Professor Simon Morris, Director of Research

Professor Simon Morris

Director of Research

In 2002, Morris founded the publishing imprint information as material. He is the author of numerous experimental books, including; Bibliomania (1998); The Royal Road to the Unconscious (2003); Re-Writing Freud (2005); Getting Inside Jack Kerouac’s Head (2010); and Pigeon Reader (2012). He is an occasional curator and a regular lecturer on contemporary art and also directed the documentary films sucking on words: Kenneth Goldsmith (2007) and making nothing happen: Pavel Büchler (2010). He has had solo shows at the Freud Museum in London and Printed Matter Inc., New York City. He regularly gives talks on his work and was recently invited to speak at; The Royal Academy in the Hague, Holland; Warsaw Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland; the Kelly Writer’s House at the University of Pennsylvania; USA, Cabinet Gallery in Brooklyn, New York City, USA, Harvard University, Boston, USA and the Literaturwerkstatt in Berlin, Germany.

“True watershed works, I suspect, are quite rare in the history of art. Duchamp’s Fountain is certainly one. Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and John Cage’s 4'33" may be others. Each of these forced not only artists but ultimately the general public to rethink their notions of art. Each changed the nature and trajectory of art. Potential watershed works are those that stand at the outer boundary of our concepts of art and push further outward. This is where Getting Inside Jack Keroauc’s Head stands.” - Darren Hudson Hick, ‘Ontology and the Challenge of Literary Appropriation’ for the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 71:2 Spring 2013, The American Society for Aesthetics.

“Getting Inside Jack Keroauc’s Head is an exemplary instance of a conceptual work that operates by means of remediation and reclassification.” – Paul Stephens, ‘From the Personal to the Proprietary: Conceptual Writing’s Critique of Metadata’ for Digital Humanities Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2012

“I can think of no more exemplary introduction to uncreative writing, or to the broader field of conceptual writing, than this book.” – Doug Nufer ‘On the Road Again’ in American Book Review, vol.32, no.4 (Victoria: University of Houston, May/June 2011) p.11

Current Teaching

Simon teaches across the school of Architecture, Art and Design. He is the organizer of INSIDE/OUT, the School public lecture series which involves inviting and hosting the brightest minds of our generation to come and speak at Leeds Beckett University. One key responsibility is the coordination of Unit: 32 - Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory for the University submission for REF 2020.

Research Interests

Simon Morris’ research appears in the form of exhibitions, publications, installations, films, actions and texts which all revolve around the form of the book and often involve collaborations with people from the fields of art, creative technology, literature and psychoanalysis.

Simon Morris examines the relationship between reading and art. He proposes a new method of making art via conceptualist performed readings. This method grafts the aesthetic legacy of Conceptual Art on to various notions of writing (from literary composition to data management) in order to produce materially-specific poems as artworks that have in some way re-read a found object. This is an art of reading things differently. It starts from a premise proved by the impossibility of making purely conceptual art: that art is always aesthetical and conceptual. To that it couples an obsession with language as both material signifier and social activity. In doing so it establishes a mode of making art that asks: What could we write if reading could be a materially productive act of making art? How might a certain kind of reading-as-making problematise the understandings of authorship, production and reproduction ensconced in our cultural industries? Morris’ work celebrates reading differently as a praxis of exploring the elsewhere of what languages and their users can mean and do. Morris is committed to working collaboratively and against all-too-certain counter-productive divisions between contemporary art and contemporary literature.

Professor Simon Morris, Director of Research

Selected Outputs

  • Morris S (In press) ‘the audience are politely reminded the ears have no lids’.

  • Morris S (In press) spinning: de-centering the self.

  • Morris S (In press) A Text that Destroys Itself in the Process of Its Own Reading, at the Gustav Metzger Congress.

  • Morris S; Lavers R (In press) ‘the voice and nothing more’.

  • Morris SDC (2018) Learn to Read Differently. In: Brillenburg Wurth K; Driscoll K; Pressman J ed. Book Presence in a Digital Age. Bloomsbury Publishing, pp. 163-194.

  • Morris SDC eds. Andersson A (2017) Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art (Book). University of Toronto Press.

  • Morris SDC eds. Morris S (2016) Reading As Art (Book). 1000 York: Information As Material.

  • (2016) READING AS ART.

  • Morris SDC; Brouws J; Burton W; Zschiegner H (2013) Various Small Books: Referencing Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha (The Royal Road to the Unconscious). London: MIT Press.

  • Dworkin C; Morris S; Thurston N (2012) Do or Diy (Information as Material). 2012 York: Information as Material.

  • Morris S (2012) Pigeon Reader (Information As Material). 750 Middlesbrough: Information as Material.

  • Morris S eds. Thurston N (2010) Getting Inside Jack Kerouac's Head (Information as Material). York: Information as Material.

  • Morris S (2008) Spinning: de-centering the self. York: information as material.

  • Morris S (2005) Re-writing Freud. Information As Material.

  • Morris S; Britton H (2003) The Royal Road to the Unconscious (Book). 750 York: Information As Material.

  • Morris S (2002) Interpretation. York: information as material.

  • Morris S (2002) Interpretation. York: information as material.

  • Morris S (2000) Bibliomania. York: information as material.

  • Morris S; Helen Sacoor HC (1998) Bibliomania. York: information as material.

  • Morris SDC (2016) Forms of Criticism (Symposium). In: Forms of Criticism symposium, 30 June 2016, University of Westminster, Regent St. Campus, London..

  • Morris S (2014) Publishing as Performance. In: X marks the Bökship, 17 September 2014, Matt's Gallery.

  • Morris S (2014) Algorithm in Amsterdam (University of Amsterdam). In: Algorithm in Amsterdam, 11 June 2014, University of Amsterdam, Department of Musicology..

  • Morris S (2014) Publishing as Performance Symposium. In: Publishing as Performance Symposium, 25 April 2014, Prinsessegracht 4, 2514 AN The Hague The Netherlands.

  • Morris S (2014) Materiality of Literature. In: Ravenstein Seminar: Materiality of Literature, 5 February 2014 - 7 February 2014, Utrecht University and OSL.

  • Morris S (2014) Conceptual Poetics Day: Getting Inside Jack Kerouac’s Head. In: Conceptual Poetics Day, 7 December 2014, Berlin.

  • Morris S (2014) Original Pirate Material. In: Original Pirate Material, 6 December 2014, Literaturwerkstatt.

  • Morris S (2013) The Book Lover’s Symposium. In: The Book Lover’s Symposium, 25 October 2013 - 27 October 2013, The Book Lover’s Symposium at Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, Poland, 25-27 October, 2013 on the invitation of David Marato and Joanne Zielinska..

  • Morris S (2013) Arts Research Initiative (Research and Practice Forum, University of Cumbria). In: Arts Research Initiative, 23 October 2013, Research and Practice Forum, Faculty of Education, Arts and Business.

  • Morris S (2013) The Writing Industry. In: The Writing Industry, 8 June 2013, Birkbeck, University of London, Keynes Library.

  • Morris S (2012) Book Presence in a Digital Age. In: Book Presence in a Digital Age Symposium, 28 May 2012 - 30 May 2012, Department of Modern Languages.

  • Morris S; Simon Z; Thurston N; Morris C; Dworkin C (2011) Summer School for Literary Perverts. In: Summer School for Literary Perverts, 26 July 2011 - 28 July 2011, The Whitechapel Gallery.

  • Morris S (2009) The Voice and Nothing More. In: The Voice and Nothing More, 12 January 2009 - 16 January 2009, Slade Research Centre.

  • Morris S; Thurston N (2008) A Perverse Library. In: Writing Encounters Symposium, 11 September 2008 - 13 September 2008, York St John University.

  • Morris S (2006) Freud in Translation, Freud in Transition. In: Freud in Translation, Freud in Transition. Psychoanalysis and the Arts & Humanities: A Multilingual Perspective,, 24 November 2006 - 25 November 2006, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies.

  • Morris S (In press) Ed Ruscha: Books & Co., Gagosian Gallery.

  • Morris S (In press) Do or DIY (Expanded Second Edition).

  • Morris S (In press) re: follow-ed (after hokusai).

  • Morris S (In press) Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art (Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, USA, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, Canada, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State, University, USA).

  • Morris S (In press) Esthétique du livre d’artiste: collections et inventaires.

  • Morris S (In press) Convergance: Literary Art Exhibition (Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Limerick City Art Gallery).

  • Morris S (In press) Doing Things With Words.

  • Morris S (In press) Les Artistes Face Aux Livres.

  • Morris S (In press) Psyche and Muse: Creative Entanglements with the Science of the Soul.

  • Morris S (In press) Re-Writing Freud.

  • Morris S (In press) A Kind of “Huh”?.

  • Morris S (In press) information as material.

  • Morris S (In press) Learn How to Read Differently (The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art).

  • Morris S (In press) The Perverse Library.

  • Morris S (In press) The Royal Road to the Unconscious (The Telephone Repeater Station, Catterick, North Yorkshire, The Freud Museum, Hampstead, London, The University of Leeds, Leeds, Yorkshire, Art Metropole, Toronto, Canada).

  • Morris S (In press) Les Artistes Face Aux Livres.

  • Morris SDC (In press) Reading As Art (Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre).

  • Morris SDC (In press) Ed Ruscha Books & Co. (The Royal Road to the Unconscious).

  • Morris SDC (In press) Publishing as an artistic toolbox: 1989-2017 (Sucking On Words: Kenneth Goldsmith).

  • Morris SDC (In press) Les Artistes Face Aux Livres (Scriptorial Place d’estouteville Avranches, France).

  • Morris SDC (In press) Paint Her to Your Own Mind ( Shandy Hall Gallery, Coxwold, York, Constantine Gallery, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, &Model Gallery, 19 East Parade, Leeds).

  • Morris SDC (In press) The Art of Reading: From William Kentridge to Wikipedia (The Royal Road to the Unconscious).

  • Morris SDC (In press) Conceptual Poetics (The Poetry Library at Royal Festival Hall, London).

  • Lavers R; Schneider N; Robin L; Dworkin C; Morris C (2010) Making Nothing Happen: Pavel Büchler (Information As Material).

  • Lavers R; Morris C; Harmann-Hardeman. J; Fowler F; Biggiero F; Fitterman R; Cole B; Andrews B (2007) sucking on words: Kenneth Goldsmith.

  • Morris S; Dworkin C; Thurston N (2012) Publishing Imprint: Information as Material (iam).

  • Morris S; Thurston N; Dworkin C (2011) Writer-in-Residence.

  • Goldsmith K (2011) Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing.