Professor Simon O'Sullivan

Staff details

Position Professor of Art Theory and Practice
Department Visual Cultures
Email s.o'sullivan (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7488
Professor Simon O'Sullivan

Simon O’Sullivan is a theorist and artist working at the intersection of contemporary art practice, performance and continental philosophy. He has published three monographs, two with Palgrave Macmillan, Art Encounters Deleuze and Guattari: Thought Beyond Representation (2005) and On the Production of Subjectivity: Five Diagrams of the Finite-Infinite Relation (2012), and, more recently, Fictioning: The Myth-Functions of Contemporary Art and Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press, 2019), co-written with David Burrows. He is also co-editor (with Henriette Gunkel and Ayesha Hameed) of Futures and Fictions (Repeater, 2017) and (with Stephen Zepke) of both Deleuze, Guattari and the Production of the New (Continuum, 2008) and Deleuze and Contemporary Art (Edinburgh University Press, 2009). His collaborative art practice – with David Burrows, Alex Marzeta and Vanessa Page, sometimes with and others – comes under the name Plastique Fantastique, a ‘performance fiction’ that involves an investigation into aesthetics, subjectivity, the sacred, popular culture and politics produced through, performance, film and sound work, comics, text, installations and assemblages. Plastique Fantastique have performed and exhibited widely in the UK and abroad and are represented by IMT Gallery in London.

Visit Simon O'Sullivan's website and Plastique Fantastique.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Fine Art (title: ‘Of Angels and Aliens: Meaning and the Art Object’), University of Leeds, 1999
  • MA in Cultural and Critical Theory, University of Wales, College of Cardiff, 1992
  • BA Hons in The History of Art and English Literature, University of Reading, 1990

Teaching

Current: MA special subject ‘Thinking the Sensuous: On the Production of Subjectivity’; BA third year course ‘Fictioning: From Control to Myth-Science (Parts 1 and 2)’; BA first year course ‘Beyond Boundaries’ (NB: from September 2017 O’Sullivan will be taking up Head of Department duties and not teaching all these courses).

Previous to Goldsmiths O’Sullivan taught in the Department of Fine Art at the University of Leeds.

Areas of supervision 

Aesthetics; Art Theory; Continental Philosophy (especially Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Alain Badiou); Modern and Contemporary Art (esp. Ritual and Performance, Fiction and Mythopoesis); Psycho/Schizo-analysis; The Production of Subjectivity; Non-Philosophy; Speculative Realism.

Featured work

  • Fictioning: The Myth-Functions of Contemporary Art and Philosophy (co-written with David Burrows), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019.

  • Futures and Fictions (co-edited with Henriette Gunkel and Ayesha Hameed), London: Repeater, 2017.

  • Plastique Fantastique, ‘Traitor Meme’, exhibition and performance (part of Hayward Touring show ‘The Aesthetics of Awkwardness’, The Mac, Belfast (October 2017) and Dundee Contemporary Art (March 2018).

  • Plastique Fantastique, ‘Past-Future-Catcher-Repeater’, exhibition and performance (part of ‘We are the Screamers’ TULCA Festival, Nun’s Island, Galway (November 2017)

Research Interests

Aesthetics; Art Theory; Continental Philosophy (especially Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Alain Badiou); Modern and Contemporary Art (esp. Ritual and Performance, Fiction and Mythopoesis); Psycho/Schizo-analysis; The Production of Subjectivity; Non-Philosophy; Speculative Realism.