Chantal is an artist and writer whose photographic, painting, video and installation works have been exhibited globally.
Chantal has contributed book chapters to contemporary art publications, and regularly writes for academic journals, magazines, and exhibition catalogues. Before joining the RCA in 2010, Chantal was a lecturer in Critical and Theoretical Studies for seven years at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, where she completed a PhD in the School of Fine Art.
A research team from the RCA and Shanghai University examined the context, management and delivery of Shanghai’s West Bund Art and Design Fair and explored its relationship to Shanghai’s contemporary art world.
The Royal College of Art has been collaborating with the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts for three consecutive years since 2018. In November 2020, as part of SAFA’s annual ‘study abroad’ course, the RCA ran two workshops in Design Innovation and Practice-Led Research. These took an entirely new format, with the RCA’s academics delivering workshops online from London to participants gathered in-person at the academy in Shanghai.
Chantal’s research activities centre on the apparatus of the scanner as surrogate camera, offering a meditation on the mechanical apparatus and what it gives forth, both practically and metaphorically. The mechanism is considered as a mirror, a glass, a void and a machine where touch is the operative at play. These avenues of analysis allow for a consideration on pleasure and the meaning of loss, love and perfection, death, memory and mourning. Probing the insides of the making process itself, a correlation is made between the act of scanning and the operations of the conscious and unconscious mind.
Chantal’s research interests include art writing, contemporary art, the mechanics of vision, digital practices, absurdity, haptic aesthetics, scanning, subjectivity, and developments of the PhD in in practice-led research. This includes the application of existing models in the field, to playful adaptations and extensions of the understandings of what constitutes a research degree. She is committed to how an institution might support research students who are working at the cutting edge of their field.
Current and recent projects
Towards a Philosophy of Scanning
‘Towards a philosophy of scanning’ is an ongoing research project by Chantal that focuses on images produced by scanners. The work offers a philosophical and aesthetic exploration of the implications of scanning within contemporary imaging and its wider impact on transformations in digital cultures. Chantal’s study begins with a simple question: What happens when a flatbed scanner is used for the photographic reproduction of three-dimensional objects? This machine seems an inappropriate technology for such a task. What results is a complex aesthetic phenomenon that prompts a consideration of screen-based cultures and haptic vision. The physicality of the scanning process is shown to involve an enquiry into significant theoretical debates concerned with pleasure and affect. The flatbed scanner becomes a stage for the projection of fantasies, desires and pleasures. Introduced as a category of the photographic, this specific form of image making creates an innovative trajectory for the reading of images. ‘Towards a philosophy of scanning’ is part of Chantal’s ongoing investigation into scanning as both a process and a method through which a new understanding of haptic visuality in relation to the production and reception of images might be drawn. This body of work is an extension of her practice-led PhD research into a philosophy of scanning.
Chantal’s scanning work has been exhibited internationally at the National Gallery of Australia, Gold Coast City Gallery, and Monash Gallery of Art, and in London at Lychee One Gallery, The Koppel Project, and The Freud Museum. Faust has been invited to contribute essays on the subject of scanning for the exhibitions The Negligent Eye (Bluecoat, Liverpool) and Natur Blick (The Koppel Project, London) and has delivered presentations about scanning and haptic aesthetics at conferences including Coded Communication, Electronic Visualisation and the Arts symposium (2017); Transimage Conference, Plymouth University (2016) and The Skin of the Image Research Forum, LCC (2014),
Publications, exhibitions, other outcomes
Faust, C. (2018) ‘Ten Haikus on Thumbsucking’ in Solitary Pleasures, Marquard Smith ed., Freud Museum and Live Art Development Agency, London
Faust, C. (2017) ‘The Masochistic Pulse’ in DARK HABITS, Home Publications, Manchester
Dickie, S., Faust, C., and Graham, J. (2017) ‘ANCHORAGE: a phenomenology of outline’, Journal for Artistic Research, 12
Faust, C. (2016) ‘The Masochistic Pulse’ in SALT: Feminism and Contemporary Art, Issue 8 Noli Me Tangere, Montez Press, London, Hamburg, New York
Faust, C. (2015) ‘Thinking Through Outline’ in Joe Graham ed., ANCHOR, Marmalade Publishers of Visual Theory
Faust, C. (2015) ‘On Haptic Aesthetics’ in The SKIN of the image: Photography and the Contemporary Imaginary, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London
Faust, C. (2014) ‘The Eye of the Scanner’ in The Negligent Eye, curated by Jo Stockham, the Bluecoat, Liverpool
Faust, C. (2014) ‘Colouring in the Void’, catalogue essay for Random International: Studies in Motion, Lunds Konsthall, Sweden
Faust, C. (2014) ‘Here’s Jonny’ catalogue essay for Jonny Briggs: Monstrares, Julie Meneret Contemporary Art, New York
Faust, C. (2014) ‘When you’re smiling’ essay on the work of Rob Crosse, commissioned for Photoworks Projects, London
Faust, C. (2012) ‘Looking Out of Place’ catalogue essay for Cate Consandine: Cut Colony, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Faust, C. (2012) ‘Becoming Undone’ in Ctrl-Z: New Media Philosophy 1
Faust, C. (2012) ‘Shadow Play’ catalogue essay for Catherine Anyango and Julie Hill: Crying Out Loud, Guest Projects, London
Solitary Pleasures, curated by Marquard Smith, The Freud Museum, London, 2018.
Natur Blick, curated by Augustine Carr and Paula Zambrano, The Koppel Project, London, 2018.
Antipodean Emanations: cameraless photographs from Australia and New Zealand, curated by Stella Loftus-Hills, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, 2018.
PUSH IT: Chantal Faust and Esther Teichmann, Lychee One Gallery, London, 2016.
The Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award 2016 (finalist), Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland, 2016.
Gifted Artists, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2015.
We Come From The Water: Chantal Faust, Carol Mavor, and Esther Teichmann, Lychee One Gallery, London, 2015.
The Secretum, Balfron Tower, London, 2014.
Photography and Abstraction, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, 2012.
Love thy neighour, BUS Projects, Melbourne, 2011.
I’ll sit slightly behind you: Chantal Faust and Paul Knight, ACME Project Space, London, 2011.
Autumn Masterpieces: Highlights from the permanent collection, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2010.
Hypnopopia, curated by Jon Cattapan, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2010.
Head Land, Jenny Port Gallery, Melbourne, 2009.
Pleasure Machines, VCA Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2008.
- Editorial board: Ctrl-Z New Media Philosophy (online peer-reviewed journal)
- Visiting Lecturer: Royal Academy Schools and London College of Communication
- Invited Foreign Professor: Department of Art Theory, Korea National University of Arts, Seoul (Autumn term 2012)
- Artist representation: Lychee One, London