Ele Carpenter is a curator and writer in politicised art and social networks of making. Her curatorial practice responds to interdisciplinary socio-political contexts such as the nuclear economy and the relationship between craft and code. Her curatorial research into nuclear culture investigates the contemporary aesthetics of living in the nuclear anthropocene through commissioning new work, field research, writing, and curating exhibitions, film screenings and roundtable discussions. In partnership with the Arts Catalyst the project is commissioning new work in response to the issues raised by dismantling British nuclear submarines in consultation with members of the Submarine Dismantling Project Advisory Group.
Ele is an Associate Curator with Arts Catalyst London, and Bildmuseet, Sweden. Current exhibitions include: Material Nuclear Culture, KARST, Plymouth (2016); Perpetual Uncertainty, Bildmuseet, Sweden. She is editor of The Nuclear Culture Source Book, Black Dog Publishing, (2016), and convenor of the Nuclear Culture Research Group at Goldsmiths.
- 2008, Ph.D., Politicised Socially Engaged Art and New Media Art, CRUMB, University of Sunderland
- 1996, Post Graduate Diploma in Art Gallery & Museum Studies, University of Manchester
- 1993, BA Hons. Fine Art Sculpture, Leeds Metropolitan University
Ele was awarded an AHRC Early Career Research Fellowship (2012-13) for her curatorial research into Nuclear Culture in partnership with Arts Catalyst. She curated Actinium with S-AIR, Sapporo, Japan (2014). Previously she has worked as a curator with CCA Glasgow (2002-2005), Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art in Sunderland (1997-2002) and Side Cinema/Star & Shadow Cinema in Newcastle upon Tyne (2002-2006).
Ele is also curator of the Open Source Embroidery project exploring the relationship between open source production and distribution models in textiles and code. She is currently facilitating the ‘Embroidered Digital Commons’ a distributed embroidery of ‘A Concise Lexicon of/for the Digital Commons’ written by the Raqs Media Collective. The ‘Html Patchwork’ is on display at the National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park.
- The Smoke of Modernity drifts through the Anthropocene, In: Power of the Land, ed H. Grove-White. (2016)
- Shifting the Nuclear Imaginary’ Book chapter, In: Cold War Legacies: Systems, Theories, Aesthetics, eds John Beck, Ryan Bishop, Edinburgh University Press. (2016)
- Technology the Handmade and Free Speech, In: ‘Build Your Own: Tools for sharing', Crafts Council & FACT. (2015)
- Open Source Embroidery: Curatorial Facilitation of Material Networks, In: The Textile Reader, ed. Jessica Hemmings. Berg. (2012)
Carpenter, Ele. 2016. The Smoke of Nuclear Modernity Drifts through the Anthropocene. In: Helen Grove-White, ed. Power in the Land. Wales: X-10, pp. 17-29. ISBN 978-1-78280-732-2
Carpenter, Ele. 2016. Shifting the Nuclear Imaginary: Art and the Flight from Nuclear Modernity. In: Ryan Bishop and John Beck, eds. Cold War Legacies: Systems, Theories, Aesthetics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9781474409483
Carpenter, Ele. 2012. Open Source Embroidery: Curatorial Facilitation of Material Networks. In: Jessica Hemmings, ed. The Textile Reader. London: Berg, pp. 336-346. ISBN 9781847886347
Carpenter, Ele. 2010. Intervention & Revolution, Interview with Gregory Sholette and Nato Thompson. In: Sarah Cook; Beryl Graham; Verina Gfader and Axel Lapp, eds. A Brief History of Working with New Media Art: Conversations with Artists. Sunderland UK / Berlin Germany: The Green Box, pp. 111-127.
Carpenter, Ele. 2009. Art-Activist Symmetry in the artwork of Oliver Ressler. Ressler.it,
Carpenter, Ele; Mabb, David; Crowe, Nick; Craighead, Alison; Schuppli, Susan and Weir, Andy. 2016. Perpetual Uncertainty, exhibition. In: "Perpetual Uncertainty", Bildmuseet, Sweden, 2 October 2016 - 26 August 2018.
Carpenter, Ele; Mabb, David; Craighead, Alison; Crowe, Nick; Schuppli, Susan; Takeuchi, Kota and Kobayashi, Erika. 2016. Material Nuclear Culture, Exhibition. In: "Material Nuclear Culture", KARST Gallery, United Kingdom, 17 June - 13 August 2016.