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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.

Monographs include 'Lyotard and the figural in Performance, Art and Writing' (Bloomsbury, 2013) and the short biography 'Jean-François Lyotard: Critical Lives' (Reaktion, 2017). Also forthcoming from Bloomsbury is the collection, edited and introduced by Kiff Bamford, 'Jean-François Lyotard: The Interviews and Debates', the result of a research project which received support from the British Academy.

The question of how to respond to art, especially performance art, is an ongoing concern in Bamford’s research, an issue that is questioned through his writings, readings and performance. An important guide accompanying this search is the work of J-F Lyotard which demands that assumptions are continually questioned.

Current Teaching

  • Module leader B.A. Fine Art level 5 - Critical Analysis
  • Tutor B.A. Graphic Arts & Design level 5 (integrated Theory and practice)
  • Supervision of traditional and practice-based PhD students
  • Director of Studies
    • Harold Offeh (PhD P/T)
      Covers: Performance, Re-enactment and The politics of Identity (expected completion 2019)
    • Simon Ringe (PhD P/T)
      Ma - The space in-between (expected completion 2021)
    • NaoKo TakaHashi (PhD P/T)
      From Text to Sound: Textuality of Spoken Word and Participatory Authorship in Contemporary Art (working title)
  • Supervisor
    • Vicky Sharples (PhD F/T)
      Immaterial Performance in lieu of the art object: a practice-based environmental research project (expected completion 2020)
    • Julia McKinlay (PhD F/T)
      in collaboration with Yorkshire Sculpture International (expected completion 2022)
  • External advisor
    • Katie Crabtree (PhD F/T Leeds Trinity University / Leeds University)
      Studenthood: A Lyotardian Rewriting of Liberal University Education (expected completion 2020)
  • Completions
    • Ian Truelove (PhD F/T)
      Collapsing Skin: Expanding Painting Through New Digital Technologies (completed 2018)
    • External advisor to visiting PhD student Patricia Azevedo
      Jogos de distancia e proximidade: A construção do espaço dialógico na arte performativa', Universidade Federale De Minas Gerais, Brazil, 2015-2016 (completed 2017)
    • Aiden Winterburn (MPhil P/T)
      The Film-Essay: a multi-modal form that thinks (completed 2019)

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, to be 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 (5)

Books (4)

  • Lyotard J-F; Bamford K (2020) Jean-Francois Lyotard: The Interviews and Debates. Edited and with Introduction by Kiff Bamford. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • Bamford K (2017) Jean-François Lyotard (Critical Lives). Critical Lives London: Reaktion Books.
  • Bamford K (2017) Bamford, K. (2017). Jean-François Lyotard: A Critical Life, London: Reaktion Books.. Reaktion Books.
  • Bamford K (2012) Lyotard and the 'figural' in Performance, Art and Writing. Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy London & New York: Continuum.

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-Francois Lyotard'. London & New York: Bloomsbury, 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)

  • Bamford K (2012), Jean-Francois Lyotard Encyclopedia people profile

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