forthcoming 2016) Perform, Experience, Re-Live - The BMW Tate Live Programme. London: Tate Modern
Arndt, O., Schönenbach, J & Wee, C., (eds) (2015) Supramarkt: How to Frack the Fatal Forces of the Capitalocene. Sparnas: Irene Publishing
Arndt, O., von Rappard, M., Schönenbach, J & Wee, C., (eds) (2009) Embedded Art: Art in the Name of Security. Berlin: Argobooks
Selected conference presentations and seminars:
Wee, C. & Admiss, A., (2015) 'Futuring Social Change: Crisis and Agency', Renewable Futures Conference, RIXC, Riga, Latvia
Wee, C., (2014) 'If information makes money, does sharing destroy it?', Modern Money Conference, University of California, Berkeley, United States of America
Wee, C., (2014). 'Designing Future Financial Advice', Financial Advice and the Image of Finance symposium, University of Manchester, UK
Wee, C., (2014) Panellist – 'Sound Art Curating Conference', Goldsmiths College, London, UK
Wee, C., (2013) 'Dialogue, Sound, Society', BE Open Sound Portal masterclass, Central St Martins, London, UK
Wee, C., (2013) Chair and convenor – 'Cash is Dead! Long Live Cash!', Tent London, London Design Festival, London, UK
Wee, C., (2011) 'Performing History, Liveness and Public Space', Foro Entre Conference, Universidad Iberoamericana Architecture School, Oaxaca, MexicoWee, C., (2011) 'Participatory creative practice in a climate of dissent', Crisis of Participation; Participation in Crisis symposium, Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
Awards and Grants
2013-2015: Culture 2007-2013 Grant for co-operation projects strand 1.2.1, EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (Enquete Art)
2009: Grants for the Arts Award, Arts Council England (Rational Rec)
2008: Grants for Artists Funding, British Council (EMBEDDED ART)
Cecilia’s research falls into two overlapping yet distinct areas:
The first explores the relationship between sound and social design, namely, how sound practice plays a part in our understanding of public space, social relationships and the making of communities.
The second area is an investigation into the role of art and design in creating a more equitable society. In particular, Cecilia is interested in addressing the social and environmental contexts of financial interactions, and the way we think about money, financial and value systems.
Cecilia’s research often draws on ethnographic methods as a way to examine thematic areas.
Current and recent research
As part of artist group BBM, Cecilia was co-investigator of cultural research project ‘Enquete Art’ (EU Culture programme, 2013-15), with partners in Slovenia, Sweden, Germany and Poland. ENQuETE Art investigated the impact of the unleashed power of financial markets on our everyday lives, developing strategies to thrive after the global financial crisis.
Outputs included: interdisciplinary exhibition at Motorenhalle Dresden, Germany; guerrilla marketing campaign; workshops on alternative financial systems, Supramarkt - an anthology of essays outlining the project's research basis (Irene Publishing, 2015).
Participating practitioners included Brett Scott, Bureau d'Etudes, Electronic Disturbance Theater, Noam Chomsky, Nooshin Farhid, Penny Rimbaud, members of Einstürzende Neubauten.
As part of artist group BBM, Cecilia co-curated the interdisciplinary exhibition Embedded Art: Art in the Name of Security at Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz (2009). Over 40 international artists were commissioned to produce work as ‘embedded observers’ within future security contexts of a post- 9/11 society. Cecilia was co-editor of the exhibition catalogue (Argobooks, 2009).
Commissioned practitioners included Christina Zück, Jonathan Barnbrook, Ken Hollings & Rathna Ramanathan, Lillevan, Neville Brody, Peter Kennard & Cat Picton Phillips, Steve Goodman & Toby Heys (AUDINT). Embedded Art offered ‘virtual exhibition asylum’ to the cancelled exhibition Aesthetics of Terror curated by Manon Slome.