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Student Showcase Archive

Adam Knight

MPhil work

MPhil work

Writing Desire-lines: Witnessing Sites of the Former East and Current West

This project-led research MPhil degree investigates modalities of voice as used within art-writing in a process of ‘witnessing’ architecture through two spatial and temporal sites: what I refer to as former East and current West. The research identifies and proposes a collection of methodologies for exploring writing-as-practice: voice, desire-lines and turnings. The voice acts as an accumulative method encompassing work from a survey of contemporary art-writers organised around Mladen Dolar’s seven typologies of inner speech. Voice recognises both oral and written mnemonic practices. Desire-lines seek to tether fragmentary parts of a project-led practice whilst enabling peripatetic traces with, through and for architectural sites of representation. Turnings, derived from the German word Wende; signifies a tangential movement from discernable writing strategies toward the special conditions of practice-based research as situated in a relationship with methods and outputs. Findings have been deployed in four distinct practice-based (and textually-led) outputs: a publication, an installation, a broadcast and finally a film. Each output responds to two distinct collaborative art-projects: Cultural Monuments of GDR History (with Simone Bogner) and Desert Sessions (with art collective Trackingshot).



  • MPhil


    School of Arts & Humanities


    Arts & Humanities Research, 2014–2019

  • In my work, I research sites that embody knowledges relating to (re)presentations of histories and ideologies. How are practices of forgetting or remembrance informing our current experiences of urban spaces? The research often begins with a series of field visits and recordings to establish potential working practices in fiction and documentary-making. In architecture, a desire-line is an improvised consensual route taken between buildings or sites typically defying a pre-designated track. I work with desire-lines as a method of bringing objects of research together: aural, textual and visual.

  • Degrees

  • MA Fine Art, Royal College of Art, 2007; BA (Hons) Fine Art, Kent Institute of Art and Design, 2005
  • Experience

  • Visiting Artist, Bath Spa University, 2019; Visiting Practitioner in Design Communication, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, 2018; Visiting Lecturer, Royal College of Art, London, 2018; Visiting Artist, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, 2016
  • Exhibitions

  • Open 21, MOSTYN, Llandudno, 2019; SITE WORK, Experimental Gallery, Cornell University, New York, 2019; Stadtbild HRO, Kunsthalle Rostock, Rostock, 2018; TRACKINGSHOT1. Desert Sessions, Big Screen Southend, Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, 2017
  • Awards

  • Knowledge Exchange Fund, Central Saint Martins, 2018; Research award, University for the Creative Arts, 2018; PGR Conference Fund, Royal College of Art, 2016; Professional Development Award (MPhil-funding), UCA, 2014-18
  • Conferences

  • Presenter, From horror vacui to spaces of re-enchantment: art, ecology, and urban wastelands. A workshop, University of the Arts, Berlin, 2018
  • Publications

  • WRITING CITIES: London - Los Angeles (eds) Harriet Edwards & Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Intellect Journal, Volume 10, Number 2, 1 May 2018, pp. 267-299(33) ISBN 1753-5190; The Arrow Maker 2 (eds) Ruth Hoeflich and Isabel Waidner,, 2017, ISNN 2055 2211; Why Would I Lie? (eds) Peter Le Couteur and Susannah Haslam, 2015 ISBN 978-1-910642-05-4; PROSPECTUS, (eds) John Reardon & Sissu Tarku, 2013, ISBN 978-1-78280-030-9