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Key details


  • 12 January 2023

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  • 1 minute

Professor James Coupe will join the RCA from the faculty at the Center for Digital Art and Experimental Media (DXARTS) at the University of Washington, where he has taught classes in Video, Internet and Data-Driven Art since 2004. Coupe’s work explores questions of visibility, surveillance, labour, and identity by engaging with prevailing and emergent image-making systems, including social media, deep-fakes, and machine learning. His recent solo show, Warriors, was the inaugural exhibition at the International Center of Photography’s museum in New York. Coupe will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the College, having achieved a range of awards and honours as well as being widely published in leading publications.

James Coupe

James Coupe said of his new role at the RCA: “Whether we think about new image circulation practices via social media and the Internet, or synthetically generated images using AI and Deepfakes, photography and image-making is at the core of how we experience and understand our world today. For artists this is an opportunity to develop experimental work that can dissolve seemingly fixed cultural hegemonies into new, more equitable configurations and possibilities. I feel privileged to take on this role at the RCA at such a crucial moment. I am looking forward to supporting the outstanding staff and students in the Photography programme, as well as developing new interdisciplinary collaborations across the College.”

Professor Ken Neil, Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities, commented: "We are very pleased and excited to welcome James to the RCA. As we build on the long-standing reputation of Photography in the School, James brings tremendous experience from his leading work for DXARTS in Seattle and from his practice as an artist.”

Commenting on the appointment, Professor Naren Barfield, RCA Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming James Coupe to the RCA as our new Head of Photography. James brings an acute awareness and engagement with debates and practices around contemporary image-making in the context of technology and society, and will lead the Photography programme and its outstanding students and staff in interrogating these issues.”

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