Dr Wood Roberdeau

Staff details

Wood’s ongoing work concentrates on art theory and practice that addresses ecological and environmental concerns.

My background in the art world has directed me to develop a more theoretical or philosophical approach to contemporary creative practices within the wider environmental humanities. I explore modes of everyday experience through phenomenology and philosophical post-humanism to ask how a poetics of space and place or the 'lived environment' might resonate with climate change and futurity. My writing and pedagogy have been grounded by the spatial theme of dwelling or 'inhabitation' and new concepts of political ecology or 'cohabitations' following twentieth- and twenty-first century eco-criticism. I am particularly interested in questions concerning cultural production and reception in times of climate crisis and activism that explore a poetics of encounter, observation and participation (an 'eco-poetics'). I have published on culinary materialism and the alimentary, visual practices, 'vital materialism', and the rural vs. the urban as a complex spatial paradigm for eco-critical thinking.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London 2008
  • MA in Contemporary Art, Sotheby's Institute of Art, London 2002
  • BA in French Literature and Philosophy, Colorado College, Colorado Springs 1999

Teaching and supervision

From 2019-22 I was Head of Department in Visual Cultures. During that time, I convened the MA Contemporary Art Theory Core Course entitled Conceptual Ecologies. I currently teach across our programmes and on the following undergraduate and postgraduate modules:

Space & Time (BA year 1, 30 credits)
Inhabitations (BA year 2, 15 credits)
Cohabitations (BA year 2, 15 credits)
Ecopoetics (MA, 30 credits)

Previous modules I have convened include: Introduction to Art History, Contemporary Art Worlds, London Art Worlds, Postmodernities, and Contemporaneities.

Additionally, I am an examiner for the MA Contemporary Art Theory Symposium and contribute to the MA Research Architecture Symposium. I have supervised MA dissertations at the Royal College of Art and I currently supervise dissertations on both MA CAT and MARA at Goldsmiths.

Being part of the Department's research clusters on 'Environmental Humanities and Ecologies', 'Philosophy, Critical and Visual Theory', and 'Political Aesthetics', I have supervised and am currently supervising doctoral theses on networked retreat, shadow aesthetics, the post-photographic, the politics of food, and wildfire aesthetics. I have examined doctoral theses at Goldsmiths, the University of Westminster, and the University for the Creative Arts. I welcome PhD proposals.

Research interests

My research within Visual Cultures and Contemporary Art Theory turns to environmental studies, everyday aesthetics, eco-feminism, eco-phenomenology, and emerging discourses within the fields of New Materialism and Speculative Realism. Using these coordinates, I consider the activation of visual art within philosophical post-humanism, particularly in terms of subjectivity and agency, the ontology of objects and materiality, the politics of food, cultivation and agriculture, temporal scale effects, and geopower. I am the Chair of the Critical Ecologies Research Stream, a member of the Centre for Art and Ecology, the Centre for Critical Global Change, and the Kitchen Research Unit. I am also the Goldsmiths Pathway Lead for Sustainability and Climate Emergency on the South and East Network for Social Sciences Doctoral Training Programme (SENSS).

Publications and research outputs

Book Section

Roberdeau, Wood. 2023. Experiments in Eco-poiesis: herman de vries and an Art of Immediacy. In: Fröydi Laszlo and Anna Risell, eds. The Anthropocene Laboratory. Gothenburg: Förlaget 284. ISBN 978-9198165005

Roberdeau, Wood. 2022. Fog (a Delegation for Atmosphere). In: Benek Cincik and Tiago Torres-Campos, eds. Postcards from the Anthropocene: Unsettling the Geopolitics of Representation. Barcelona: dpr-barcelona. ISBN 9788494938870

Roberdeau, Wood. 2018. After Baruchello: Agricultural Encounters in Contemporary Art. In: Ben Stringer, ed. Rurality Re-imagined: Villagers, Farmers, Wanderers and Wild Things. Novato, California: ORO Editions/Applied Research & Design. ISBN 978-1-940743-34-9


Roberdeau, Wood. 2022. Counter-attacking Pollution in Three Aerial Acts. Performance Research, 26(7), pp. 23-30. ISSN 1352-8165

Roberdeau, Wood. 2018. Scalar Aesthetics of Ecocinema: The Wall and The Survivalist. Transformations Journal of Media, Culture and Technology(32),

Roberdeau, Wood. 2017. Kurt Schwitters and 27 Senses: Resonances in Norway, England and Time. Dada/Surrealism, 21, ISSN 0084-9537

Conference or Workshop Item

Roberdeau, Wood. 2024. 'Solastalgic Aesthetics and Living Extinctions in SGAAWAAY K’UUNA (Edge of the Knife)'. In: The Aesthetics of Geopower: Imagining Planetary Histories and Hegemonies. University of Amsterdam, Netherlands 4 - 5 April 2024.

Roberdeau, Wood. 2023. 'The Seeds of Vandana Shiva: Story, Politics, Life and the Ravages of Biotech'. In: Screening and discussion co-hosted by MCCS and Critical Ecologies. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom 7 June 2023.

Roberdeau, Wood. 2021. '‘Learning from Ice’ (with Susan Schuppli)'. In: Visual Cultures Postgraduate Seminar. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom 4 November 2021.


Roberdeau, Wood. 2013. The Ecological.

Printed Ephemera

Roberdeau, Wood. 2015. Poetic|Baroque|Differential.

Roberdeau, Wood. 2014. Quiet Totemism.

Roberdeau, Wood. 2010. 'Happiness Is Closer than You Think'.

Conferences and talks

2024: Participatory Art in the Age of Ecology, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Workshop Presenter

2020: IAS Waste: Biopolitics of the Plasticene, UCL, London
Respondent to Amanda Boetzkes and Diana Lelonek

2019: Feed Our Progress, organised by a/political and Visual Cultures Society, Goldsmiths, London
Chair and Speaker with Petr Davydtchenko (artist) and Naomi Leake (Extinction Rebellion)

2019: Cohabiting the Microcosm and Macrocosm, Study Sessions: Calculative Environments, Nottingham Contemporary

2016: A Bridge to Christo, discussion and film presentation, Goldsmiths, London
Chair and Speaker

2017: Rurality Re-imagined, MA Free Seminar, Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, London

2017: Isabel Lewis’s ‘Occasion’, BMW Tate Live Exhibition: Ten Days Six Nights, Tate Modern, London

2015: Friday Salon: On Skeuomorphism, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Chair and Speaker

2011: Poetic Recuperations: The Ideology and Praxis of Nouveau Réalisme, 4th Annual RIHA Lecture, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Keynote Lecture