Caitlin Shepherd
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Caitlin Shepherd

“The more radically I get it wrong when imaging the analog of your inner state in myself, the less I succeed in understanding yours. The less I succeed in understanding yours, the more the coordination of our actions must depend on convention or force or detailed verbal agreement”

︎ Adrian Piper, 1991, p.726

“The most Gothic description of Capital is also the most accurate. Capital is an abstract parasite, an insatiable vampire and zombie- maker; but the living flesh it converts into dead labor is ours, and the zombies it makes are us.”

︎ Mark Fisher, 2009, p.19

“It seems that there are at least two ways of thinking of listening in terms of political action: listening together with others in order to become aware of your own conditions…and listening as a willingness to change them through collective effort. The willingness can be actualised in terms of political organising, protesting or simply getting involved in some kind of social struggle…”

︎ Lucia Farinati & Claudia Firth, 2017,p.21

Hello reader, welcome! Thank you for taking the time to find out a little more - for being curious. So, a little bit about me.

I'm an artist, researcher, and educator. I use print design, photography, sound and écriture féminine (Cixous) to explore and listen to personal stories of everyday life, with particular interest in listening into lived experiences of multi-ethnic class identity, the working conditions in the creative and cultural industries (CCI’s), precarity and socio-economic inequality.  I have a background in socially engaged art and activism. I’ve co-founded and directed award winning campaigns at This is Rubbish (2010 - 2015) and worked as a campaigner at Oxfam (2012 - 14).

My PhD (2015 - 2022) examined how intersectional working-class experience is excluded from socially engaged art (and the creative industries at large), and studied how convivial listening practices might help to better understand and challenge such inequities and exclusions. I’m interested in how we listen together, and how this might offer a form of giving attention, a form of listening to stories often erased, played down, or muted. I’m currently prototyping listening-rituals, using a range of listening practices and processes. I’m increasingly interested in the relationship between deep listening methods, technologies, ritual and embodiment. I’m about to embark on this year long practice with Cai Tomos, and am curious to see what I end up producing. 

I’ve been awarded numerous awards for my socially engaged art practice. In 2015, I was artist in residence at Cambridge University's Centre for Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) conference; Sound Studies; Art Experience, Politics. I made new work for Theastre Gate's Bristol based project Sanctum (2015). I was commissioned to produce an exhibition at Somerset House, London, with my immersive sound installation Discord (2016). In 2017 I was artist in residence at Knowle West Media Centre and funded by the Arts Council to produce a touring sound installation A Life, A Presence Like the Air (2017). In 2018 I presented my research at a range of conferences including Creative Practice in the Age of Neoliberal Hopelessness (2018). In 2019, I was awarded position of artist in residence at Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, and have presented my praxis- research at the Centre for Research in Sound Art Practice (CRiSAP), Internoise Conference in Madrid, and Radio as Social Media Conference at the University of Siena. I am currently a member of the Shared Campus Social Transformation and Global Icons working groups, working closely with colleagues from Zurich University of Art and Design and Hong Kong Baptist University.

I see teaching as an integral part of my creative praxis. I like the term artist-teacher, though I often find new and different ways to think and talk about what teaching is, how I do it, to what affect. It’s a space where I get to explore new ideas and enter dialogue with, and learn from students and peers. I draw on slow design and participatory learning principles, using teaching and learning methods such as critical reflection, engaged pedagogy, object-based learning, and sharing stories of everyday life. I have a PgCert distinction in Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication (2021).

Alongside my praxis, I'm unit leader and senior lecturer in contextual and theoretical studies at LCC, University of the Arts London. I’m tutor and module lead on the Falmouth Fine Art (online) course. I also tutor on the Interaction Design Communication MA at LCC. I was academic lead on the Shared Campus Summer School, Hacking Global Pop Icons (2020 - 2022).