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Dr Kiff Bamford

About Dr Kiff Bamford

Dr Kiff Bamford is Reader in Contemporary Art, with research interests in Performance art and Continental Philosophy. He has published widely on the work of French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard with a focus on the inter-relationship between Art and Philosophy.

Monographs include: 'Jean-François Lyotard: Critical Lives' (Reaktion, 2017) and  'Lyotard and the figural in Performance, Art and Writing' (Continuum, 2012). Bamford edited and introduced the collection 'Jean-François Lyotard: The Interviews and Debates' (Bloomsbury, 2020). In press is a translation of Lyotard’s 1991 work ‘Lectures d’enfance’, which Bamford has co-edited with Prof. Robert Harvey (Stony Brook, New York) under the title 'Readings In Infancy’ (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).

A current project, which aims to debate and demonstrate Lyotard’s continued relevance to the arts and humanities, is the collection ‘Lyotard and Critical Practice’ (Bloomsbury, forthcoming). Co-edited with Margret Grebowicz (University of Silesia, Katowice) this volume will include the work of thirteen scholars, writers and artists together with translations of essays and an interview by Lyotard.

Current Teaching

  • B.A. Fine Art
  • B.A. Graphic Design
  • Supervision of traditional and practice-based PhD students
Director of Studies
  • Simon Ringe (PhD P/T)
    Ma - The space in-between
  • NaoKo TakaHashi (PhD P/T)
    From Text to Sound: Textuality of Spoken Word and Participatory Authorship in Contemporary Art
  • Vicky Sharples (PhD F/T)
    Immaterial Performance in lieu of the art object: a practice-based environmental research project (awaiting examination)
  • Julia McKinlay (PhD F/T)
    in collaboration with Yorkshire Sculpture International (expected completion 2021)
  • Katie Crabtree (PhD F/T Leeds Trinity University / Leeds University)
    Studenthood: A Lyotardian Rewriting of Liberal University Education (expected completion 2021)
  • Helen Clarke (PhD P/T)
    Streetwalker: The Flâneuse and the Electronic Flâneur (expected completion 2022)
  • Harold Offeh (PhD)
    Covers: Performance, Re-enactment and The politics of Identity (expected completion 2019)
  • Aiden Winterburn (MPhil)
    The Film-Essay: a multi-modal form that thinks (completed 2019)
  • Ian Truelove (PhD)
    Collapsing Skin: Expanding Painting Through New Digital Technologies (completed 2018)
  • Patricia Azevedo (external advisor to visiting PhD student 2015-6, Universidade Federale De Minas Gerais, Brazil, completed 2017)
    Jogos de distancia e proximidade: A construção do espaço dialógico na arte performativa',

Research Interests

Kiff's current research continues to disseminate Lyotard’s work and provocations through publication projects and collaborations.

A British Academy grant supported the preparation of an edited collection of interviews and debates with J-F Lyotard, including many new translations, published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2020. This project follows on from research which resulted in the first book to consider Lyotard’s work in the context of his life and times. Published in the series ‘Critical Lives’ by Reaktion books it includes new research from interviews, archives and lesser known works, taking an interdisciplinary approach to Lyotard’s involvement in philosophy, art, literature, politics, teaching and writing. The hesitation which dominates the tone of the book, an uncertainty with regard to the genre of biography, was echoed in two symposia which Kiff Bamford programmed together with Leeds Beckett colleague and performance artist, Harold Offeh. Held at the Tetley, Leeds and ICA, London, the symposia were titled ‘Performance and Uncertainty’ and brought together international artists and writers to question the role of re-performance, to confront collective assumptions about authenticity and the changing role of the artist’s body, through presentations, discussions and performances.

Selected Publications

Journal articles (6)

Books (4)

Chapters (9)

  • Bamford K (2018) 'Lyotard' entry to Bloomsbury Handbook to Literary and Cultural Theory. In: Di Leo J Bloomsbury Handbook to Literary and Cultural Theory. : Bloomsbury, pp. .
  • Bamford K (2017) Give Me a Sign: An anxious Exploration of Performance on Film, Under Lyotard's Shadow. In: Acinemas: Lyotard's Philosophy of Film. : Edinburgh University Press, pp. 150-162.
  • Bamford K (2016) No Place for Complacency: The Resistance of Gesture. In: Gaillard J; Nouvet C; Stoholski M Traversals of Affect: On Jean-François Lyotard. London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 99-112.
  • Bamford K (2014) How can 'I' become 'Je' and should I even try? Gina Pane's 'minor' action. In: RE: Histoires de quelques expositions et performances originales destinées à servir d'armes nouvelles pour sʼorienter vers une histoire mineure des performances et expositions. Paris: It: Editions, pp. .
  • Bamford K; Bosson O (2014) 'REC: Une formation du spectateur'. (trans. Jef Caro).. In: Pinaroli F RE: Histoires de quelques expositions et performances originales destinées à servir d'armes nouvelles pour sʼorienter vers une histoire mineure des performances et expositions. Paris: It: Editions, pp. .
  • Bamford K (2014) Comment devenir Je et cela en vaut-il la peine? Une action "mineure" de Gina Pane. In: . : , pp. .
  • Bamford K (2013) A late performance: Intimate distance (Yingmei Duan). In: Rereading Jean-François Lyotard: Essays on His Later Works. : , pp. 81-95.
  • Bamford K (2013) A Late Performance: Intimate Distance (Yingmei Duan). In: Bickis H; Shields R Rereading Jean-Francois Lyotard. : Ashgate Publishing, pp. .
    View Repository Record
  • Bamford C (2011) 'Arrive-t-il?' 'Is it happening?': Questions of Duration and the Ephemeral in Acconci, Abramović and Lyotard. In: Hearn M; Hao S Notes on a Return. Artists, Anne Bean ... [Et Al.]. : Arts Edition North, pp. .

Conference contributions (18)

  • Bamford K (2019) 'Publish or perish!': the ironic rallying cry of Jean-François Lyotard University of California, Irvine, USA 07/11/2019.
  • Bamford K; Harvey R (2018) 'Get my Drift?' A conversation on Lyotard's Legacy with a consideration of 'J-F Lyotard: Critical Lives' by Kiff Bamford; Robert Harvey (Distinguished Professor, Stony Brook University) and Kiff Bamford (Leeds Beckett University, UK) Harriman Hall, Philosophy Department, Stony Brook University, Long Island, New York .
  • Bamford K (2018) "'No phrase is the first.'§184." Centre for Theoretical Inquiry, University of Indiana, Bloomington IN, USA 13/04/2018.
  • Bamford K (2017) Powerlessness and the Word: Lyotard's Breathless Hesitation 17/10/2017. Leeds Univeirsty:
  • Bamford K (2017) Symposia Introduction and the performance talk Opening Uncertainty Institute of Contemporary Art, London 04/03/2017.
  • Bamford K (2017) Performance and Uncertainty The Tetley, Leeds & ICA, London 04/02/2017.
  • Bamford K (2015) Unwelcome Performativity: Playing with Lyotard (provocation) Tetley, Leeds 24/06/2015.
  • Bamford K (2015) Lyotard's Lips. Quivering as I go to speak Leeds Library and Art Gallery 26/02/2015.
  • Bamford, K (2014) Freezing the Flow: Performance Art in the Museum Panel: Sensing Topologies : Embodied Process, Continuous Mutation, and the Figural in Contemporary Media, Dance, and Performance Art Dallas, Texas 09/10/2014.
  • Bamford K (2014) 'Give me a sign: an anxious exploration of performance on film, under Lyotard's shadow' University of Dundee 07/05/2014.
  • Bamford C (2013) 'No place for complacency:the resistance of gesture' Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA 21/03/2013.
  • Bamford C (2012) How can 'I' become 'Je' and should I even try? Gina Pane's minor action. Raven Row Gallery, London. and Slade School of Art, UCL, London 05/09/2012.
  • Bamford C (2011) Performing Lyotard Manchester Metropolitan University 17/11/2011.
  • Bamford C (2011) A Late Performance. University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada 11/02/2011.
  • Bamford C (2010) The Other as Host: Gina Pane's 'Je' Sheffield Hallam University 01/07/2010.
  • Bamford C (2010) Wildly Attentive. Session: Reading to Attention. University of Glasgow 15/04/2010.
  • Bamford C (2008) 'Arrive-t-il?' 'Is it happening?': Questions of duration and the ephermeral in Acconci, Abramovic and Lyotard . University of Manchester:
  • Bamford C (2008) Finding the Figural in Lyotard and Deleuze . Manhcester Metropolitan University: Actual/ Virtual.

Internet publications (1)

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