Dr Josephine Berry
Josephine started teaching at Goldsmiths in 2008 after developing a rich set of critical and practical tools for analysing and participating in cultural production as an editor, writer and events organiser. She has recently joined the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Department after teaching at the Centre for Cultural Studies for nearly a decade. She has worked as an editor for the cultural politics magazine Mute since 1995, which has developed into a crucial and much valued resource for those wishing to think through cultural, natural and technological questions in the midst of post-internet globalisation.
Her PhD thesis was one of the first to address net art and considered the ways in which computer networks participate in art's redefinition after Duchamp and the demise of the artwork's aura, originality and siting in gallery space. As the fall out of New Labour era regeneration programmes started to reveal a different face of globalisation, with cities being turned into branded investment opportunities for international capital, her interest turned to the politics of aesthetics at the fulcrum of the 'creative economy'. This has led Josephine into a longer research project involving the relationship between creativity, life and biopower.
Josephine is Lab Lecturer for the MA Culture Industry, focusing on experimental methods of research and a spatial approach to culture.
She teaches an option module entitled ‘Biopolitics and Aesthetics’ which she developed in 2010.
Area of supervision
Josephine supervises PhD students in the areas of cultural politics, art and aesthetics, biopolitics, digital culture, creative economy, neoliberal urbanism and culture-led regeneration, urban activism, site-specific art, and art in the public sphere.
Her monograph, Art and Bare Life, (Sternberg Press, 2019), brings the biopolitical theory initiated by Michel Foucault to bear on aesthetic theories of autonomous art in a way that is still rare within art writing. The simultaneous emergence of the democratic state, life sciences and artistic autonomy are read in combination as an effect of the Enlightenment’s dismantling of divine Truth and sovereignty. Its epistemic rupture precipitated open, material and polemical models of life, politics and art. Yet the discovery of life’s openness to transformation is also understood as driving power’s newly invasive techniques of control. Art and power’s shared desire to ‘change life’ – that describes both inoculation programmes and art after Baudelaire – create parallels and intersections in their forms and development in urgent need of analysis. Art and Bare Life argues it is the openness and ‘aimlessness’ of life that forms one of modernity’s central dilemmas for artists and philosophers as much as governments and capitalist production. If autonomous art is centrally concerned with life’s reinvention, its susceptibility to biopolitical transformation becomes an overt risk of its very development.
Publications and research outputs
Berry, Josephine. 2018. Art and (Bare) Life: A Biopolitical Inquiry. Berlin, Germany: Sternberg Press. ISBN 9783956793936
Berry, Josephine and Iles, Anthony. 2010. No Room to Move: Radical Art and the Regenerate City. Mute Publishing Ltd.
Berry, Josephine and van Mourik Broekman, Pauline, eds. 2009. Proud to Be Flesh: A Mute Anthology. Mute. ISBN 978-1906496289
Berry, Josephine. 2021. Spectatorial Splitting and Transcultural Seeing in the Age of Pandemics. In: Saul Newman and Tihomir Topuzovski, eds. The Posthuman Pandemic. London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781350239081
Berry, Josephine and Iles, Anthony. 2019. From Isolation to Exultation: the Spatial Situation of the Artist’s Studio from Industrial Modernity to Financialisation. In: Ana Vilenica and Elena Marchevska, eds. Art and Housing Struggles: Between Art and Political Organizing. Bristol/London: Intellect Books/LADA.
Berry Slater, Josephine. 2015. Dis-Embodying Regeneration. In: , ed. Alex Frost: Property Guardian. London: Flat Time House, pp. 45-50.
Berry, Josephine. 2007. ‘Un-deleting the World: Art at the Poles’. In: Jonty Tarbuck and Matt Hearn, eds. This Will Not Happen Without You: From the Collective Archive of the Basement Group, Projects UK and Locus+ (1977-2007). Locus+. ISBN 978-1899377251
Berry, Josephine. 2006. ‘Unassignable Leakage’. In: Joasia Krysa, ed. Curating Immateriality: The Work of the Curator in the Age of Network Systems (DATA Browser). Autonomedia. ISBN 978-1570271731
Berry, Josephine. 2020. How to Explain Pictures to a Dying Human: On Art in Expanded Ontologies. The Large Glass Magazine(27/28), pp. 7-18.
Berry, Josephine. 2016. Agents or Objects of Discontinuous Change? Blairite Britain and the Role of the Culturepreneur. Kunstlicht,, 36(1), pp. 25-33. ISSN 0921-5026
Berry, Josephine. 2015. Everyone is Not an Artist: Autonomous Art Meets the Neoliberal City. New Formations, 84/85, pp. 20-40. ISSN 0950-2378
Berry, Josephine. 2012. 'The Ghosts of Participation Past', a review of Claire Bishop's Artificial Hells. Mute,
Berry, Josephine. 2012. 'Orgy of the Non-Self', a review of Yayoi Kusama. Mute, 3(3),
Berry, Josephine. 2003. ‘Human, all too Posthuman? Net Art and its Critics’. Tate Online (website),
Berry, Josephine and van Mourik Broekman, Pauline. 2003. 'Countdown to Zero, Count up to Now: an Interview with APG'. Mute Magazine, 1(25),
Berry, Josephine. 2002. Bare Code: Net Art and the Free Software Movement’. on the occasion of the NetArtCommons exhibition, Gallery 9/ Walker Art,
Berry, Josephine. 2001. Repeat and Win. Mute Magazine, 1(22),
Berry, Josephine. 2000. Another Orwellian Misnomer? Tactical Art in Virtual Space. Inventory, 2,
Berry, Josephine. 1999. What is to be Screened? Net Utopias and their Discontents. Afterall, pilot,
Conference or Workshop Item
Berry, Josephine. 2019. 'Between Kitchen Semiotics and the Privatised Public: How is the Personal Political in Art Today'. In: Private Life. University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom 10 June 2019.
Berry, Josephine. 2016. 'Self-relation as Self-negation in Post-Internet Art'. In: Technology is Not Neutral. Watermans Gallery, United Kingdom.
Berry, Josephine. 2014. 'Did the Death of the Author Kill the Critic?'. In: A Few Reasons for a Non-Dismissive Art,. Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal.