Staff in the Department of Visual Cultures

In this section


Photo of John Cussans

John Cussans

Associate researcher
j.cussans (

John is an artist, writer and researcher with an academic background in graphic design, illustration and art theory.

John Cussans is an artist, writer and researcher with an academic background in graphic design, illustration and art theory. His practice, which is often collaborative, crosses video, text, image-making, cultural history and alternative pedagogy. He began making and exhibiting work while completing his doctoral thesis on Georges Bataille and the Video Nasty controversy at the Royal College of Art in the mid 90’s, having his first solo exhibition at the Cabinet gallery (London) in 1994.  In 2001 he co-founded The Bughouse, an international artistic collaboration inspired by the works of the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, and in 2008 he co-founded The Free School in a New Dark Age, a no-cost, arts education initiative that became active in the student protest movement between 2010 and 2012. He has exhibited at a number of galleries internationally, and his writing has been published in several collections and journals, including Frozen Tears, Strange Attractor and Transmission Annual

Since 2009 he has been involved with the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, often working with the Haitian video collective Tele Geto. He has recently completed a book about representations of Haiti and Vodou in popular culture: Undead Uprising: Haiti, Horror and the Zombie Complex. He is currently working on an long-term artistic research project - The Skull Cracker Suite - which is designed to test Viveiros de Castros’ notion of a “permanent decolonization of thought” in the context of the contemporary art scene in British Columbia. He is a founding member of DRUGG (Diagram Research Use and Generation Group) and is currently MFA Course Leader and Departmental Lecturer at the Ruskin School of Art (Oxford).

Photo of Robin Mackay

Robin Mackay

Associate researcher
robin.mackay (

Robin has written on philosophy and contemporary art, translating works by French philosophers such as Alain Badiou.

Robin Mackay is director of UK publisher and arts organization Urbanomic, and editor of their journal Collapse. He has written widely on philosophy and contemporary art, and has instigated collaborative projects with numerous contemporary artists. He has also translated a number of important works of French philosophy, including Alain Badiou’s Number and Numbers, Quentin Meillassoux’s The Number and the Siren, Francois Laruelle’s The Concept of Non-Photography and Éric Alliez’s The Brain-Eye.

Photo of Maggie Roberts

Maggie Roberts

Associate researcher
Maggie.Roberts (

Maggie produces collage, paintings and video to explore speculative futures and science fictional transformation.

Maggie Roberts makes work both as an individual and as the collaborative artist and hive mind, 0rphan Drift, currently with tentacles in London, Capetown and San Francisco. She has participated internationally in well over a decade and a half of exhibitions, screenings and performance, mostly as part of 0D, exhibiting extensively in the UK, Europe, Canada and the States, including at the Cabinet Gallery and Tate Modern; writing the Scifi-theory text 'Cyberpositive'; and featuring in DJ Spooky's 'Sound Unbound' in the 'Renegade Academics' chapter.

Maggie has worked between London and  Capetown since 2002, continuing to produce collage, paintings and experimental video, that explore speculative futures and science fictional transformation, exhibiting as 0rphan Drift in London, Sao Paulo, San Francisco, Capetown and Vilnius. Key projects include ‘Syzygy’ and ‘Liquid Lattice’ collaborations with CCRU; AV performances at ‘Thinking Alien’ and ‘Virtual Futures’; ‘Double Walker’, ‘Motion Capture’,‘You Its Eyes’ and ‘A Wilderness Of Elsewheres’ video pieces.

Both her artistic identities are organised by time travel, via climate change, virtual reality and bio-science, manifesting science fictional pathways and arrivals. She produces iterations and investigations in multiple media: collage, video and animation, sound, actions and writing, with a visibly embedded friction between digital and analogue signal, often achieved through remixing and feedback loops between media. The work engages though an amplified tension between the experiential and the speculative, pointing out their material co-existence. 

For the last couple of years she has been researching the aesthetics of hyperobjects and hyperstitions towards ‘GIR’, an 0D project with Ranu Mukherjee.  It is a search for visual and aural forms that can relate the strange, yet common, sense of touching the future in so many surfaces, and of deep changes occurring in front of our eyes. She is also collaborating with Plastique Fantastique on a video performance project, ‘Green Skeen’ which has evolved from ‘GIR’ narratives. 

Other current projects include several exhibitions in London and in Lisbon and Berlin; a book chapter entitled ‘The Things That Knowledge Cannot Eat’, for ‘Fiction As Method’ and new series of multi media works tracing everting virtual worlds.