Dr Nina Wakeford's sociological work focuses on the development of visual sociology through inventive methods and practice-led research. Her early sociological work included ethnographic investigations of technosocial environments in the 1990s, including work on 'cyber queer'. More recently she has become interested in the intersection of Science and Technology Studies and art practice. She is the co-editor of Inventive Methods: The Happening of the Social (Routledge, 2012) a collection which explores, amongst other things, how research might better work with openness and ambiguity.
As an artist she makes work that begins with unfinished business of past social movements, and the challenges of revisiting the energies that these movements created. She is interested in how to enact demands through material engagements, the way in which identification and disidentification are forged, modes of empathy and inhabitation, and the risks of staying loyal/respectful to the kinds of materials that initiate the work.
Recently, drawing on a personal collection of feminist materials from the 1970s and 1980s, Nina has made a series of film and performance works that involve singing as a way of attaching herself to objects or images. Recent performances have been shown at the British Film Institute, Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Wellcome Collection. She is currently working on a commission for Art on the Underground (2018-20).
Nina Wakeford convenes the MA Visual Sociology.
Nina has played an active role in the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC), and has regularly presented papers at both academic and industry-led events. She has just completed a three-year Fellowship funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council in which she looked at the translations of social science knowledge and methodologies into other fields, and the knowledge making practices that academic social science might adapt from commercial settings.
Previous research projects have included studies of internet cafes, women's discussions lists and the use of ethnography by new technology designers.
Publications and research outputs
Lury, Celia and Wakeford, Nina, eds. 2012. Inventive Methods: The Happening of the Social London. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-57481-5
Prophet, Jane and Wakeford, Nina. 2010. A Conversation about Models and Prototypes. In: Hazel Gardiner and Charlie Gere, eds. Art Practice in a Digital Culture. London: Ashgate, pp. 43-60. ISBN 978-0-754-67623-2
Conference or Workshop Item
Reckitt, Helena; Blackman, Lisa; Wakeford, Nina and Fisher, Jennifer. 2016. 'Affect and Curating: Feeling the Curatorial'. In: Affect and Curating: Feeling the Curatorial. Whitechapel Gallery, London, United Kingdom 19 January 2017.
Wakeford, Nina. 2011. 'Replacing the Networked Society with Social Foam: A Revolution for Corporate Ethnography?'. In: Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings. Colorado, United States.
Wakeford, Nina. 2019. The Worker Poets, Political Repression: Weakness of memory, in search of a revolutionary future. In: "In the Open or in Stealth. The Unruly Presence of an Intimate Future", MACBA, Barcelona, Spain.
Wakeford, Nina. 2018. ‘What is important about this reality is that it hurts, makes noises, smells. That it bleeps or falls on the floor’. In: "‘What is important about this reality is that it hurts, makes noises, smells. That it bleeps or falls on the floor’", PAKT, Netherlands, July 2018.
Wakeford, Nina. 2020. 'on being allergic to onions'... we read Susan Leigh Star. In: "Genders: Shaping and Breaking the Binary", Science Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 13 February - 28 June 2020.